How to capture or record your computer screen

Once I needed to remotely show a client how to do a couple of things. My client had lost an email and I thought they might have accidentally clicked the ! icon which means ‘report spam’. So I took a screenshot of my Gmail inbox with this button highlighted in order to ascertain if they had indeed done this – and I actually drew arrows on the screenshot. Here’s how:

The client also wanted to know how to add a contact to their Gmail address book straight from an email. So I then made them a screencast where I talked them through the procedure including  how they could add the contact to a group.

I could have shared my screen with them using Skype but this way I could record then email over a quick tutorial without scheduling a Skype call with them. The client was always really busy, so this way they could  look through my information when they had some spare time instead.

In order to take the screenshot and record the screencast I used a fantastic piece of software called Snagit which I believe used to be called Jing. I’d previously tried a few screencasting tools but found Snagit to be the simplest. You just download it to your computer and off you go.

How to capture your computer screen using Snagit

  1. Go to the TechSmith website and download Snagit
  2. In the settings, choose to
  3. Right click on the Snagit icon and click ‘Start Capture’
  4. Highlight the section of your computer screen you want to use (just like your computer’s snipping tool) then click the camera icon to capture an image rather than to record video
  5. The image will then appear in an editing box so you can add arrows, write text, change the colour and font of the text, and highlight things etc
  6. Click the Save icon to rename and save the screenshot to your computer
  7. Email the screenshot to your client

How to record your computer screen using Snagit

  1. Plug in your headset if you have one – this prevents outside noise being recorded if you are going to be talking through the recording
  2. Click on the Snagit icon
  3. Right click on the Snagit icon and click ‘Start Capture’
  4. Highlight the section of your computer screen you want to record then select the video icon to record the screen rather than to capture an image
  5. There will be a countdown then Snagit will start recording
  6. When you’re done, click the square icon to stop recording
  7. The video will then appear in a box. Click the Save icon to save the recording to your computer
  8. Email the recording to your client or upload it to YouTube if you have the paid version

You only get around five minutes of recording time with the free version, but I pay $20 per year to record as long as I like.

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I have been using Snagit for years to do screen captures. I never had the need to do a recording until recently but using it makes me look like I have a larger company.

Thanks for sharing.


I tried using another tool, I’ve forgotten what it’s called, and couldn’t figure out how to make it work right. Will try snag it and see how that works out.


Seems like Snagit is not free anymore. There is a trial version, but it costs $49 to buy. Will try nonetheless!

jeff card

Yeah, Snigit isn’t free anymore. I switched to another freeware call acethinker screen recorder, works quite well for me. It is a web-based tool that lets you record your screen right from your browser. It doesn’t require you to install any additional plug-ins or add-ons.

Kirsty Bucknell

Hi Jo (and all). Another alternative which is free and I believe does all the functions listed above, is Jing. It’s been great so far. Loving your site Jo.

Joanne Munro

Hi Kirsty, thanks for the comment! Yes Jing was great. I used to use it and I think it then changed its name to Snagit which is what I use now. I think Jing was also only free for 10 mins of video capture though.


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