Use Recordit To Create A Quick Screencast For Free [OS X Tips]

Recordit Screencast

Have you ever wanted to create a quick video of yourself doing something interesting on your Mac? Need to show someone in another department how you manage your files, or the tagging system you employ using Mavericks?

You can create a screencast with many third-party tools, some of them quite robust and expensive, but there’s a new one that’s both free and easy to use.

It’s called Recordit, and the developers sent along a version for us to try out here at Cult of Mac Tips HQ, and we’re pretty impressed. Recordit allows anyone to create a quick recording (up to five minutes) of any portion of their screen and share it via a URL.

Click the image above to see the video I created from a past issue of Cult of Mac Magazine.

I used Recordit to record one of the alternate covers for a past issue of Cult of Mac Magazine as I turned the layers on and off, as an example. Click for the full screencast.

First off, download Recordit from the developer’s website, and let it install onto your Mac. You’ll get a little menubar icon that you can then use to make your screencast.

Click on the Recordit menubar icon and select Record. Click and drag around any area on your screen to define the recording area, and then click on the Recordit menubar icon again to start recording. Anything happening within that defined area will then be recorded, sans sound.

When you click the menubar icon a third time to stop the recording, it will then upload to the Recordit servers, saving it and copying the URL to your clipboard. You can then visit the URL to see your recording. You can save the video file to your Mac with a right click, or you can just send along the URL to your friend or co-workers.

There’s a Generate Gif button in the lower right that does seem to create an animated gif, but it only shows the upper left hand quadrant of any video I tried with it. You may have better luck, but for now to convert your video to an animated gif file, you’ll want to use something else, like GIF Brewery.

Update: The Generate Gif button now works as advertised, giving you both a quick screencast tool that you can create an easy animated gif file from, as well. Kudos to the devs for this quick fix!

  • http://nsovocal.com benbeltran

    The gif problem was an issue with an older version of the app with retina macs. Upgrading to the latest version should fix this problem!

  • Guest

    Here’s an tip for you, Rob. Quicktime is an good screen recording app too. You should give it an try.

  • freddielore

    I like the GIF feature, something I cannot easily generate on my poor Windows. Thankfully, the guys at Recordit promised a Windows version to be rolled out soon.

    And to those who can’t wait, check out this Recordit alternative for Windows to easily generate high-quality GIFs.

  • http://www.ThanksJonathan.com/?disqus Jonathan Drake

    A domain specific for pro and ability to sync with other services (evernote and dropbox and box) would be a great added feature that would get me to upgrade to the pro version

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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