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How to record a live video in Snagit

In this blog, I’ll show you how to create a live video (or screencast) using Snagit Capture.

I often use this to record videos for students to demonstrate a software process.

Although the recording options are almost identical to recording static images, there are a couple of key differences. You can’t set a background colour for the video, and you won’t have access to the annotation tools while recording.

Watch the video:


Step1 Preparation

Here we’re recording the steps to insert a picture in Microsoft Word, so we need to make sure the program is open.

Make sure you have all the steps handy, and if it’s a lengthy process you’re recording, I’d recommend you do a dummy run or two first.

Make sure that any dialog boxes you want to include in the recording will open up within the recording area.

Next, open Snagit Capture and click the Video tab.

Click the down arrow in the Selection area – you only have two options here – a region or a window. We’ve selected Window here.

Leave the Preview in Editor option turned on so when you’ve finished recording, you’ll see it open automatically in the Editor window.

Since we have no annotation tools available to us while recording, make sure the Capture Cursor option is also turned on.

If you want to include footage from your webcam, you can turn it on here. (You can also turn this on from the Recording toolbar later).

To record input from your microphone, make sure it’s turned on and the correct microphone is selected. Remember, don’t use the built-in mic, use a headset or separate USB mic for better quality sound.

When you’re ready, click the Capture button and select the window you want to record from.

On the recording toolbar you now have the option to include system sounds like mouse clicks.

You can turn other options like webcam and mic on and off from here too. The webcam usually displays as a small video in the corner of your video. To change this Picture-in-Picture position, click the down arrow to the right of the webcam icon and select an option.

To change the size of the Picture-in-Picture, drag a corner of the webcam preview in or out.

Note the recording size is set to the same size as your window.

Since this will be a live recording and I've included the mouse pointer. Make sure your mouse movements are smooth and steady when recording – there is nothing more distracting when you’re watching the video playback than to see the mouse cursor darting around the screen!


Step 2 recording

Click the Record button. You’ll see a 3 second countdown and recording will start when the countdown finishes.

Snagit will record everything you now do in the window, so take all the actions you want to include in your video.

Click the Stop recording button on the toolbar when you’ve finished.

After a few seconds you’ll see your finished video in the Editor window.

Click File > Save to save your recording. Navigate to where you want to save the file and type a filename. The video will be saved in MP4 format.


Step 3 Playback

Once you’ve recorded your video, you can play it back to check that it all works ok.

The playback controls will display underneath the video.

Click the Play button to play the video. (When playing, this button will change to the Pause button).

Either side of the play button, you can move backwards and forwards a frame at a time.

At the left of the playbar, you’ll see the current position of the white playhead.

At the right of the playbar, you’ll see the total length of the video.

You can drag the white playhead to move quickly backwards and forwards along the playbar (this is called scrubbing).

To toggle the volume on or off, click the speaker icons.


Step 4 Editing

You’ll probably find that your video needs a few tweaks here and there. You may have a long lead-in time for instance, or if you recorded with sound, there may be some mistakes that you want to edit out.

To select the area you want to remove, drag the green marker on the playbar to where you want to start the cut.

Drag the red marker to where you want to end the cut.

You’ll see a small menu pop up. Click Cut to remove the selected frames.


Step 5 finishing

You can use a frame of the video to create a still image or thumbnail – you can then use this when publishing your video on sites like YouTube.

Drag the playhead to the frame you want to use, then click the PNG icon at the right-hand end of the playbar. Snagit creates an image of the selected frame and you’ll see it in your Recent Captures tray.

You can then use Snagit’s annotation tools to add text and other objects as required.

So that’s our video finished!


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