An amaz­ingly ca­pa­ble free screen recorder, and much more. FREE | WWW.NCHSOFTWARE.COM

APC Australia - - Contents - Cat El­lis

There are dozens of free screen recorders for Win­dows avail­able to down­load, but most are blighted by time re­stric­tions, wa­ter­marks, bun­dled junk soft­ware and lim­ited ex­port op­tions. De­but Video Cap­ture from NCH Soft­ware, how­ever, is an ex­cep­tion to the norm.

De­but is free for home use and has ev­ery­thing you need to cap­ture footage from your screen, a we­b­cam, or other con­nected de­vices like se­cu­rity cam­eras — in­clud­ing a wealth of fea­tures you’d nor­mally only ex­pect to find in pre­mium soft­ware.

It isn’t de­signed for record­ing games (that re­quires some­thing like OBS Screen Recorder, which can han­dle full-screen, hard­ware-ac­cel­er­ated pro­grams with ease — see ob­spro­, but for ev­ery­thing else it’s ideal.

When it comes to record­ing your screen, De­but of­fers all the usual op­tions, let­ting you cap­ture your en­tire dis­play, a se­lected win­dow, or a cus­tom re­gion. You can choose to show or hide the cur­sor, and even high­light it when you click, which is ex­tremely use­ful if you’re record­ing a soft­ware demo or tu­to­rial.

Once you’re ready, ei­ther tap the red but­ton or min­imise De­but and hit one of its key­board short­cuts (F5 or Ctrl-F9) to start record­ing. This is a re­ally thought­ful touch, giv­ing you a choice of short­cuts to avoid con­flicts with other pro­grams that use the same key bind­ings.

You can record from your PC’s sound card, an ex­ter­nal mi­cro­phone, or both, and there’s even pic­ture-in-pic­ture sup­port so you can over­lay a record­ing from your we­b­cam on top of footage from your desk­top.

De­but doesn’t in­clude a tool for edit­ing your videos after they’re saved, but you can ad­just colours, ap­ply fil­ters, and add cap­tions and wa­ter­marks while they’re be­ing recorded. Just take your pick from the but­tons on the lower right, and check the pre­view pane to see the ef­fect be­fore you start record­ing.

De­but’s in­ter­face isn’t the most at­trac­tive, but what it lacks in gloss it makes up for in clar­ity. Ev­ery­thing is clearly la­belled, and you’ll never be left cast­ing around for the op­tion you need. It’s also worth not­ing that the soft­ware is cur­rently in beta, so the fi­nal re­lease will hope­fully look a lit­tle more pol­ished.

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