Best screen recording and capture apps for Mac: Voila, QuickCast, Screencast Maker, and more!

Best screen recording and capture apps for Mac: Voila, QuickCast, Screencast Maker, and more!

From basic screen recordings to selective capture, here are the best screencasting apps for Mac!

There are lots of reasons you'd need to take screen recordings of a Mac— to create a software demo for work, to send a helpful walkthrough to your mom or dad, to add some life to a school presentation, or even just to capture something funny to share with friends. Apple builds screen-capturing into Quicktime but there are also a lot of great screen-recording options in the Mac App Store as well, including some that don't break the bank. Here are the best ones!

Voila

Best screen recording and capture apps for Mac: Voila

Voila is one of my favorite screen recording apps for Mac because it's not only a powerful and customizable screen recording program, it has tons of custom options for taking screenshots that I haven't found to be possible otherwise. From finicky drop down menus to tricky highlighted areas, Voila does it all. You can pull in video and audio from external components too. As for sharing, Voila supports several one click publish options including YouTube, Flickr, Evernote, Tumblr, FTP, and more.

If you need not only good screencasting support, but extended support for screenshots, get Voila.

QuickCast

Best screen recording and capture apps for Mac: QuickCast

QuickCast is a barebones screen recording app that lets you quickly record and share clips that are three minutes or shorter. To do so you can use external audio and the built-in camera. All of your recordings are then saved to your QuickCast account for easy sharing and embedding later. You can choose to record only certain parts of the screen but that's about the only option you do have.

If you record a lot of short, sweet, and to the point screencasts that need to be shared quickly, look no further than QuickCast.

Screencast Maker

Best screen recording and capture apps for Mac: Screencast Maker

Screencast Maker is similar to QuickCast but doesn't have a time restriction. Just select the area you'd like to record, the quality you want, and start recording. QuickCast saves your files in H264/AVC right to your computer for you to do with what you want.

If you want a simple app like QuickCast but without the limit on video length, check out Screencast Maker.

QuickTime Player

Best screen recording and capture apps for Mac: QuickTime Player

QuickTime Player comes built right in to every Mac and most people don't realize it also has the ability to do basic screen recordings. As long as you don't need to only record a specific area of the screen, QuickTime Player can capture your entire screen along with audio if you need it. It's extremely basic but it's also extremely free.

If your needs are very basic and don't require recording selective areas of your screen, give the built-in QuickTime Player a try.

  • Built in to every Mac

Your picks?

Those are the Mac screen recording apps that we consider the very best. If you've had to capture the desktop on your Mac in the past, let us know what you used and why you picked it!

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Best screen recording and capture apps for Mac: Voila, QuickCast, Screencast Maker, and more!

13 Comments

I use Screenflow HD. It takes a few times to get use to its workflow, but aside from that, I love it.

Didn't realize QuickTime could do this! This is an awesome tip! Great review of the various software apps!

Sent from the iMore App

It amazes me how many people don't realize that QuickTime has screen recording built right into. It works great for the basics, which is what most people will need, unless they're avid vloggers.

ScreenFlow
My Mac feels incomplete without it.
The 'after recording' editing abilities are super valuable for creating professional screencasts.
To me it's the cheapest option of all: it saves me time - my most valuable asset.
It's available in the Mac app store and as a separate 'dmg' download.

"As long as you don't need to only record a specific area of the screen,"-- correction. QuickTime player DOES let you record a specified section of the screen.

I need a good quality screen shot on my Mac. The one that comes with the Mac Book Air doesn't take pictures with enough resolution to be printed after. Do you know any that I can use with Mac that takes pictures over 300 px?

Angelica, with a typical screen shot you're only going to get the number of pixels being sent from the graphics chip to the display device. While deep down in the apps or OS, certain components that make up the screen are resolution independent (ex: fonts, certain interface elements) other components will only contain a set number of pixels.

I've read about using an Xcode tool (i.e.: you have to have Apple's Xcode installed) called Quartz Debug where you can set the UI resolution to something greater than 1 (so you can simulate retina and beyond, etc.) which increases the resolution of at least the scaleable components (the other components will still be lower rez). I've never actually tried this, but it sounds like it might work. (And/or, take your screen shot on a Retina Mac and you'll probably get 2x a non-Retina Mac.)

You're probably also going to just have to use a high-quality graphics app (like PhotoShop or Pixelmator) to scale the image up (i.e.: make up the extra pixels with the best algorithms possible).

A combination of those two are going to give you the best results I know of. I'd be curious if anyone knows of other ways.

I was also a bit surprised that neither ScreenFlow (telestream) or Camtasia (TechSmith) were mentioned. While they are a bit more pricy options (~$100), I'd think it would be good to give a range from free to the more pro level apps in such a review.

I've been a happy user of ScreenFlow and Camtasia before, but at StarterSquad nowadays we are using Jing, because it's free, quick, and has a neat online sharing option.