New media is at its prime, and video presentations are a favorite among bloggers and many people dealing with different tasks. To make the best out of video presentations, screen recording and video editing tools for Mac and Windows see stiff competition in the software industry — all of them promising to give their users a wholesome experience around screen recording and video editing.
Here are some of the reasons why you might want to record and edit videos.
- For creating practical video tutorials around products and how-to guides
- School and corporate projects that require video presentation
- For blogging which might revolve around user experience
- Recording video calls and conferences
- Reporting and troubleshooting purposes
While there are firm reasons to get hold of a good all-in-one video recording and editing software for your Mac and Windows, the task of choosing one can get quite confusing, for there are numerous options laid out in the market.
Here at TheSweetBits, we will talk about what we think is the best screen recording and video editing software and also explore other options — all at one place — so that you don’t have to struggle with the many options.
How we choose the best
Screen recorders and video editors can be a complex territory to dwell in — here, we look at some of the factors that help us decide which software fits in well.
A great user interface
The first that goes attracts our attention — for any software — is an excellent and intuitive user interface. When the UI is good, using the apps and software and accessing the features become much more straightforward. We prefer designs and layouts that are easy to understand and use — ones that do not complicate the already seemingly complicated task.
Coming to the important bit — how well does a software manage to record the screen. Does it give you the option to record the whole screen or just a part of it? Can you choose custom layouts? Can you use your microphone and camera options as well? What about the frame rates and resolutions. Yes, we look at all these factors.
Using a recorded video as it is is just not so great. Powerful editing features allow you to trace your clicks and strokes, edit clips, and many other clips. A screen recorder that has useful video editing tools make for a good investment. However, if you want to get a hold of these third-party tools for free, then you can do so, except that they will come as a limited trial version.
Of course, operating systems do come with an in-built screen recorder in their newer versions. But they are not so great on the feature front; basically, you are paying for the features that the third-party screen recording and video editing apps offer.
Moving on, let’s look at our favorite, starting with the one which claimed the most of our attention with its impressive recording, editing, and compatibility features.
Camtasia is one powerful screen recording and video editing tool for Windows and Mac. It is quite diverse and supports multiple video formats and offers unprecedented control over the created videos. At the same time, it’s surprisingly easy to use.
TechSmith, which makes Camtasia, even has a free Android and iOS app, which lets you transfer videos for editing from your mobile to your computer.
Once you are done with editing, you can render them and share them directly to YouTube, Vimeo, Screencast, and Google drive — all from within the app. Pretty cool, right?
Camtasia is surprisingly easy to learn even for those who are entirely new to the whole screen recording and editing domain. Even though it offers a few limitations in the presets media clips it offers, it does a good enough job by providing the essential tools that are needed for video editing in a clean and minimal interface.
When you start the app, the first thing that you notice is that the user interface looks a bit occupied. However, the first impression goes away quickly, and then you start appreciating how finely interface has been crafter for new and first-time users.
Confused where to start? Worry not! In the first run, Camtasia loads a sample project which comes with a video tutorial that shows around the basic layout and interface. For those who are new to editing, it’s a great way of understanding how video editor works.
It even shows you how you can find more tutorials on Camtasia — on TechSmith’s website — that if you get stuck with the program and the numerous features that it has to offer.
The user interface of Camtasia is quite simple. There are three main areas: the media and effects library placed at the top-left, the timeline at the bottom, and the preview area at the right.
Once you start adding effects to your recorded video, a new Properties panel shows up on the top-right of the screen.
You can import media files by the File Open dialog. Every file that you import houses itself in the media bin, so re-accessing them becomes much easier. Besides, you can always access the media library from the top-left section of the screen.
You also get the option to import media from Google Drive, and this we thought was a pretty cool option since our Google Drive is known to contain a lot of files and media, generally. Want to import media from a mobile phone? Go ahead and download TechSmith’s free companion app called Fuse.
Camtasia has everything that you would need in a good screen recorder app. It comes with active mouse tracking and audio and webcam support, which means that you can create great video tutorials easily.
The feature is easy to use and can be accessed through the program’s homepage, which means that you do not have to run around and browse through the layers of the program to access the application.
To start recording a video, click on the Record button, which comes at the top of the tools panel. The option, by default, is set to record your entire screen. However, you can customize it, of course.
You can choose to record in full screen or choose a custom area to record. There are also options to record webcam, microphone, and system audio through the app.
Once you have added your media or added a new media from the gallery (yes, the drag and drop feature works), you can begin the editing process.
You have the option to add as many tracks to the media timeline, rearrange them, and even rename them to have everything sorted. You can even cut and paste new tracks, just like a word processor.
When on a good machine (we used a Macbook Air), there’s barely any lag when you separate sections of videos or trim them down.
It’s simple to add effects and overlays. You can select the type of effect or object from the list on the left and then drag it on the timeline.
Yes, you can customize every aspect of the video right from the preview option.
For starters, you don’t have to dig much deeper to enjoy the features of the app. For pros, the presets have much to offer, and adding extra effects is a cake-bite.
If you want to achieve frame-level accuracy, then you can click and hold at any point in the timeline, and you will be able to see the exact timecode.
There are several audio templates for audio lovers. You also get to add video narration directly from the app.
- No limits on video lengths
- Capable of recording anything
- Great import and export features
- Good integration with other products
- Limited media gallery
- Not a lot of pre-made sound themes
- A bit pricey
Camtasia comes with several license options — personal, professional, education, and government. The pricing is done by single and multiple user license.
The single-user license comes at $249. If you upgrade from an older version, then you have to pay $99.50. Click here to find out more about Camtesia’s pricing.
If you are looking for the best screen capture and editing software for Mac, then your hunt could end with ScreenFlow.
You can use ScreenFlow to record high-quality videos by making full use of your hardware features. Besides, you can also record the screen of your iOS devices.
The latest version of ScreenFlow — ScreenFlow 9 — comes with new features such as multi-screen recording, timeline tools palette, proxy editing, clip editor, and new click effects, which makes video editing and screen recording an exciting and engaging affair.
ScreenFlow has more than 5,00,000 pieces of different media that you can use from ScreenFlow’s Stock Media Library at an additional cost of $60 per year. So if you are looking for a more advanced editing experience, then you can certainly buy the add-on.
ScreenFlow comes with a great start page that lets you record screens on the go. On the home page, there are buttons to see what’s new in the updated version, get help, and watch tutorials.
The left side of the start page gives you the option to make a new recording, access a fresh editing page, view recent documents (media), and work around an existing template.
We especially liked the landing screen of ScreenFlow as it gives you access to all highlighting the main features of the app.
If you decide to record the screen, then you can go on with it, and once the recording is complete, you will automatically end up on the editing page from where you can edit the videos and give the finishing touch so that they are ready to be published.
The user interface is neat and easy to understand — you won’t feel lost in the many features that the program has to offer.
When you decide to record a screen, you get the option to choose what you will be recording — it could be your screen, any other screen, or your iOS device.
Then you get to choose if you want to include your camera and microphone. You even get to choose whether you want to record your computer’s audio.
Then, you get to choose between the desktop from rate — between 1 to 30 fps, or whatever is available on your Mac. There’s also a timeline frame rate to choose from — between 24fps and 60 fps. By default, it is set to 60 fps.
You can even loop a recording or add a timer if you want to stop your recording or your loop at a given time.
We liked the screen recording feature as it lets you choose most of the settings upfront.
ScreenFlow’s video editor lets you add subtitles, annotations, texts, and more with just a few clicks. You can also use it to lay over a new video by importing or recording it.
The editing screen is divided into four components ‚ the mainframe where the video is shown, the timeline editor, a left pane to add video clips and media snippers, a right pane to adjust the settings of individual components.
Most of the features are also accessible through your menu bar — simply hover over it and click on the options to browse through the features accordingly.
The entire length of the video you are editing is shown on the timeline. If you add a new video, it automatically finds a place in the timeline. You can also drag without to change alignment — to decide what is shown on the top, or to decide over the sequence of the videos.
For a quick grasp of the time stamp, you can zoom in and out of the timeline to break it into seconds and microseconds.
The left pane lets you add plenty of stock media to your editing timeline. These stock videos get automatically downloaded and stored in your library after you click on them. There’s also a filter that can help you sort the files.
On the right pane, you get access to features that let you customize your mouse pointer, change the click and cursor movements, and add annotations and texts to make your videos more viewer-friendly.
Once you have recorded the video, you can save the frame and export it. There’s also an option to batch export, which saves a lot of time. You also get to choose the resolution, encoding quality and change the blur settings of your video.
The app is quite light on resources, so you can be assured that your CPU won’t have to toil hard if you are working on massive video files. Yes, it’s quite well optimized for your Mac.
You can also read our full ScreenFlow 9 review for more insights into its recording and editing features.
- Great, intuitive user interface
- Low on CPU resources
- Huge stock media library
- Impressive screen recording features
- Must pay extra to get access to stock media
- It takes a bit of time to get used to the editing interface
- No starting walkthrough guide for new users
You can buy ScreenFlow 9 for $129, but you also get a special deal if you are buying in bulk. For $645 and $840 under the special deal, you get access to 5 installations; the latter provides priority support and future discounts when you decide to upgrade. Find out more details on the ScreenFlow pricing here.
Now that we have explored the best screen recording and video editing programs for Mac, let’s look at what we think is the best option for Windows. Here comes FlashBack Pro, an innovative screen recording and video editing tool that makes the process of recording and editing a care-free task.
FlashBack lets you record quick videos that can help you make engaging demos and tutorials, and then edit them to add the finishing touches so that your video is ready to be launched.
It lets you capture any part of your screen to turn it into a video file, edit them to add images, notes, and sounds so that your videos can look professional, and share them as multiple platforms straight to YouTube or FlashBack Connect.
When you launch FlashBack, you might realize that its interface looks just good enough; however, it’s not as flavored as its counterparts. However, do not let the first impression make a judgment call. It has features that put it head to head with its counterparts, making it a favorite screen recording and video editing tool for Windows.
For starters, the features seem to be less-intimidating, which means that you can easily browse through them, gaining familiarity on the go.
If you have used any recording and editing software in the past, then you will realize that it is quite easy to get a hold of the way FlashBack works. Right where you start, there’s an option to record the screen.
On the left panel, you get the option to access effects, titles, and more, while the right panel gives you the option to playback videos. At the bottom is the timeline editor, which you can use to edit your videos.
The recording features of FlashBack are pretty similar to those of its counterparts. It lets you capture a video from any part of the screen. Trust us, this feature has become quite competitive. If you cannot let your users do that, then there’s no point in selling the program. So there’s nothing new on this front.
There’s also an option to add webcam footage and audio commentary as you record. There is no limit on recording lengths, so you can keep on recording for as long as you want. You can also capture the sounds of your computer.
A great feature here is the scheduled recording, through which you can capture your screen at any given time and date. This feature works up to great advantage as you can automate your recording schedule to avoid the unnecessary clicks that you might otherwise have to go through.
There are also options to record using custom resolution, use a plain background, hide icons, and limit the file size of the recording. What else? You can define the frame rates for your game recordings and choose the video quality. However, this works best when you let FlashBack determine these settings itself. It will take your hardware configuration into consideration to come up with the ideal screen recording setting.
FlashBack is known for its fast and no fuss clip editing. It lets you customize videos with stickers, FX, GIFs, sounds, and more. You can also add text, images, and other sounds to enhance the quality of your video — all of these features can be easily accessed through the interface at the click of a few buttons.
If you want to add custom watermarks to your video, then you can also do that.
The frame editing on FlashBack worked great. It let us delete unnecessary frames with much each. Here, you can edit with much confidence as you can undo multiple changes at any given time.
The audio editing features of FlashBack are also pretty stable — you get the option to edit tracks side by side and synchronize them with the video. However, you might be surprised that background noises are sometimes hard to prevent, even with a decent microphone in action.
When working with annotations, you can add texts and callouts, images, blur effects, sounds, highlights, and more.
While editing a media, you get access to an interactive button that helps you control movie playback. The focus here is on the action — you can zoom in to any part of your screen recording and even auto-track your mouse movements to keep the action in view, making sure that your viewers do not miss out on your movement.
- Great frame editing options
- Add start and end titles in seconds
- Add watermarks with ease
- Schedule recordings
- Cheaper than many counterparts
- Audio recording could be refined further
FlashBack Pro comes with a 30-day trial. Post that, you can buy a lifetime license for single usage at $49. A lifetime license for commercial use comes at $59.
There’s also a student discount available which gives you a 50 percent discount on your order.
ActivePresenter is one of those tools that you can use for education, corporate staff training, and general video making, of course.
It stands aside from its competitors as it comes as a solution for creating engaging handouts, user manuals, documentation, and interactive presentations for training. It comes for both Windows and Mac.
It also comes with a full-featured editor, which lets you edit audio and video, tweak the content, and define all the branched scenarios that may fall inside a video. It comes with support for HTML5 and can create content which can be virtually delivered to all sorts of devices.
A bit of good luck for beginners, ActivePresenter is organized simply and works with the simple logic of any screen recording and video editing app. For anyone new to image and video editing, this program can turn out to be a walk in the park.
The tabs, menus, and toolbars are perfectly organized, and it seems like you are just using one of those Office programs. However, if you do not like the default layout of things, you can always relate, resize, and even close the side panels. You also get to customize the shortcut keys to any key of your choice.
Yes, ActivePresenter is aimed at full productivity.
There’s a New Project window that lets you perform a New Capture or import an existing PowerPoint. There’s also an option to start an image project or just a new project if you want to start afresh.
The Screen Recording feature on ActivePresenter particularly stands out from its counterparts as it also takes detailed screenshots of each step made with a mouse or keyboard instead of just recording a complete video.
When you start a recording, you get to choose between capturing an area, capturing a full screen, or just set a custom dimension. You can set your video recording resolution to be as high as 1080p Full HD or 720p, depending on your need. You also get the option to select the audio recording device and adjust the volume.
Once you are all set, you can hit the record button to start recording.
Once the recording session is complete, you can click on the ActivePresenter tab and then head over to Open Project option to import the video, which you have just recorded. You can drag the video onto your editing timeline and start the editing process.
ActivePresenter comes with a powerful video editing feature that puts together various elements that work in perfect sync with the corresponding timeline, multiple video, and audio layers, and a wide assortment of tools that you can access directly from the panel above the timeline editor.
It also comes with various other features that are essential for video editing, such as cut, delete, split, join, crop, blur, change volume and playback speed, insert freeze frame, and more.
There are other editing options that work great for quiz and test building, such as the ability to include a multiple-choice feature and a rating scale. You can use these additions to create innovative questionnaires for a classroom or corporate quiz.
Once you are done with the screen recording session, you can export the video to a desired video output format and even adjust your audio preferences. It provides you with the option to export files into images, videos, PDFs, and HTML5, among others.
- Exporting videos to numerous formats
- Plenty of options around interactive presentations
- High-quality screen recordings that track your actions well
- The free version comes with watermarks
- Old-fashioned interface
- You can only import videos created through the program
- No 4k resolution yet
ActivePresenter comes with a standard and a pro license. The standard license can be purchased at $199, whereas you can get your hands on the Pro one at $399.
The Pro version gives access to additional features such as HTML5 export, fully responsive design interactivity, and branching, interactions and quizzes, and more.
Other options to consider
While the programs mentioned above are our top pics, here are a few other options that you could consider.
Open Broadcaster Software — OBS — is a tool for Windows, Mac, and Linux, which is a free and open-source software for video recording and live streaming. It comes with features that let you create scenes made up of multiple sources that include images, text, window captures, capture cards, webcams, and more. You can set unlimited scenes and switch between them quite seamlessly. The audio editor is quite intuitive and comes with filters such as noise suppression, noise gate, and more.
The settings panel of the app gives you access to a wide array of configuration options through which you can tweak the app as per your needs while a modular dock UI lets you rearrange the layout as you like. It also comes with direct support for your favorite streaming platforms.
Screencast-O-Matic is available for Windows and Mac; those who don’t want to install it on their disk can also use it as a web app, which is pretty cool. It lets you record your screen, edit the videos, and later share it.
The recorder is fast and easy to use. It can also employ your webcam and include narration for a more customized viewing experience. With tools such as zoom and automatic captioning, editing videos is comfortable and distraction-free.
Screencast-O-Matic claims that so far, over 55,000,000 videos have been created through the platform.
Ezvid has been around for a decade. It has a Windows program that lets you record videos with features such as facecam, voice synthesis, speed control, and screen drawing.
It’s a great tool to make entertaining and engaging videos that can ‘enchant’ the viewers. It lets you edit videos nonlinearly, make speed changes, rearrange them, add slides, and much more. The interface is easy to use and can reduce your editing time drastically.
Ezvid is known to take advantage of multi-core CPU and video cards, and it is designed in a way where it can make full use of resources. Since 2011, this software has been downloaded more than 3 million times — yes, that’s quite a number.
filmoraScrn is available for macOS and Windows and provides powerful features for high-quality screen recording. You can record videos at 15-20fps, which is quite perfect for fast-paced games. It also lets you record simultaneously from your screen or webcam.
The simple, easy to use editor lets you have a changeable cursor where you can adjust the shape, size, and color of your cursor so that your mouse movements stand out. You can also import videos from over 50 file formats, making it a boon for video editors. You can also draw arrows and circles on your screen to enhance the viewing experience.
There’s also a Picture in Picture (PIP) mode so that you can add a second video or image into your main footage — perfect for game walkthroughs.
How could a list be complete without having an Adobe in it?
Adobe Captivate is available for Windows and Mac, where you can create engaging, mobile-ready courses in minutes. It comes with a Quick Start Projects option which presents you ready to go slides and several out of the box interactions.
Adobe Captivate lets you speed up your course creation by copying appearances and automating branching.
There’s also an option to edit SVGs and convert them to buttons along with several overlay options. Besides, you also get the option to convert existing PowerPoints to interactive videos, among others.
Some final words
Now, that was a list!
If you made it to the end of it — right here— then congratulations! By now, you must be very much aware of what these screen recorders and video editors are capable of doing.
We suggest that you make a pick based on your requirements. If you can do with a one-time use, then consider a free trial. Else, you can try to invest in a paid version.
Gone are the times of movie makers and quick times. With the best screen recording and video editing software, you can make sure that your video projects look smooth and crisp. However, it can be quite tedious to choose one. So go through bits of this review again and make a pick. You can even share it with your friends, family members, and colleagues — whoever is considering to invest in a screen recorder and video editor.
You may want to take a peek at:
Best Mac Computers for Video Editing
The Best Places to Make Funny Videos Online
The Best Video Converter for Mac (and Windows)
Top Free Screen Recorder Alternatives to Quicktime