Recording Tips

Follow these tips to improve your Camtasia recording.

General Recording Tips:

  • Practice, practice, practice
    Practice is the key to creating professional videos. It takes practice to learn how to move the cursor or open applications so they appear in the recording area. Also, practice to get the positioning of the Web browser or application just right.
  • Be patient
    A one-minute video can take two or three minutes to record for an experienced user while a beginner may need 30 minutes or longer to get it right.
  • Clean-up
    Camtasia records anything on your screen. Clean up your Web browser and desktop by closing or removing nonessential applications, browser toolbars, and desktop and dock icons. A plain background on your desktop is better than busy wallpaper.
  • No pop-ups!
    If you do not want to record pop-up windows, make sure to turn off pop-ups by using a pop-up blocker or your browser's built-in pop-up blocker.
  • Make multiple short clips using Camtasia
    Then, import the short clips into Camtasia to join into a longer production. Use the same dimensions for each clip. Leave plenty of time for extra takes.
  • Watch the mouse
    Normal mouse and cursor movement can appear jerky, hesitant, or too fast in the recording. To eliminate some of these issues, practice using the mouse around the screen in a slow, fluid motion.

Audio Recording Tips:

  • Practice using a microphone
    Experiment with volume levels and different microphone placement. Six inches from the microphone is usually good to record full tones, but not too close that other noises interfere.
  • Record in a quiet location
    Any microphone can pick up nearby noises. Most office areas have a lot of background noise that you may or may not notice. Take a second and listen. What do you hear?
  • Block the computer's humming sound
    Build a small box lined with foam to put your microphone in as you record, use pillows or blankets to muffle the noise, or cover your head with the blanket.
  • Use a script
    A script helps you produce the best audio by allowing you to avoid mistakes or saying "um" or "uh." If you do not want a formal presentation, an outline can help reduce some mistakes.
  • Project and enunciate
    Speak as though you are addressing a small audience in a large room. Smile as you speak.

SmartFocus Recording Tips:

If you plan to add the SmartFocus action during the editing process, use the following recording tips to help SmartFocus predict where to apply the zoom effects:

  • Slow down
    Use slow, deliberate mouse movements. Do not click around the screen too fast.
  • Record clips longer than 30 seconds
    SmartFocus is optimized for recordings longer than 30 seconds. For shorter clips, you can manually add the Zoom In/Out effect.
  • Hover the cursor where you want the viewer to look
    Keep the cursor still on the area of focus in the recording. For example, if you want the viewer to focus on a hyperlink, place the cursor on or near that area as you speak and then click.
  • Do not talk with the cursor
    Do not move the cursor around the screen as you speak. Try to keep the cursor still in the area of focus in the recording.
  • Keep the cursor close when entering text
    SmartFocus may not predict the correct action if you click in a text box, move the cursor to the other side of the screen, and then start talking. If you want the viewer to see what is typed into the text box, keep the cursor in the text box.
  • Use the mouse scroll wheel (if applicable)
    Try using the mouse scroll wheel instead of clicking and dragging on the scroll bar. SmartFocus may zoom in on the scroll bar instead of the content scrolling. For example, use the mouse scroll wheel when scrolling long Web pages.
Title Category Level Format
000 - 0: Introduction Getting Started I Video
001 - 1: Make a great recording: Prepare, Script, Rehearse Getting Started I Video
002 - 2: Make a great recording: Select, Start, Pause Getting Started I Video
003 - 3: Editing essentials: Explore the Editor Getting Started I Video
004 - 4: Editing essentials: What You Really Need to Know Getting Started I Video
005 - 5: Editing essentials: Preview, Trim, Cut Getting Started I Video
006 - 6: Increase viewer understanding: Zoom, Pan, Bam Getting Started I Video
007 - 7: Increase viewer understanding: Annotations Getting Started I Video
008 - 8: Increase viewer understanding: Cursors & Clicks Getting Started I Video
009 - 9: Make your screencast stand out: Transitions Getting Started I Video
010 - 10: Make your screencast stand out: Animations & Video FX Getting Started I Video
011 - 11: Make your screencast stand out: Maintain Consistency Getting Started I Video
012 - 12: Create better audio: Mics, Recording, Audio FX Getting Started I Video
013 - 13: Share your screencast: The Great Export Getting Started I Video
014 - 14: Share your screencast: Screencast.com and YouTube Getting Started I Video
015 - Zooming: The Often Misunderstood Half-Holy Grail of Screencasting Quality Main Concepts I Video
016 - Editing Dimensions Basics Edit I Video
017 - Recording Tips Record I Written
018 - Keyboard Shortcuts Reference II PDF
019 - Add Interactive Hotspots to Your Video Additions I Written
020 - Composite Assets with the Mask Effect Effects II Written
021 - For Camtasia Studio 8 Users: Feature Comparison Chart Reference II Written
022 - Add a Device Frame Around Your Video Video FX II Written
023 - Apply an Animated Highlighter Effect Animations II Written
024 - Brand Your Video with a Watermark Additions II Written
025 - Captions Audio II Video/Written
026 - Change the Canvas Background Color Canvas II Written
027 - Choosing Dimensions for Quality Video Production Reference II Written
028 - Create ADA-Compliant Captions Audio II Written
029 - Create a Table of Contents for Video Navigation Additions II Written
030 - Create a Title Additions II Written
031 - Embed Video on a Web Page or Blog Share III Written
032 - Magnify the Cursor with Cursor Effects Cursor FX II Written
033 - Maintain Privacy with the Blur Annotation Annotations II Written
034 - Markers Edit II Written
035 - Record a PowerPoint or Keynote Presentation Record II Written
036 - Remove a Color from a Video Effects II Video/Written
037 - Replace a Section of Audio on the Timeline Audio II Written
038 - Save an Annotation for Reuse Annotations II Written
039 - Speed Up or Slow Down the Speed of a Clip Effects II Video/Written
040 - Working with the FX Drawer Effects II Written
041 - Connecting Your Mobile Device Mobile I Video
042 - Creating and Sharing Mobile Content with Windows Devices Mobile I Written

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