Nar­rate videos you record on your PC

Computer Active (UK) - - Contents -

What you need: Cap­tura; Any Win­dows ver­sion (XP to 10) Time re­quired: 25 min­utes

In­pre­vi­ous is­sues, we’ve cov­ered sev­eral pro­grams that let you record what you do on your PC as a video. Free pro­gram Cap­tura stands out be­cause it also lets you nar­rate your PC prob­lem us­ing your we­b­cam, let­ting you de­scribe things in greater de­tail. Un­like other pro­grams we’ve fea­tured, Cap­tura won’t leave wa­ter­marks on your video, bother you with ad­verts or limit the length of video you can cre­ate. It also lets you take screen­shots quickly and eas­ily.


To in­stall the pro­gram, go to, click the Down­load but­ton at the top, then open and run the down­loaded setup file (it doesn’t con­tain any junk). Click OK 1 if you see a pop-up mes­sage say­ing you can’t use the pro­gram’s de­fault hotkeys (key­board short­cuts). This oc­curs if any of your other pro­grams are us­ing the same hotkeys – we’ll show you how to cre­ate your own in Step 4. The pro­gram has four tabs 2 with sev­eral op­tions.


In the Video sec­tion, you can choose to record au­dio only, the full screen 1 , a par­tic­u­lar area of your screen or a pro­gram win­dow. Your se­lec­tion will de­ter­mine the op­tions in the drop­down menu next to it 2 . For ex­am­ple, if you se­lect Win­dow, you can then choose from any pro­gram cur­rently open on your PC in the right-hand drop­down menu. Click the we­b­cam drop­down menu and se­lect your PC’S we­b­cam 3 (it will then switch on 4 ). In the Au­dio sec­tion, se­lect your PC’S mi­cro­phone 5 .


The three icons at the top 1 let you in­clude your cur­sor in the video, high­light mouse clicks and en­ter any ex­plana­tory text. By de­fault, the pro­gram saves your screen­shots and videos to a new Cap­tura folder in the Doc­u­ments folder. You can open this folder by click­ing the folder icon 2 . If you want to save videos and screen­shots to an­other folder, click the three dots at the bot­tom 3 , nav­i­gate to the folder you want, then click Se­lect Folder.


Click the Con­fig­ure tab 1 to see tick­boxes to min­imise the pro­gram when you start record­ing and show sys­tem-tray no­ti­fi­ca­tions on your screen­shot or record­ing. Next, click Hotkeys 2 . Here, you can set your own hotkeys to start, stop, pause and re­sume the record­ing, and take dif­fer­ent types of screen­shots. To change a de­fault hotkey, click its but­ton 3 , then press the key com­bi­na­tion you want to use. You can turn off these hotkeys by untick­ing the rel­e­vant boxes. The Re­cent tab 4 lists all videos and screen­shots you cre­ate us­ing Cap­tura.


To start record­ing a video, go to the Main tab 1 , then click the Record but­ton 2 . If you don’t have Ffm­peg in­stalled, you’ll see a win­dow ask­ing you to down­load it. Cap­tura needs this soft­ware to work. Click ‘Down­load Ffm­peg’ 3 , then Start Down­load. When that’s done, close the pop-up win­dow. Now click the Record but­ton to make your record­ing and be­gin the timer 4 . You can pause/re­sume 5 the record­ing if needed. Click the Record but­ton again to stop the record­ing (you can also use the hotkeys you set up in Step 4 to start, pause, re­sume and end the record­ing).


You’ll see a sys­tem-tray no­ti­fi­ca­tion telling you that the video has been saved 1 . Click this to watch the video in your PC’S de­fault me­dia player. You can also click the folder icon 2 to nav­i­gate to the rel­e­vant folder, then watch your video. The de­fault set­tings worked fine for us but if you no­tice your record­ing is not clear enough, try ad­just­ing the three slid­ers 3 in the Main tab or chang­ing the video for­mat to AVI 4 .


To take screen­shots, first ad­just the drop­down menus in the Video sec­tion. For ex­am­ple, to take a screen­shot of an open pro­gram/tool win­dow, set the first drop­down menu to Win­dow 1 , then se­lect the pro­gram/tool 2 . In the Screen­shot sec­tion 3 , you can choose your save lo­ca­tion and screen­shot im­age for­mat (though we rec­om­mend the de­fault set­tings). Click the Cam­era icon 4 (or press the screen­shot hotkey you cre­ated in Step 4) to take your screen­shot. This will ap­pear as a sys­tem-tray no­ti­fi­ca­tion 5 . Click to open it in your de­fault photo-view­ing pro­gram. ●

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