Explore the Canvas

Learn how to preview and arrange media on the canvas for your video.

Camtasia 3D icon

Canvas Overview

The canvas, also called the preview window is the working area where you arrange, rotate, resize, and order the appearance of media on the timeline.
Canvas example

  1. The canvas tools and project settings are located in the toolbar above the canvas.
  2. The final video only includes media within the canvas boundary.
  3. The z-order position of media on the canvas is set by the placement of media on the timeline. Media on the top timeline track appears in front of media on lower tracks on the canvas.
  4. The canvas offers boundary guidelines to help you snap media to the edge, center, or align with other media.
  5. Click the playback buttons to preview the video.

Note: To learn more positioning and aligning media on the canvas, see Edit Media on the Canvas.

Canvas Tools

The canvas tools are located in the toolbar above the canvas.

Change Canvas Background ColorThe canvas background displays in the final video if media or assets do not cover the entire canvas.

For the entire video:
  1. Right-click the canvas and select Project Settings.
  2. The Project Settings dialog appears. Select a color from the Color dropdown.
  3. Click Apply.

Show the color dropdown in the project settings dialog

For a portion of the video:
  1. Click the Annotations tab.
  2. Click the Shapes subtab.
  3. Drag a rectangle onto the canvas. Drag the handles until the annotation covers the entire canvas.
    Drag handles to fill canvas
  4. Right-click the annotation on the canvas and select Arrange > Send to Back.
  5. In the properties, select the desired background color from the Fill color dropdown and the Outline color dropdown.
  6. Drag an end of the annotation on the timeline to set the duration for the background.
    Drag end of clip on timeline
Turn Edit Mode On
Edit Mode button
Edit mode allows you to resize, arrange, and rotate media. After using Crop or Pan, click Edit to continue working on the canvas.
Turn Corner Pin Mode On
Corner Pin Mode icon
Corner Pin mode allows you to automatically adjust the rotation, skew, and other properties to integrate media with a background. For example, replace what’s shown on a computer display with your own screen recording or simulate text on a whiteboard.
  1. Click Corner Pin Mode to turn corner pin mode on.
  2. On the canvas, drag the handles in the corners of the media to the desired position.
  3. Click Edit to return to edit mode.

For more information, see Create the Illusion of 3D Perspective (Corner Pinning).
Turn Crop Mode On
Crop Mode button
Crop removes the unwanted outer areas of a video or image.
  1. Click Crop to turn crop mode on.
  2. On the canvas, drag the blue handles to remove the desired area.
  3. Click Edit to return to edit mode.
Turn Pan Mode On
Pan Mode button
When zoomed in on the video at a high magnification level, use Pan mode to move the video around within the boundaries of the canvas.
  1. Click Pan to turn pan mode on.
  2. In Pan mode, the cursor turns into a hand on the canvas. Click and drag the video on the canvas to view an area of the video not currently shown on the canvas.
  3. While in Pan mode, the canvas editing features are disabled. Click Edit to return to edit mode.
Detach or Attach CanvasTo detach the canvas:
Right-click an empty area of the canvas and select Detach Canvas.
You can move the detached canvas to the desired location on your screen or enable full screen mode.

To reattach the canvas:
Right-click an empty area of the canvas and select Attach Canvas.
Switch to Full Screen Mode
Full Screen button on Windows Windows
Full Screen button on Mac Mac
  1. While the canvas is detached, click the Full Screen button to expand it to fit the entire screen. All editing features are still enabled while working in full screen mode.
  2. Press the Esc key to exit full screen mode.
Change the Canvas MagnificationClick the Canvas Options dropdown menu to change the magnification level of the video on the canvas.
  • This does not change the canvas dimensions / editing dimensions.
  • Select Fit to view the entire video within the boundaries of the canvas.
  • When the view is magnified, click the Pan Pan Mode button to enable moving the video around within the boundaries of the canvas.