How to Record Just a Portion of Your Screen in OBS Studio

Key Takeaways:

  • OBS Studio allows you to record a specific part of your screen using the Crop/Pad filter
  • You can resize the display capture area manually by holding the Alt key and dragging the red border
  • Window Capture is another option to record a single application window

As a seasoned video content creator, I’ve extensively used OBS Studio for screen recording and live streaming. One of the most useful features of this powerful, open-source software is its ability to record a specific portion of your screen. This is particularly handy when you want to focus on a particular area or application window, saving disk space and minimizing distractions in your final recording.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through three methods to record just a part of your screen using OBS Studio:

Method 1: Using the Crop/Pad Filter

  1. Launch OBS Studio and create a new scene by clicking the “+” button in the Scenes box.
  2. Add a new source by clicking the “+” button in the Sources box. Choose “Display Capture” and name it appropriately.
  3. Right-click on the newly added Display Capture source and select “Filters”.
  4. In the Filters window, click the “+” button and choose “Crop/Pad”.
  5. Adjust the Top, Bottom, Left, and Right values to crop the display capture to your desired area. You can preview the changes in the main OBS Studio window.
  6. Close the Filters window and click “Start Recording” to begin capturing the selected portion of your screen[1][10][13].

Method 2: Manually Resizing the Display Capture

  1. Add a Display Capture source to your scene as described in Method 1.
  2. Hover your mouse over the red border of the Display Capture source in the preview window.
  3. Hold the Alt key (Option key on Mac) and click and drag the red border to resize the capture area[1][7][19].
  4. Release the mouse button when you’ve selected the desired portion of your screen.
  5. Click “Start Recording” to begin capturing the resized area.

Method 3: Using Window Capture

  1. Open the application or window you want to record.
  2. In OBS Studio, create a new scene and click the “+” button in the Sources box.
  3. Choose “Window Capture” and name it appropriately.
  4. In the Window drop-down menu, select the application or window you want to record.
  5. Check the “Capture Cursor” option if you want to include your mouse cursor in the recording.
  6. Click “OK” and then “Start Recording” to begin capturing the selected window[8][13].

Tips for High-Quality Screen Recording

  • Ensure that your display resolution and OBS Studio’s canvas resolution match for the best quality[6].
  • Choose an appropriate recording format (e.g., MP4 or MKV) and encoder (e.g., x264 or NVENC) based on your needs and hardware[12].
  • Adjust the audio settings to capture system audio, microphone input, or both, depending on your requirements[16].
  • Use hotkeys to start/stop recording, switch scenes, or mute/unmute audio for a smoother workflow[6].

By following these methods and tips, you can easily record a specific portion of your screen using OBS Studio, creating focused and engaging content for your audience. Whether you’re creating tutorials, gameplay videos, or software demonstrations, this feature will help you deliver high-quality, professional-looking screen recordings.