May 11, 2015

Camtasia Tip #8 - Sending Snagit Captures Directly to Camtasia

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When I make a screencast with something like PowerPoint I don’t actually record the video of the PowerPoint in slide mode. I find it more flexible to just take screenshots of the slides and send them over to Camtasia. If the slide is a pedestrian Title/Bullet approach I’ll often have one animation on the slide. The slide with just the title shows first then the slide with all the bullets shows. Having the title only slide makes it easy to transition between slides. I then use various animation techniques in Camtasia to hide or highlight the bullets as I talk about them. I find I can make a nicer, more fluid, final video this way as opposed to locking myself into the PowerPoint animations.
The process is painless enough if you just have a few slides. In Snagit  hit the Print Screen hot key, click to capture the slide. Click twice (the first returns to PP the second advances the slide) and then repeat. All the slides can be captured in a few seconds. A slight amount of pain comes in when I swap over to Snagit and use the Share with Camtasia button to send each slide over to Camtasia, especially when I have more than a handful of slides.  I have to name and save each slide.
Much less painful is to set up a profile that captures the image, identifies the target folder, auto names the file and shares it with Camtasia in a single click. Here’s how:
  1. SNAGHTML9f9b3a9I’m on Snagit 11 still so I use the classic view to get started. Clicking the + icon in the upper right allows my to create a new profile.
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  2. image Then click on the Share button at the bottom. Unselect the Preview in Editor option. Notice that I already had a tool from TechSmith installed that shares captures with Camtasia Studio. HOWEVER, as illogical as it seems, don’t use this. It wouldn’t work for me. Instead we’ll use the Properties…. option at the bottom of the menu to manually set up a link to Camtasia Studio. But before you do, uncheck the option for Preview in Editor. You don’t want the editor showing up between captures.

  3. SNAGHTMLa0f38d0The Share Properties dialog appears to have two different tabs  (Image File and Program) that allow the same information to be specified. It is safest to enter this in both places if you have any problems.  However, I’ll start with the method that ended up working for me. Click on the Program tab. Next use the Add… button (Item 2 in the image)and navigate to where ever your copy of CamtasiaStudio.exe is located.
  4. imageHere’s an example of a typical location. Note, makes sure you select the CamtasiaStudio.exe not the recorder or any other .exe.
  5. SNAGHTMLa0f38d0Next use the Folder Icon (Number 3 in the image) to specify the folder where you want all the images save. This remains a bit of a pain point as for each project you’ll probably want a different folder so you do have to come back and customize the profile for each project. Then click the Options... button (Number 4 in the image). 
  6. imageThis will open the Automatic File Name dialog. Fill out the fields to create a file name of your choice.  Click OK when done.
    When you’re done you can right-click on your new profile and assign a hot key combination. Typically you’ll want to open Camtasia and load the target project before using this profile. If you don’t, the profile will launch Camtasia with a new project for you.
    If after doing this, Snagit keeps asking you for a filename, then try using the Image File tab and specify the folder and filename options in that tab as well.  I want to thank Joe Morgan for showing me this tip. He has a video version of this tip you can watch.

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Tod Gentille (@todgentille) is now a Curriculum Director for Pluralsight. He's been programming professionally since well before you were born and was a software consultant for most of his career. He's also a father, husband, drummer, and windsurfer. He wants to be a guitar player but he just hasn't got the chops for it.