ScreenFlow for Mac – The best Mac screen recording software

ScreenFlow for Mac

I have been using ScreenFlow for Mac for some time now and I was very pleased with the updates that I found in the latest version, version 3 of ScreenFlow. ScreenFlow is without a doubt the best screen recording software for the Mac. The ScreenFlow download is made by Telestream, who also make other good video software such as Videocue. Screen recording software is what you need for creating those screencasts in which you show your viewers how to do things with whichever software you want to show off.

ScreenFlow is also useful for making a copy of videos. In my case I have downloaded video from the BBC iPlayer and I would prefer to watch it on my television rather than on my computer. The best way for me to be able to do this is to play the recorded video on the computer and record it using ScreenFlow. I can then push the video out to my Mac Mini which I have connected to the television. You could do something similar if you had an Apple TV which is connected to your iTunes.

best Mac screen recording software Screenflow for Mac

ScreenFlow for Mac – Editing video in ScreenFlow

Capturing the video from your computer is very easy once you have used the configuration heads up display to say which screen you want to record from. You can also specify if you want to record from your iSight camera in your Mac, very handy if you want to appear in your screencast video on YouTube. Then you also are able to choose whether you want to record the computer audio and say which of your microphones you want to record from for the voice-over.

When you have captured your video in ScreenFlow for Mac you will want to decide whether to show the full screen which has been captured or just part of your desktop. I have a very large 27 inch iMac monitor and depending on the video, I might want to just record a small part of that. If I decide that I want to show a small part because it is enough for that application I am demonstrating, then I will set the application to fit within 1280 x 720 pixels. I have an application called Mercury Mover which will create an application window of just the right size. Sometimes I will set it to record a video at 1600 x 900 if I need more space to show that application. When I get into ScreenFlow with this full screen video, I can then use the crop tool to set the size of the exported video to the exact size of 1280 x 720. On the other hand there are occasions when I would leave it at the full-screen setting and then when I export I would set it to export to 50% of the working size which gives me the correct size for my videos that I send to YouTube.

How to use ScreenFlow on Mac

When your video has been captured you have the option of sending it to a new document or adding to a document that you have open already. If you are adding the video and audio captures to a new document, then that video and audio will also be placed on the timeline ready to start editing. One of the features that I use most frequently, is the one where I set in points and out points for areas of video that I want to cut out of the timeline. After setting the area I wish to delete I can press command backspace to do a ripple delete.

When you use video actions within the ScreenFlow for Mac application you can create an animation using the settings for the video. The animation could be a change in size or opacity or you can set the position, rotation, saturation brightness or contrast. Also, there is no reason why you can’t combine a number of the settings such as, where you could have an object spinning into the screen with adjustments to opacity and scale happening at the same time. In this way it is possible for you to create your own transitions that you can apply to either video or still images. Within the same settings you are also able to set a reflection or a shadow.

When you use video actions within the ScreenFlow for Mac application you can create an animation using the settings for the video. The animation could be a change in size or opacity or you can set the position, rotation, saturation brightness or contrast. Also, there is no reason why you can’t combine a number of the settings such as, where you could have an object spinning into the screen with adjustments to opacity and scale happening at the same time. In this way it is possible for you to create your own transitions that you can apply to either video or still images. Within the same settings you are also able to set a reflection or a shadow.

The available tools in ScreenFlow for Mac

In the tool section of ScreenFlow for Mac you have seven tabs to choose from when you are editing your video. The first is the video properties and it is within that tab that you are able to add your video actions. The next one is the audio properties. Within the audio properties you can add an action to the audio which will change the volume of the audio over a period, allowing you to create either a fade in or a fade out. Then you have the screen recording properties and there you are able to add screen recording actions which will show a click effect, zoom the pointer, add sounds to clicks and you may also show keys that have been pressed on the keyboard.

Calling out from ScreenFlow – The best Mac screen recording software

The next tab is for the callout properties. You will use a callout if you want to highlight a certain part of your application. I most often use this to select a certain area and zoom it up to make it bigger. Most often this is when I am showing a mouse click or if I am showing a menu item that only takes a small part of the screen normally. In this latest version of ScreenFlow for Mac, version 3, I like the fact that I can now set to have a callout, which I can have as a default. It would be nice if in the next version there is the option to save multiple default callouts. I like to set my own default to have a reasonable amount of border and zoom. I prefer to have the opacity of the background set to around 40 or 50% and usually with a small amount of blurring. I don’t tend to use the shadow or the outline, but I do like to set the feather to make a softer highlight. The other setting that I change within the callout properties would be the build setting for the in duration and the out duration. Those duration settings make the callout arrive more smoothly in the video.

Annotations properties a new feature for ScreenFlow 3

From the annotations tab in the ScreenFlow tools area it is possible to add arrows and lines as well as rectangles, either filled or open and also an ellipse or a circle. Any of these annotation objects can have a thickness and a shadow and you may also set the colour of the object or of the outline of the object. There are only a small number of line end points that can be used, I would hope that this would increase in the next version of ScreenFlow.

Screenflow on the Mac

Text annotations within ScreenFlow

For the most part with ScreenFlow I tend to set up text to occur within images that I have worked on within Art Text 2 or Pixelmator 2, as it is possible for me to make those bits of text looking more attractive by using those applications. There are occasions though where I just need a small area of text and I can use the text properties tab in ScreenFlow to add this text. Within this area I can set the font, the size and the alignment for the text. It is also possible to set whether you want an outline around the text and also a backdrop for that text. Both for the text itself or for the backdrop you can choose from either a solid colour or a picture. When you are setting the backdrop for the text, you get a rectangle and you may set rounded corners of the rectangle and also whether you require a margin. That margin will effectively set the size of the text box. For being able to work quickly, it is also super that it is available within this text properties tab to make yourself a default text setting.

The media tab for ScreenFlow Mac

It is in this area that you can select the video and audio that you have recorded, that you want to drag and drop into your timeline. You can get the media into this ScreenFlow media bin by dragging and dropping it in there or you can use the add media button. You may also add still images to this area. There is a button for adding a recording and I would tend to generally use this if I needed to record some extra audio for a voice-over, but I can also use this button for starting a new screen recording. When you tap on this button you get a number of options for creating new media for your screencast.

An overview of the screen recording For the Mac – ScreenFlow

It was indeed, a fortunate day when Don McAllister of screencasts online told me about ScreenFlow for the Mac. That was about three years ago and I have been using it ever since to create screencasts of my own for Mac 20 questions. I did have two other screen capture applications that I used before ScreenFlow and have not touched either them since getting ScreenFlow.

The editing capabilities of ScreenFlow are easy-to-use and intuitive, so much so, that when my wife wanted to do some video editing that would be quicker and easier if I started her off with ScreenFlow. It is possible for you to open up an empty ScreenFlow document and add video clips from a camcorder, so it is not just for something you have recorded off your computer. It is a piece of cake to add transitions or to create Ken Burns type of animations and when it is time to export your finished video, that part of the application also works very well indeed. The finished quality of the video that is exported out from the application is excellent.

While it is possible to have many tracks within your ScreenFlow documents there is only so much that you can do with ScreenFlow, even if it is the best Mac screen recording software. If you need to have blend layers or other fancy professional video effects then you would need to start looking to Final Cut trial? | Mac20Q” href=”http://mac20q.com/2011/11/is-there-a-final-cut-trial/”>Final Cut Pro X. iMovie is a good Mac video editor, but if you like to have a proper timeline and don’t want to get Final Cut then using ScreenFlow would be a good option. There is a Screenflow free 30 day trial and then you can buy the Screenflow serial

Exporting out from ScreenFlow

You can go to the file menu in ScreenFlow and choose to export your finished video. It will be exported out and will be able to be opened in QuickTime. You can adjust settings for the exported video and the included audio within the video file. I do find it annoying that the default setting for the size of the video is set at 50% of the file size that you have been working at. While is okay if I’m working with a full size recording, if I have set the crop of the video to the size I want of 1280 x 720 then, I have to change that to the actual size I need.

You can export out of ScreenFlow 3 to two of the main video sharing sites, that is YouTube and Vimeo and while exporting direct into YouTube I have had mixed success. There have been exports into YouTube that have worked perfectly well and others that have stalled at around the 90% mark. Lately I have found I prefer to export to my own computer and then use the YouTube loader. That does mean having to split the process into export and then upload but I have found that it works better that way. Here at Mac20Q we are complete fans of ScreenFlow and heartily recommend ScreenFlow vs Camtasia or any of the other screen capture software. Go now to the Wizardgold Mac20Q channel on YouTube and have a look at the other videos showing how to use ScreenFlow. There is no Screenflow for Windows – Buy a Mac! Here is the first one of the ScreenFlow tutorials.