Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Sunday, June 30, 2002

FREE software to capture / record screen actions fit for developing tutorials, demo and help files

CamStudio 1.22
= must have
Software Tool
FREE - Open Source

RenderSoft CamStudio is a tool used for recording screen activity into standard AVI video files. If you move the cursor, launch a new program, type some text, click a few buttons, or select some menus - anything that you see on your screen - CamStudio will be able to record all these and allow you to play them back later on.

You can use CamStudio to develop videos to demonstrate features of a new software, for creating movies used in user training or tutorials, for tracking the progress of a program that executes for a long time, or for recording the sequence of steps that cause the occurrence of bugs in faulty software.

You can create demonstrations of programs by recording the movement of the cursor, the selection of menus, the entering of text or the display of messages. These demonstrations, when shown to users, can illustrate features and usage of the program in a short period time with crystal clarity.

The recorded movies can be added to the accompanying help files of commercial software to make them more professional.

The recorded videos, if converted to a stream-able format, can also be posted to your websites to provide extra help and just-in-time customer support.

*Example Video*
An example of a video recorded with CamStudio can be downloaded here:

A full description of CamStudio with all interface and menus screenshots is available at: index1.html

Among the interesting features I have noted are:

The software can be set to "follow" your action on the creen by recording only around a predefined area around your cursor. Great feature!

*Free AVI Player*
A free .AVI movie player is provided with CamStudio which can be freely distributed with your training videos. This player is very basic and simple to use and the only advantage it has over the standard Microsoft Windows Media Player is that it does not shrink the picture to fit the screen when the movie frame size is bigger than the screen and can therefore play large-size movies without distortion.

*Interleave Video and Audio*
Interleave your audio and video for smoother playback on a slow device such as CD-ROM. This will also allow better synchronization of your video and sound content.

*Recording Audio*
You can add a soundtrack to your movie by selecting this option. When enabled, CamStudio will record your voice input from the microphone while it is capturing video.

*Highlight Cursor*
When this option is selected, the recorded cursor will have a highlight area around it. This helps in calling attention to the movements of the cursor. You can set the shape, size and color of the highlight area.



*Setting Regions*
This allows you to define the area and type of video capture.
You usually set the Input Region before recording. There are 3 types of regions you can choose:

a) Region
Before recording starts, you can define an arbitrary rectangular region with the mouse.

b) Fixed Region
You can capture a fixed-size rectangular region.
A dialog allows you to define the size of the region in pixels.

c) Screen
The entire computer screen is captured.

*Setting Video Options*
Setting the video options allows you to optimize your video recordings by choosing between the file size, quality and frame rates of your video files. You can select the type of compressor codec to be utilized and the recording and playback frame rates.

It is also possible to set cursor preferences in order to hide, customize, highlight or simply show the mouse cursor during the video recording.


CamStudio is an OPEN SOURCE product. You are free to download its source code and customize it for your needs. If you create a product that contains code derived from CamStudio, you may distribute it for any purposes, including commercial purposes.

To download CamStudio go to:

Readers' Comments    
2010-09-27 02:08:40


Thanks a lot. You helped me a lot

2009-06-02 22:56:04


Camstudio has not been updated for a long time. And the biggest downside for this free screen recorder is with no editing features. Compare with the performance and price, I would say a DemoCreator is a really good one to make software tutorials and system demos.

2009-05-29 05:30:08


Thanks guys. You helped me a lot. I searched for over an hour for appropriate software but I somehow skipped this page on first page of Google.

2008-08-27 03:42:25

Rita Fan

I recommend use FlashDemo Studio to create interactive demo or e-learning course by recording screen in real time.

2008-04-02 10:19:00



Linux screen recorder, works perfect

2007-10-28 22:19:46


I'm using Wondershare DemoCreator, it's very great to create software training courses, presentations and tutorials by recording the screen.

2007-07-17 03:56:32


i have used kind of screen capture software called ACA Capture Pro, i think it can handle it .

2007-05-23 01:44:07

Mark Gabbey

I was using CamStudio until I found Abra from SentryWorks. Both products are free for personal, but Abra has much better recording performance (I need it to record web activity) and a slicker interface for recording. The only downside is that it does not include source code. The company is

2007-05-02 23:10:49

cherub of death

I am using the Camstudio and it is great. I do not know why the autopan will not work. I click to enable it but it doesnt work why is this?

2006-01-22 15:44:02

Camstudio was developed as open Source.
Once you release an open source program you cannot got back and retract it! You can only suspend distribution of code from your site, as they did. But camstudio remains open source.

Its version 2.0, the most complete, is still available both in binary and source form at Sourceforge:

2006-01-11 07:27:31

desktop screen record

Desktop Screen Record 5

A new video screen capture & screen recording tool.

Desktop Screen Record 5 is an easy video screen capture & screen recording tool that can record screen activities and sounds into video movie files.

You can use this screen capture software to record full screen or any area of the desktop screen, and you can record the cursor's movement, and add highlight to the cursor.

Desktop Screen Record 5 supports audio recording, during the process of screen video recording. You can start, pause, stop the screen & sound recording by pressing user-defined hotkeys anytime with Desktop Screen Record 5.
By choosing the output audio, video codec, quality, framerate from the Options Dialog, you can set the output AVI Video file formats easily. Residing on the system tray area when minimized, Desktop Screen Record 5 is ready to record screen at anytime. Now you can create video demos with this powerful tool quickly and easily. Have fun!

Desktop Screen Record 5 Main Features

Start, pause, stop screen recording with user-defined hotkeys.

Can record screen activities into Standard or Compressed AVI files

Can record full screen or any part of the screen

Can record Screen in any screen color depth

Supports sound recording from microphone, videotape, internet, etc.

Can show flashing rectangle when screen recording or paused

Select the video encoder for your screen recorder output AVI file

Adjustable screen capture frame rate and playback rate

Set the sound recording format and compressed audio format

Can record Actual Cursor or Custom Cursor

Can add a highlight area around the cursor during screen recording

User friendly interface, easy to use

What can Desktop Screen Record do ?
Answer questions with screen recording video files explaining how to use software and Web sites.

The screen record video can be added to the accompanying help files of commercial software and websites to make them more professional.

The screen record video, when converted to a stream-able format, can be posted to your websites to enliven them for virtual learning.

2005-11-01 01:14:14

I got the program from sourceforge. look it up. Took me a while to find it, but it is quite good. looks like the basis for camtasia. I don't remember whether the source was still posted or not.

2005-10-14 02:32:05


I just downloaded a v2.5 copy of the software (windows executable rather than source though) from SourceForge,

The project homepage lists the license as GPL.
Hope this helps some people.

2005-08-19 17:57:07

This is a free screen capture tool I'm using. It's the best free thing on the earth.

I bought ScreenHunter 4.1 Pro. Just dinner money and you know how much time it saved me.

Jack Traner

2005-01-21 15:07:33


1st screen recorder from

1st screen recorder

2004-12-04 04:06:04


2004-12-04 04:03:45


2004-12-04 03:53:56

screen capture

this software site provides several screen capture tools:
screen capture
screen recorder

2004-10-20 19:54:40


They cant just "close" an open source project.
If any product is built upon open source software, then you are entitled to distribute that software under the same licence, or at least the same files.

I couldnt dowload the free version 2 using hte link above it appears to have been blocked.

I did download another version from but its a higher number, but with much less features than v2. Its been dummed down.

2004-08-06 03:38:01


It used to be opensource, then they closed it...

2004-06-29 18:19:29



I tried the above source and I am having a problem compiling on MS VC++ V6, on Win2000 pro., getting the following problem :

"...swfsource/FFont.h(8) : fatal error C1083: Cannot open include file: 'hash_map': "

Has anyone been able to successfully compile the above source in MS VC++ V6 or has the hasp_map header files that works with the above source in MS VC++ V6?



2004-06-25 19:48:15

anonymous friend


for source

2004-06-24 09:00:11


This page is cheating!! No Source code as saying, no download. Cheater!!!!!

2004-06-15 20:13:09


There is a wonderful website that is perfect for situations like this. If you go to, you can get almost anything, even if it is no longer on the internet. I found version 2.0 of this software there. You can download it yourself at

2004-04-28 07:14:22

Never Mind

I thought you said this was FREE - Open Source

Not really the case is it ??

2004-04-14 15:29:38


I am also looking for the GPL'd version to this product. I contacted eHelp/Macromedia they said they don't release the source code it is proprietary. Hoping someone has the GPL'd version.

2004-02-09 12:34:01

Ole Tange

Rendersoft has stopped distributing the GPL-version. If you have the GPL-version of this software, please contact me.


posted by Robin Good on Sunday, June 30 2002, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.




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