Crisp & Clear Screen Recordings

Learn how to set recording dimensions, project dimensions, and export settings to get crisp, clear video.

Camtasia product icon

The following items can impact video quality:

  • Recording Dimensions: The size of your recording. If you record full screen, the recording dimensions are usually the same as the resolution of your monitor.
  • Project Settings: The size of your canvas in Camtasia, the editing frame rate, and audio levels.
  • Export Settings: The options you choose when exporting your video, including the size of your video.

Adjust these settings to produce high video quality.

Recording Dimensions

One way to get a crisp, clear screen recording is to display your screen video at its original recording size, which avoids any scaling.

Scaling stretches or shrinks a screen recording to display it at a different size than the original recording. Scaling decreases quality and causes videos to appear blurry or distorted. See Scaling Tips to learn when scaling is necessary or how to use scaling to your advantage.

Tip: Start with the recording dimensions.

If you know the desired dimensions for your final video, enter these dimensions into the Width and Height fields in Camtasia Recorder for your source recording. See Record, Edit, Share.

Project Settings

Set the canvas dimensions, editing frame rate, and audio levels during the editing phase of your project.

Canvas Dimensions

Once you have a recording, set the canvas dimensions to the same as your recording dimensions.

Tip: Change the canvas dimensions before you begin editing your video.

Changing the dimensions after editing can skew the look of edited media.

  1. Select the Magnification dropdown > Project Settings.
    Project Settings in Magnification dropdown
  2. The Project Settings dialog appears.
    • To select a standard video size, click Canvas Dimensions (Windows) or Dimensions (Mac) and select a preset.
      Canvas Dimensions presets
    • To enter custom width and height, click Canvas Dimensions and select Custom. Enter dimensions (in pixels) into Width and Height fields.
      Width and Height fields
      Note: Click the lock icon Lock icon to enable or disable the aspect ratio lock.
  3. Click Apply.

Editing Frame Rate

Frame rates typically vary throughout a video. Record, edit, and share videos at the same frame rate to maintain video quality.

Note: To edit and export a video at a high target frame rate (60 fps), your timeline must include high frame rate video clips.

  1. Right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) the media in the Media Bin and select Details to view the actual media frame rate.
    Media context menu
  2. Select the Magnification dropdown > Project Settings > Frame Rate dropdown to change the editing frame rate.
    Frame Rate in Project Settings
  3. Click Apply.

Consistent Audio Levels

Crisp, clear audio is also a key element of video quality. Enable the Auto-normalize loudness option to automatically adjust the audio loudness across clips to maintain audio consistency for a project.
Examples of original and auto-normalized audio tracks

  1. Select the Magnification dropdown > Project Settings option.
    Project Settings in Magnification dropdown
  2. Click to enable the Auto-normalize loudness option.
    Auto-normalize loudness option
  3. Click Apply.

To learn more about improving audio quality, see Add Audio Effects.

Export Settings

Match the dimensions or aspect ratio in recording, editing, and exporting your video to maintain video quality. Complete the following to export a video with the current project (editing) dimensions:


  1. Click the Export button and select Local File.
  2. Enter a File name and select a Save location.
  3. Click to display Advanced Settings.
  4. On the Dimensions tab, select Current Project Dimensions.
  5. Click Export.


  1. Click the Export button and select Local File.
  2. Enter a file name in the Export As field and select a location.
  3. In the File format dropdown, select Export to MP4.
  4. Click the Options button.
  5. In the Dimensions dropdown, select Current and click OK.
  6. Click Export.

Scaling Tips

Sometimes You Can’t Avoid Scaling

Sometimes it’s not possible to match your recording and project dimensions. For example:

  • If you record a screen that is bigger or smaller than the size of the video you want to create.
  • Your monitor doesn’t fit a standard 16:9 aspect ratio.

In these situations scaling the recording is unavoidable, but you can use scaling to your advantage.

How We Use Scaling to Our Advantage

For our tutorial videos, we record on a monitor that is twice the size of our project dimensions. The screen recording will be displayed at half its original size and will have some quality loss. This is fine for us, because we spend most of our time zoomed in and focused on specific parts of the user interface, which is where we want to see the highest quality.

To get the highest quality and most detail, we zoom to the original size of the recording, or 100% scale. To show something on an adjacent part of the screen, we pan over and remain at 100% scale.

To learn about zooming in Camtasia, see Zoom in to Focus Attention.

Follow the 100% Rule

When in doubt, keep your screen recording at 100% scale. This displays it at the highest quality possible.

Scale in Properties panel

Get Camtasia

Check out the latest features in Camtasia.

Free Download

Already a Camtasia user? Learn how to update to the latest version.

All Camtasia Tutorials