ActivePresenter Full Review and Alternatives

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Overview

Atomi ActivePresenter is a fully-fledged on-premise video creation software for screen recording, video editing, and eLearning authoring. With it, screen capture, editing screencast videos, and the creation of HTML5 interactive eLearning content are super easy and convenient.

ActivePresenter 8 is available on both Windows and Mac OS platforms and on top of that, the output generated can be shared with mobile devices without any playback issues whatsoever. This screencast tool from Atomi Systems is also capable of recording the webcam, mouse clicks, and keyboard clicks to facilitate better comprehension.

Even more, this screen recorder and eLearning authoring software also let you add colors, numbering, shapes, effects, transitions, bullet-point lists, and animations to videos in a bid to enhance them. As authoring software, surveys, assessments, and custom quizzes can be generated without much hassle.

To facilitate fast projects, ActivePresenter boasts of ready-made templates and themes that get you started without having to tinker with lots of options. Better yet, its ability to integrate with other learning management systems like xAPI and SCORM makes it the perfect solution.

Before we take a deeper look at the key features of this program, here is a quick roundup of the pros and cons.

ActivePresenter – Free Download

Software NameSupported OSOffline VersionFree Download
ActivePresenterWindows/MacFree TrialFree Download
TalkHelper Screen RecorderWindows Full VersionFree Download

Pros & Cons of ActivePresenter

Pros

      • Supports multiple video output formats.
      • Versatile presentation creation options.
      • High-quality screen recordings.
      • Instinctive and easy to use.
      • Comprehensive eLearning authoring.
      • Reliable user support and guides.

Cons

      • Only imports videos created with ActivePresenter.
      • Watermark on Free version.
      • A bit pricey.

How to Use ActivePresenter

Key Features in ActivePresenter

ActivePresenter delivers 3 main key features and this section is dedicated to finding out what exactly each of these modes has in store. Combining these features, this software will see to it that you have a heaven of a time screen recording, creating software guides, undertaking video and audio editing, capturing eLearning games, creating software simulation, quiz building among other activities.

Screen Recorder

When it comes to screen recording, here are the various features that are available at your disposal. The working mode of choice will be determined by the task at hand.

      • Smart Capture – This is a pretty special screen capture mode that basically records footage when a certain key is pressed or on a click of the mouse. The output here is saved in the form of slides, image/video slides, which are best suited for interactive software simulations. For instance, mouse clicks or keystrokes will result in images slides while scrolling the mouse will deliver video slides.

smart-capture

      • Full Motion Capture – In this mode, all actions on the screen are recorded to output a video that can be edited later on to include closed captions, voiceovers, animation effects, annotations, and zoom-n-pan like for the case of demos. It is also prudent to record the webcam and narration too in such an instance. Screen capture can be performed on the entire display, a custom region, an application window, or even a specific area with a fixed size.
      • Webcam Recording – This screen capture software lets you record footage from the webcam only or together with the main screen recording depending on the task at hand. For instance, this tool lets you use the picture-in-picture mode for the case of how-to videos, tutorials, demos, training videos, or interactive eLearning courses that require visual instructions.
      • Audio Recording – There are two ways to achieve this here. One is by capturing audio using the microphone for narration and voice-overs while the other involves capturing audio coming from the system like in the case of a background track playing or even game sound. Each of these can be recorded separately or simultaneously while recording the screen. Options to calibrate the audio before the actual recording are available too besides the ability to test audio levels so that crisp audio quality is achieved.

audio-webcam-capture

During the screen recording process, ActivePresenter implements the H.264 lossy codec that guarantees the highest quality output besides offering smart annotations that are automatically generated for you, to describe actions and the target app, and then inserted into the project as required.

Powerful eLearning Authoring

eLearning-Authoring-activepresenter

This software from Atomi Systems is a leading eLearning authoring software whose features will blow your mind. Here, the intuitiveness and ease of use of this program comes into play in thanks to;

      • Responsive design – Atomi ActivePresenter realizes this by enabling the user to come up with a single project that can display without issues on any device no matter the screen size. All that is needed is to create multiple layouts on a single project that can be played on the desktop and even mobile devices without the need to redo a project every time you have to make eLearning content available on a new device. Mind you, regular screencasts can be converted to become fully-responsive.
      • FlexBox – This is a new feature that will automatically align and distribute space objects in a responsive project. In doing so one can efficiently and consistently manage the layout, consistent spacing so that no component falls out of the proper presentation.
      • Text Animations – Through text animations, this tool is able to bring your words to life and give your project that extra touch of professionalism and also catches the attention of the audience.
      • Multiple Timelines – By creating multiple timelines for a single slide, ActivePresenter helps you have different animations of the same object. Actions come in handy here to play the additional timelines in a bid to generate rich interactions from the audience.
      • Ability to Embed HTML Packages – Basically, ActivePresenter will help you embed all HTML resources into your course without the need for any coding experience. Through this, your content becomes available to a wider audience and can be viewed conveniently.
      • Quizzes – ActivePresenter is an avid quiz maker best-suited where the need to create engaging and interactive quizzes arises. For an educational screen recording, this authoring software comes in handy to create interactive questions, make them engaging, set attempts, time limit, and points, define the quiz duration, pass and fail conditions before exporting the project to a preferred output format.

quizzes

      • Interactivity – This program helps you to conveniently define different learning instances based on the feedback received from a learner. For instance, if a learner accepts to take a quiz, you will be able to set a rich event that will take the learner to the quiz in an automatic way. This way, it becomes possible to create unattended learning environments from screen captures with ease.

Video and Audio Editor

video-audio-editor-activepresenter

ActivePresenter opens you up to lossless video and audio editing options gearing the user to just high-quality output. Actions that can be undertaken in the editing process include cutting, cropping, joining, deleting, splitting, applying blur effect, adjusting the playback speed, inserting freeze-frames, and tinkering with the volume.

To refine the audio even further, this screencast software offers audio fading, noise reduction, and audio normalization. On top of that, it is possible to layer two videos or images based on the chroma range thanks to the green screen effect in a bid to enhance the video output.

It is also possible to insert external audio or videos, incorporate background music, convert text to speech as a substitute for voice narration, implement the PiP effect on videos, not forgetting that this authoring software also lets you tinker with the mouse cursor and give you the option to display mouse clicks in the screencast. To draw the viewer’s attention to areas of interest, the spotlight feature is available at your disposal.

Output Options

output-options

ActivePresenter supports a wide range of output formats that you can make the most out of once you have completed working on your project. If you choose to export the project as a video, the formats you are opened up to include AVI, WebM, MP4, WMV, and MKV.

This screencast tool also helps you strike a good balance between the video quality and size through adjustments on the frame rate, quality, and keyframe options. For audio, you can go with either the Mono or Stereo channel, adjust the bit rate and sample rate too for fidelity refinement.

To make sure that the recorded content is viewable on any modern web browser and devices like Windows PC, Mac OS, Android, and iOS smartphones, ActivePresenter lets you export the projects into HTML5 standard especially for interactive quizzes and software simulations.

This eLearning authoring software also boasts of support for SCORM and xAPI export specifications that are quite popular among many Learning Management Systems. This comes in handy to help you share content easily and still track the results of a student with ease and convenience.

Free Version vs Professional Edition

When put side by side, here is how the Free version and Professional edition of ActivePresenter compare in terms of features. This comparison will help you decide on the version to acquire depending on the kind of screencasting experience you are looking for.

FeatureFree VersionProfessional Edition
Screen capturesupportedsupported
Webcam capturesupportedsupported
Annotationssupportedsupported
Video editingsupportedsupported
Templates and themessupportedsupported
Transitions and animationssupportedsupported
Export to video formatssupportedsupported
Export to image formatssupportedsupported
Multiple video and audio layerssupportedsupported
Video and audio effects-supported
Export to HTML, PDF, and MS Office-supported
Multiple timelines-supported
Interactions-supported
Responsive design-supported
Import from PowerPoint-supported
Quizzes-supported
Table of contents-supported
Export to SCORM, xAPI-supported
Variables-supported
Multiple states for objects-supported
Export to HTML5 simulation-supported
Web fonts-supported
Conditional actions-supported
JavaScript API-supported
Advanced interactions-supported

Pricing

ActivePresenter is available in 3 editions namely the Free Edition, Standard Edition at $199, and the Pro Edition at $399 that contains all the features. The pricing is a bit way too high considering that some of the paid features are available on other tools for free or at a much lower cost.

System Requirements

Here are the specifications you should meet be it on Windows PC or Mac OS to run ActivePresenter;

      • 5 GHz or faster processor with SSE2 (2.0 GHz multi-core or higher recommended)
      • 4 GB of RAM or better (>8 GB recommended)
      • 4 GB of available hard-disk space for installation
      • Sound card and microphone if you need audio recording

Conclusion

ActivePresenter is the all-around screen record, video editor, and eLearning authoring program that lives up to expectations. It is comprehensive, simple, intuitive, and delivers exemplary results at the end of the day. With it recording the screen, screencasting, making video tutorials, demos, and interactive eLearning content is just like a walk in the park once you get acquainted with the program. Rest assured that this software has even more features in store for you.

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