Dec 8, 2016

Camtasia 3 Mac - Five Quick Tips

TechSmith's latest version of Camtasia for the Mac brought the product into near parity with the Windows' version. There are a few things that are either easy to overlook or not yet documented that I think are worth knowing about.

Save Style To Annotations - I tend to use arrow callouts in most projects. Once I thicken up an arrow, change its color, shape, and delete that annoying default drop shadow effect, I can save that version to the User tab of the Arrows & Lines annotations. First, make sure you're on the annotations tab as shown; number 1 in the image. (By the way, the visual properties tab on the left, is where you can delete the drop shadow effect). Second, click the button shown by the number 2 callout to save your customized annotation.

You can delete that drop shadow effect from the timeline. Open the effect clicking on the white "up arrow" on the callout. Then right-click directly on the effect inside the callout and select the "Remove Effect" item from the context menu. If you want to remove all effects you can do that by just right-clicking on the callout itself and use the Remove->All Effects item.  You can also delete any effect from the properties pane, just click on the X that's to the left of each effect name.

Quick Split/Ripple Edit - A quick way to split and create some open time in your clip is to hold down the Shift key and then drag the play head to the right.
If you are positioned on a break with open space available to the left in ALL tracks, you can also Shift-drag to the left to move all the tracks at once.

Extend Frame - If you use the previous tip to split your track and insert some time, you can easily extend the last frame of your video track. Hold down the Alt key and position your cursor near the video track you want to extend. The cursor should change to the shape shown in the image. Now clicking on the right edge of the video and dragging will extend that clip.
Resize Sketch Callouts - I have no idea why the logic of sketch callouts is different from other callouts, but with Sketch callouts, dragging the handles does a scaling change and won't allow you to change the aspect ratio. If you hold down the Shift key while dragging the handles, you can change a sketch callout's aspect ratio. (Thanks to the kurrykid for that tip.) Although after being thwarted by this for a while I did grow to like the normal callouts better than the sketch ones. I now just drag a Full Opacity animation to the beginning and a No Opacity animation to the end of the callout and the effect is very pleasing and less obtrusive. I'll reserve the sketch callouts when I feel I need a much more dramatic in-your-face callout.


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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.