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