Screen capture software options for application documentation
August 27, 2012 9:10 PM   Subscribe

What are good tools for making app documentation videos, which focus on the specific region of interest?

I have a web app I would like to write documentation for, by recording short snippets of video that "magnify" the screen where the mouse pointer is located.

For example, I would move the mouse pointer to a particular field on the screen and start typing. The video is centered on the pointer and is zoomed in on the screen by some magnification level. This focuses the video footage on the specific action required to complete a task.

I've seen these sorts of videos before for apps made by other companies, here and there, but I would like to know what they use to make these videos quickly and efficiently.

I know about full-screen capture apps, but then I have to use special video editing software to center the magnified video on the pointer. I'm wondering if there are capture apps that specialize in this, so that I can make the nicest looking vids that I can, as quickly as possible, and with as little grief and effort as possible.

What are the specialized tools people use for this task?

Again: I am not looking for full-screen capture software, which I already have. Thanks!
posted by Blazecock Pileon to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Camtasia does exactly this.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:14 PM on August 27, 2012

Best answer: Snapz Pro?
posted by mazola at 9:15 PM on August 27, 2012

Yes, I know Camtasia says it's recording software. But the zoom thing ... It does it.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:16 PM on August 27, 2012

Response by poster: Does Snapz Pro do what I describe in my question? I own an older license of it, but as far as I can remember, it is a full-screen capture app, which is, again, not what I am looking for. If Cursor FX in Camtasia accomplishes what I'm describing, then that would be what I'm looking for. Is this what Camtasia does, this specific feature?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:39 PM on August 27, 2012

Response by poster: I should note I'm on a Mac, so I'd be looking for options on that platform. Thanks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:40 PM on August 27, 2012

Maybe Adobe Captivate? I dunno if it does the zoom thing (and I'm not what you'd call in love with Adobe, but I had to use it for a class a while back), but I think they have free trials.
posted by box at 9:49 PM on August 27, 2012

Best answer: This image seems to confirm that it will follow a cursor and do specific regions.
posted by mazola at 10:04 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Camtasia zoom and pan tutorial, doing what I think you want.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:08 AM on August 28, 2012

Camtasia has a SmartZoom feature you can try. They have a free trial. And each time they have a new version, the trial clock resets. You can also reset it 15 days by typing in Reset twice in the license key fields.
posted by Dansaman at 9:45 AM on August 28, 2012

« Older Also do those exist/work   |   This American Life Song ID Request Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.