How I Created a Tutorial Video: Optional Step of Setting a 16:9 Aspect Ratio When Capturing Screen Video with SnagIt

In my earlier post How I Created a Tutorial Video Part One I mentioned an optional step of setting the aspect ratio (width and height) of the SnagIt capture frame. YouTube uses an aspect ratio of 16:9 for wide screen (4:3 for square) so I wanted my capture frame – basically the section of the screen I was recording – to be as close to a 16:9 aspect ratio as possible.

YouTube can definitely handle different aspect ratios, and most editing programs can manipulate videos into fitting a certain aspect ratio. The tutorial video I was creating was very simple and I knew if I captured it as close to 16:9 as I could it would look good and save me some steps in adjusting it in editing.

The first step I took was to set the capture frame that would record the area I wanted. I estimated a frame that looked close to 16:9 aspect ratio:

Estimate Aspect

I made note of the first number which is width in pixels. In this example it was 1020, but can be any size.

I then escaped out of the capture and went to 16:9 Aspect Ration Calculator online. I plugged in “1020” (width of my estimated capture frame) and it calculated what the height should be to have a 16:9 aspect ratio would: “574”

Aspect Calc

Now I knew I needed my capture frame to be as close to 1020×574 as possible. I launched the SnagIt capture frame again and set my frame:
Final Aspect

In this example, I was able to set my frame at 1020×574. I have done other captures where I calculated the aspect ratio and the capture frame was not exactly at what the width and height should have been, but it was close enough.

With the aspect ratio set, I recorded my tutorial video.

There are other ways to set aspect ratio for your capture in SnagIt, but this was a very simple way that I wanted to share.

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