Position Media on the Canvas

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

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The canvas is the working area where you preview, arrange, rotate, resize, and order the appearance of media in your video.


Position Media

Complete any of the following edits on the canvas to position the appearance of media in your video.

Move example

Click and drag media to move to a new location on the canvas.

Resize example

Resize / Scale
Click to select media on canvas. Drag white media handle in or out.

Rotate example

Click to select media on canvas. Drag the center handle in media to rotate around the anchor point.

Crop example


  1. In the Canvas toolbar, click the Crop button.
    Crop mode button
  2. Click to select media on canvas and drag a blue handle in or out.
  3. Click and drag the media to position the content within the frame.

align text center on canvas

The canvas offers boundary guidelines to help you snap media to the edge, center, or align with other media.

  • Canvas Guides: The guides appear as you drag media on the canvas. Drag media until it aligns with the edge, center, or other media guidelines.

    To disable canvas snapping guidelines, select View > Enable Canvas Snapping to remove the checkmark.
  • Ruler Guides: See Align Media with Ruler Guides.

Example of the order tracks appear on the canvas

Arrange – Timeline Z-Order
To reorder media on the canvas, right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) and select Arrange.

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.

Tip: Open the Properties for precise canvas edits.

Click to select the media or asset on the canvas and click the Properties button to view the properties available. In the Properties, you can edit text, colors, styles, and other options. See Discover the Properties Panel.

Canvas Editing Modes

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

Edit mode (Default)
Edit mode
Select this mode to move, resize, and rotate media on the canvas.
Corner Pin mode
Corner Pinning mode
Select this mode to create a 3D perspective or to pin the corners of the media to fit within the boundaries of another object, such as a device frame.

For example, replace what’s shown on a computer display with your own screen recording or simulate text on a whiteboard. See Create the Illusion of 3D Perspective (Corner Pinning).

pin corner example corner pinning example in device frame
Pan mode
Pan mode
If you are zoomed in and the entire canvas is not visible, select this mode or hold the Spacebar and drag to change the visible area on the canvas.

Camtasia keeps the original position and size when panning. Canvas editing is disabled in Pan mode.
Crop mode
Crop mode
Select this mode to trim the unwanted areas from media.
  1. Click Crop to turn crop mode on.
  2. Click to select the media on the canvas to crop.
  3. Drag the blue handles to remove the desired area.

You can also hold the Alt key (Windows) or the Option key (Mac) and drag to crop media while in another mode.

Detach / Attach CanvasTo view the video preview in full screen mode or for better viewing, detach the canvas from the Camtasia application window and move it to another location, such as onto another monitor.

To detach the canvas:
Right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) an empty area on the canvas and select Detach Canvas. Drag the detached canvas to the desired location on your screen.

To reattach the canvas:
Right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) an empty area on the canvas and select Attach Canvas.
Full Screen mode
Fullscreen mode Windows

Full Screen button on Mac Mac
If the canvas is detached from the Camtasia application window, you can expand the canvas to full screen mode. Press ESC to exit.
Change the canvas magnification
canvas magnification options
To help preview or edit media in your video, you can adjust the canvas zoom level. Click the Canvas Options dropdown menu to select the zoom level.
  • This does not change the canvas dimensions / editing dimensions or affect the size of the final video.
  • Select Fit to view the entire video within the boundaries of the canvas.
  • When the view is magnified, click the Pan Mode button or hold the Spacebar and drag to change the visible area on the canvas.
Project SettingsSet the canvas dimensions, editing frame rate, and audio level for your project. See Crisp and Clear Screen Recordings.

Change the Background Color

If media or assets do not cover the entire canvas, the canvas background displays in the final video.

For the entire video:

  1. Right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) the canvas and select Project Settings.
  2. The Project Settings dialog appears. Select a color from the Color dropdown.
    Color dropdown in Project Settings
  3. Click Apply.

For a portion of the video:

  1. Click the Annotations tab.
  2. Click the Shapes subtab.
    Shapes subtab in Annotations
  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 (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) 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 in the video.
    Drag end of clip on timeline

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