If you create training presentations, especially technical ones, you often need to include screenshots (static images of the screen) and screen recordings (videos showing activity on the screen). In PowerPoint 2010 and later, you can take screenshots from within PowerPoint.
PowerPoint 2016 introduced the ability to take screen recordings and that feature has been added to PowerPoint 2013 as well. If you have all of your updates, you should see it.
The process is a little clunky, so I’ll describe how you can create a screenshot and screen recording in PowerPoint.
Take a screenshot
- Choose Insert, Screenshot. A menu drops down showing the available windows. What you need to know is that they include all of your open windows except your current presentation. The clunky part is that if you want to take a screenshot of your current presentation, you have to create a new presentation and do the screenshot from there.
- If you want to capture the entire window, just click the window you want.
- If you want to select a portion of the window, choose Screen Clipping from the bottom of the window. You can then drag across a portion of an open window. The clunky part here is that the window needs to be visible. You don’t always get a chance to choose a hidden window as you do when you capture an entire window. That’s because you can capture only windows that have not been minimized to the taskbar. However, you can display the window you want before you choose Insert, Screen Clipping, Screen Clipping, and PowerPoint will hide itself and display that window — the window behind it is available for clipping.
The screenshot immediately appears on your current slide.
Of course, you can crop your screenshot. You can also add arrows and text boxes and any other formatting you want.
Take a screen recording
As I mentioned at the beginning, screen recordings are newer. You can find this feature in PowerPoint 2013 if it’s fully updated and in PowerPoint 2016.
- As for screen capture. you should display the window you want to record just before you start.
- Choose Insert, Screen Recording from the Media group. You’ll see this small toolbar. It’s common to include the mouse pointer, so that your audience can see more clearly what you’re clicking. You can also turn audio on or off.
- To record part of the screen, click the Select Area button and drag across the area you want to record.
- Click Record. You’ll see a message telling you to press Windows button + Shift + Q to stop recording. Write that down! You’ll also see a countdown. When the countdown ends, start the process you want to show.
- Press Windows button + Shift + Q and the video appears on your current slide.
Remember that you can add arrows and text boxes and other formatting to your videos, too.
Export your media!
I’m sure you know that you can right-click and choose a screen capture– or any image, then choose Save as Picture to export it as a separate file. But you can do the same with your screen recording! You might want to edit it in another program — although you can clip it and do a fade in/out in PowerPoint.
Just right-click your screen recording and choose Save Media As. Give it a name and location and click Save. Here’s a short video that I created using PowerPoint’s screen recording feature on how to move large amounts of text around using Word’s Outline view.