Create a Great How-To Video

These apps help you show and tell.

Need to explain how to use an app, prepare a complex recipe, or build a bookshelf? It’s tough to beat the effectiveness of a well-made video.

Make your how-tos look more professional—and, just as important, more helpful—with these focused apps.

Record your screen and edit the video

macOS has a screen-recording feature built in: Simply press Shift-Command-5, click the Record Entire Screen or Record Selected Portion button, then click Record; when you’re done, press the keyboard shortcut again and click Stop.

For more complex recordings, ScreenFlow is the tool to beat, adding options to simultaneously record your screen and your camera, record voice-over and app audio as separate tracks, and much more.

ScreenFlow is custom-made for capturing and editing screen video.

When you’re done recording, edit your footage in iMovie to add transitions, music, voice-over, and effects. Or stay right in ScreenFlow, which offers a range of tools specifically designed for screen recordings, including zooming, highlights, text and shape annotations, and background removal.

Record your audio and voice-over

You don’t need to record your audio live—it’s often easier to edit your video first, then add the voice-over and sound effects. GarageBand offers easy audio recording and editing; you can then drop those tracks into ScreenFlow or iMovie and sync them with your visuals.

GarageBand handles voice-overs with ease.

Make slides that stand out

Presentation slides are easy to create and perfect for intros, transitions, and textual information. Use PowerPoint, Pitch, or Keynote to make punchy graphics you can export as images for adding to your videos.

Pitch’s attractive and easy-to-make slides are a great way to present information in a video.

Edit images with ease

Before adding photos, graphics, and screenshots to your project, perfect them in Acorn. This simple but powerful image editor can handle everything from cropping and resizing to the addition of filters and more complex enhancements.

Polish your images in Acorn, then drop them into your video.

Create speech from text

Not everyone wants to do their own voice-overs. Remarkable Text to Speech turns your text—whether it’s a few sentences or pages long—into realistic speech, offering over 400 unique voices in more than 60 languages.

It takes only a few clicks to turn text into audio with Remarkable.

Hide your messy desktop and windows

When showing your screen, keep viewers focused on the important stuff: Desktop Curtain can mask your desktop and unwanted windows using a photo, wallpaper, or color background.

Desktop Curtain puts a curtain—or other image of your choosing—over your messy desktop.

Show yourself

Give your videos a personal touch—and improve accessibility—by showing video of your webcam as you narrate what’s happening on the screen. Mirror Magnet puts the video from any connected camera in a resizable window that floats over your desktop, while Screegle can add webcam video and live captions of what you’re saying while you capture.

Mirror Magnet shows camera video as you’re sharing your screen or presenting.

Highlight your pointer

When you need to direct your viewers’ focus, Presentation Assistant puts a spotlight on whatever’s under your pointer; Cursor Pro gives you a customizable shape-based pointer that can magnify the enclosed area.

Focus attention and improve visibility using Cursor Pro’s magnifier.

Annotate your action

A picture is worth a thousand words, but an annotated image can be even more valuable: Presentify lets you draw colorful lines, arrows, shapes, or text right over your screen, while ScreenBrush lets you save annotation overlays you can apply on the fly.

Annotate your screen-share or image in real time with Presentify.

Show keystrokes onscreen

Keyboard shortcuts and keypresses can be vital to app demos and how-tos. Keystroke Pro shows, right on the screen, any keys you press. (If you’re recording with ScreenFlow, it has this capability built in.)

You can customize Keystroke Pro’s onscreen keypress display.