In order to create a Screencast, you minimally need to use software that can capture the contents (of part) of your computer screen. After having captured a video (plus sound), you might want to do some post-editing of your presentation. But I’ll leave software for post-editing aside for current purposes.

One prominent use case I have in mind is recording the window of a pdf- or power-point viewer. That specific subtype of screencasting is sometimes called slidecasting. The Slideshare site is basically all about slidecasts.

For Windows, CamStudio is a good option for recording a screencast. It’s free & open source. Rather than produce a new guide to its use here, I’ll simply recommend you check out out some relevant tutorials on youtube.

I successfully used Tutorial 1 on 2013-04-24 to create a short test screencast. If you see this post much later, things might have changed in the software and you might want to look for an up-to-date tutorial.

For Linux, there exist several good open-source options. Several of them are likely to be available through your linux distribution’s software manager.

Recordmydesktop

  • Tutorial 1 (German, about 11 mins, January 2012)
  • Tutorial 2 (English, 4:28 mins, September 2011)
Recordmydesktop creates files in ogv-format. Tutorial 2 shows how these can be converted to flash-Video (.flv) .

Kazam

  • Tutorial 1 (German, 5:15 mins, November 2012) [This tutorial also shows how to use Openshot-Software to cut/edit videos.]
  • Tutorial 2 (German, 4:44 mins, July 2011) [This tutorial shows how to install kazam on the command line. In newer distributions of linux, it will already be waiting for you in the software manager.]
I haven’t yet tried Kazam so no guarantees.

I don’t have a Mac available so the following is just listed for you to try. Mac OS may actually have built-in support via the quicktime player:

http://thenextweb.com/apple/2011/01/15/how-to-record-quick-easy-screencast-videos-with-mac-osx/

Alternatively, you could try screenflow as a test version

http://www.telestream.net/screenflow/