Using Camtasia Studio 4.01

Getting Started - Resolutions and Settings:

VERY VERY IMPORTANT!!!! - Try to start your tutorial with a solid background, Windows media will not encode a complex background for modem connections.

START > Camtasia Studio 4 > Camtasia Studio. Close the Wizard if it opens. (note that you can now record PowerPoint presentations!)

  1. Select "record the Screen" from the Task List on the left hand side of the screen.
  2. Close the Wizard again.
  3. Capture>Fixed region
    • >720x480 is the standard size of a DV frame, and it fits well in a 1024x768 window. Captioning will fit, and it integrates well with the gmHD 720p skin. You can edit regular video and screen Video together in this size. This is the preferred size for tutorial capture.
    • >785x420 is maximum size for 800x600 resolution (leaving a 30 pixel region for captioning). This is the old "standard" size.
    • >876x720 is the minimum size for the iMovie interface. It requires a high resolution to view it, but will squish it for lower resolutions. Use only when necessary.
  4. Deselect the "fixed starting point" box. This will allow you to drop the capture window where you need it. Click OK. Please see Quinn if you need to use a larger or smaller video size. Just because you can capture it does not mean people can watch it.
  5. Click on the "Video" link in the Recorder Window.
  6. Under "Video Configuration," Automatic should be selected. Make sure the description says "Techsmith Screen Capture Codec."
  7. While the "Tools Options" box is open, select the "Audio" tab.
    • Make sure the microphone you are using is selected, and you can check the volume with the slider. Try to be in the middle; yellow is okay, but not red.
    • Yellow is archival sound quality.
    • Test your microphone and adjust the sound as necessary before proceeding.
  8. FORMAT IS IMPORTANT! Note the default is an MP3 format, which is compressed. We want an uncompressed format, so select the "Audio format" button, and set the format to PCM (Pulse Control Module). Set the attributes to 48.000 kHz, 16 bit, mono at 93 kb/sec. Click OK.
  9. Now select the "Hotkeys" tab. The Record/Pause Hotkey is your best friend! I usually set mine to F1.
    • If you need to capture something that is outside of your capture region, pause recording, move the window, and hit pause again to keep going. This is much better than panning across the window.
  10. Now select the "Capture" tab. Under "File Options," select "Save as AVI."
    • If you are using Picture in Picture, you will have to use CAMREC.
  11. Select the "File Name Options" button, and you can have Camtasia automatically name your files for you using the "Automatic file name" prefix box. You should do this!
  12. Here you can also select where Camtasia will store your files. PLEASE create a folder with your name and project name, like "Suzy Purpleshirts Fugu Tutorial" and have Camtasia automatically save your files there. Click OK.
  13. Under "Capture Options," DESELECT "Minimize before starting capture" and then select:
    • "Pause before starting capture"
    • "Report dropped frames"
    • "Round frame size to a 4 pixel boundary"
    • "Capture layered windows."
    • You may also choose to select "Show toolbar underneath"
  14. Under "Performance Options" select "Disable display acceleration during capture." Click OK on the warning, then OK again.
  15. Under Effects>Cursor>Highlight Clicks
    • Capture>Record Audio
    • Note - There are lots of other settings and things to play with. Feel free to play with them, but refrain from using them unless you can justify a need to. While zooming, panning, and sound effects can be neat, they often don't encode well, and can annoy the user. Annotation and callouts can be quite helpful, as can the Screendraw tool. Please experiment with these!


Test, test, test! All of your settings need to be tested. Make sure you are capturing at least 10-15 frames per second of video, and make sure audio is nice and loud without distortion. Once you are done capturing your clips, you will use Camtasia Studio to edit and produce them.


Picture in a Picture (PiP) - this allows you to capture video from a webcam while you create a tutorial, or after. Follow these directions to capture video.

  1. Plug in a Firewire web cam, or use one of the Canon ZR series camcorders.
  2. Go to Tools>Options>Camera and make sure your camera is selected and working. Click OK.
  3. Capture>Record Camera to tell Camtasia Recorder to capture the camera video onto your screen capture. You will be able to resize and move the video in Camtasia Studio.


Recording your tutorial

  1. Click on the round red "Record" button in Camtasia Recorder.
  2. Green corners will appear on a floating window.
  3. Move the window to the regions you want to capture and click to set the region.
  4. Hit F1 to begin recording.
  5. Minimizing the screen real estate can be important! Don't capture what you don't need! (Most of the world knows where the Start button is, so you can probably say "Go to Start>Programs>whatever" and not show it.) You can also collapse unneeded browser toolbars and other application toolbars.
  6. Floating menus can be captured by pausing, dragging them into the capture region, capture the tool selection, pause again, drag out of the capture region, then resume.


Helpful Hints

  • ALWAYS test your audio before you begin capturing.
  • If you are using video, make sure it's focused, well lit, and that the background is not distracting, etc.
  • Please open all applications from the Start Menu. HOWEVER, do NOT capture the task bar at the bottom of the screen unless it is necessary to your tutorial.
  • The F1 key allows you to NEVER EVER DRAG A WINDOW! If the application you are capturing opens a window outside of the capture region, DON'T DRAG IT! Simply pause, move the window, and resume capturing. Dragging windows causes smeared video on modem settings.
  • HAVE A SCRIPT.
  • Use the F1 key to start and stop recording when you need to pause and think (or cough or sneeze).
  • BE CAREFUL with the F1 key, as it likes to "bounce" - so verify that you are actually paused or recording.
  • AVOID DEAD AIR. Make sure something is happening or being said; otherwise, pause recording.
  • BEWARE of breathing into the microphone. The Samson microphones can POP filters can really help.