The Internet is filled with tutorials and all kinds of videos in which the uploaders record some activity on their desktop, leaving their viewers wondering about the tools they used to create the tutorials in the first place. The most powerful software solution that can do such a thing is called Camtasia Studio and works on any Windows version out there.
The application will take a while to download, since the setup kit has almost 200 MB, and to install, because there are a lot of files to be copied on your computer.
The interface seems overwhelming at first sight, since it throws all kinds of tools to the user, but this is precisely the way functions are typically organized in such a powerful application.
When starting a new recording, users get the chance to choose if they are interested in the desktop (either full screen, or a custom region) or PowerPoint. Once complete, the user can preview the recording and choose if they want to keep it or begin another one.
The recording process goes incredibly smooth and although one would expect such an application to be a bit heavy on computer resources, Camtasia Studio works fine. In fact, this is a mandatory thing because Camtasia thus leaves resources to other applications whose activity on the screen must be recorded.
Once the source video is captured, users can add callouts, audio effects, transitions, cursor effects and title clips along with voice narration and picture-in-picture functions. Each of these features might initially take some time getting used to, but the output is worth every minute spent experimenting.
The timeline is a handy tool that serves as an overview of the items added so far to the project, and adjusting the timing of each of them is as easy as moving a slider.
In order to finalize the project, one can export it to an archive, a SWF video or upload it directly to YouTube, depending on one's needs.
As a conclusion, the price tag Camtasia wears might not seem that exaggerated given its complex functions. Users simply need to give it a try and see how it works, and they just might end up being pleasantly surprised.