FREE Alternative to Camtasia Studio

free-adobe-illustratorOne great way for instructional designers to create effective learning material is to include screenshots and videos in their e-learning modules. Many programs have this feature build in (i.e. Adobe Captivate and the new Articulate Storyline), but some prefer a third party program – and for years the standard bearer has been Camtasia Studio.

Don’t get me wrong, Camtasia Studio is pretty great. By all means you should take a look at it to see if it meets your needs. However, it does come with a hefty price tag. If you are on a budget, and need to create some instructional videos on your computer, then you need to check out the free alternative to Camtasia Studio: Cam Studio

Okay so the name leaves a little bit to be desired, but rest assured that this program is legit. Cam Studio is a free open source screen capture and recording tool for Windows with the accolades to back up the hype. If you’re looking for a viable screen capture/recording program, then give Cam Studio a try – I think you’ll find it will meet your needs.

If you are looking for other alternatives, then there are a few options (although not all of them are free, and some have pretty limited features until you upgrade).  Other options to consider in your search include:

  • Jing by Techsmith
  • EZvid
  • ScreenCast-o-Matic
  • Webinaria

You can probably find a viable solution among these options.  If not, then a simple Google search will yield quite a few other options as well.


About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the most trusted WordPress LMS for major universities, continuing education providers, and entrepreneurs world-wide. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies.

  1. Briana Taylor

    I do like Camtasia, because the editing tools are great for spicing videos or adding comments boxes on screen. But you are right it is pricey. I will have to test out CamStudio and see how it compares.

  2. Sean Getchell


    Thanks for bringing these resources to our attention. I was familiar with Jing, but hadn’t yet used any of the other programs before your post. I had only previously used Camtasia Studio, but after giving Cam Studio a try, good call. It’s a viable cost-effective alternative. Thanks again!

  3. Good tool recommendations. I’d add to the list if you don’t need to protect your capture. Works pretty well. No editing tools but you can export your caps to MP4 when you’re done if you need to display in other places.

  4. I’ve used Cam Studio in the past and found it to be a pretty good alternative. It was a little challenging to edit videos back then, but I imagine they’ve improved the options for recording, pausing, etc.

  5. Russ Norden

    Thanks for the info Justin, but if you had a Mac Book Pro OS X it comes with screen capture and you can crop the image if you want to any size that you want. And it comes with iMovie for video capture and editing. And both are already integrated into Power Point or any other software you want to place the image or video. I’ve used the image capture and placed the image into my Blackboard course work at Valencia College, Orlando, Florida. And although I haven’t used Moodle, it is my understanding it is free to use as well.

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