A screencast is a video recording of what is displayed on your screen (e.g. laptop, PC, tablet or mobile screen), often including a voiceover. They let you present information in a way that can be more engaging and explanatory than, for example, simply sharing PowerPoint slides. Screencasting can be used in many ways including how-to videos, demonstrating a new tool and capturing technical issues. This section will introduce you to Screenpal, a free online screencasting tool.

Screencasting software

There are many screencasting tools available however we recommend Screenpal (formally Screencast-O-Matic) as a great free option. There are a few limitations with the free version as it is limited to 15 minutes (although you could record multiple shorter videos), it doesn’t record computer audio e.g. audio from a YouTube clip you play during the recording and it displays the Screenpal logo at the bottom of the final video.

Screenpal allows you to add captions to the final video which helps to make the content accessible. You can type in your own captions or use the speech-to-text functionality which you can then edit if needed (automatic captions are not always accurate so it is a good idea to check them).

Screencast recording equipment

Graphics representing headphones or speakers, a microphone and a webcam

Please note: Laptops often have an inbuilt speaker, webcam, and a microphone that can be used for screencasting however plugging in an external microphone can help to improve the quality of the audio recording and help reduce any background noise.

Sharing your screencast

Screencasts output as a video file (we recommend .mp4 format) that can then be uploaded to the internet and shared with your chosen audience using a service such as YouTube.

Help with

Screenpal have a range of help videos. Please note: some videos refer to features available in the paid version of

This YouTube video provides a quick overview on how to use Screenpal.

Introduction to Screenpal