Suppose you're trying to troubleshoot a family member's computer, you want to show a friend some issue you're having with your system, or you want to make a quick recording of some crazy thing you're about to do in a game. With the Chrome extension Loom, it's incredibly easy to capture and share a quick recording of your screen right from of your browser.
Photo: Andrew Neel (Unsplash)
Loom lets you make simple recordings of a specific browser tab, any app you have open, or your entire desktop screen. Once you install the extension and run through its quick setup process, you start by clicking on Loom's icon next to Chrome's Omnibar.
Looms asks you for a little information up front - and requires you connect either a Slack or Google account. You'll want to do the latter so you can have an easier way to store videos you create. Screenshot: David Murphy
When you do, you'll be given the option to make a recording from your webcam, your screen or both - a circular image of you gets dropped in the lower-left corner, if so:
Oh hi, me. Screenshot: David Murphy
You can initially choose to make a recording of your entire desktop screen or just the active Chrome tab. If you pick the first option, the extension doesn't necessarily record everything on your screen. You can do that, or you can have the extension only target a specific app you have open:
Once you've finished making your quick recording - which includes any audio that played during your capture session as well as the movements you made with your mouse cursor - you're taken to a screen where you can then download the video you made. If you previously linked Loom to your Google account, you can also save your creation right to any Drive folder you want.
Loom lets you add in a text description for your video, as well. And if you share the URL of this video landing page with others, they can add comments that automatically link to specific timestamps. If you're using your video to help someone troubleshoot their system, this is a great (and free) way to offer additional context for any part of your video to help them out.
Loom's terms of service for using the extension to record and store videos are incredibly generous, too. According to Loom, you can:
- Use Loom for free;
- Record as many videos as you'd like;
- Record for as long as you'd like (there's no time limitation);
- Keep your videos forever (your access is not revoked!);
The only drawback with Loom is that the videos don't have silky-smooth frame rates, so they're more useful as instructional tools than something you'd use to, say, power your YouTube or Twitch clips show.
Still, given how easy it is to make video captures of your screen and share its contents with others, Loom is definitely one tool you'll want to have around for those occasional instructional moments - or to just take a quick screen capture of something interesting that you want to share with others.