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ActivePresenter Free 5.5.5

A free screen recorder/ tutorial maker/ presentation tool/ and more

by Mike Williams

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License: Free, for personal-use only
Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English, Spanish
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 16 April 2016
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 5337
Developer: Atomi Systems
RSS News Feed: http://atomisystems.com/feed/
Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/ActivePresenter
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ActivePresenter
Back up your data with Acronis True Image 2016 with a 1-PC LIFETIME license, only $29.99, saving 40%, from store.downloadcrew.com
ActivePresenter Free
A free screen recorder/ tutorial maker/ presentation tool/ and more

ActivePresenter Free is a capable screen recorder with a lot of potential applications.

At a minimum you might set it up to record a fixed area, an application window or the entire display. It'll then record what's happening at a click, before exporting the results to images (JPEG, PNG) or video (WMV, AVI, MPEG4, WebM).

If you'd like to create a tutorial or demonstration, you can have the program automatically highlight keypresses and mouse clicks, and display a text annotation on what you're doing. So when we clicked the "File" menu on a program for our own test project, for instance, ActivePresenter created a slide with an image of the screen, where "File" was highlighted, then added a callout saying "Select [File] menu item".

While that can be a great timesaver, you might have your own ideas of the annotations you need. And so any particular slide can be further customised with new shapes, captions, highlights, images, cursor paths, zoom and pan effects, even audio or video clips.

And if you don't like some aspect of how the program works, just check the Preferences dialog - it's quite astonishingly customisable. So if you're creating a cursor path, for instance, you're able to set the default cursor highlight shape, colour, size and opacity, the type of movement path, the cursor shape, even the noise it makes to indicate a left, right or double-click.

Unsurprisingly, if you part with some cash for the Standard ($349.95) or Professional ($449.95) editions then you'll get even more. The Standard build can export to FLV, Word, PDF and HTML as well as videos, for example, while the Professional edition can add interactivity to your project (true/ false questions, multiple choices, actions, branching and more).

With so much power here it can occasionally take a while to find out how to do even relatively basic things, and the documentation isn't as helpful as it should be.

Still, there's an amazing amount of functionality here for a free tool, and if you've any interest in screen recording then you should grab a copy immediately.

Verdict:

A very powerful tool for creating demonstration videos, presentations and more

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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