How to Make a Screencast

Screencast is a digital recording of computer screens, full screens or screen regions and usually comes with an audio narration to describe the on-screen actions. The term screencast dates back to 2004 with an interesting story.

In 2004, a columnist Jon Udell invited readers of his blog to propose names for the emerging genre. In all the suggested terms, Udell selected screencast, which was proposed by both Joseph McDonald and Deeje Cooley. His “Heavy metal umlaut” screencast is a well-known example – which explains how Wikipedia works.

Since then, the term screen has be known by more people and the use of screencasts has itself become more popular. Currently the new trend of screencast is documentary filmmaking of software-based social networking services like Wikipedia, or digg.

In This Article

1.Screencast Types

2.Screencasting Tools

3.Guide Lines of making a screencast

Screencast Types

1.Product Tutorials:

The screencast tells users how to use a software application or service by showing screen introductions. Usually, there is a recorded voice over to walk through the steps.
See examples below.

Cracking WEB in 10 Minutes


2.Short How-to:

This kind of screencast usually is often short and demonstrate a simple guide or gives tips and tricks to solve a small problem or dig into a product feature.

See example below

Better use of Window ‘s Search Feature

3.Conversational Demos:

Conversational demos has more focus on the conversion rather than the screens. Usually, there are two voices for the screen. Often one is asking question about the screen and another gives the answer.

4.Software review:

If you are asked for writing a software review , you can always make a screencast to highlight some features.

5.User produced demo:

Some software applications are difficult to use and you sometimes have some unexpected troubles. Making a screencast to explain will help you a lot when you are talking to the technical support. You can even make you troubleshooting demo to share with your friends and families.

Of course, there are more types has not yet included in this article.

Screencasting Tools:

1.For Window Users

Windows Media Encoder – Free but with high system requirements

Wondershare DemoCreator – Flash-based Screen Recorder

2.For Mac Users

Snapz Pro X

Guide Lines of making a screencast

1. Know what you want to present

First and foremost, You’ll need to have an idea about what you’ll present, and you’ll need to figure out which platform to use. Knowing your purposes of making a screecast is the first to come.

2. Make it real

Always to make a screencast in real and substantial scene. For example, it is for software demonstration or a network monitor, then work with the software or live network.

Of course , for reasons of logistics or security, this isn’t always possible. But the more real we can make it, the better.

3. Interactivity is important

Interactivity engages viewers through the demo. If your screecast is just screen by screen, your viewers will leave soon. You can and I’d argue you should record narration or insert background music to the screencast. Usually, some screencasting tools like DemoCreator enable you to add some visual aids to the captured screens like callouts, shapes, annotation buttons and animated images. Note that when a screencast is interactive it will engage the viewers in a conversation that steers it into unexpected areas.