Screen-recording software has grown in popularity. It’s great to use for demonstrations and sharing content. However, a saturated market means that some pretty powerful software can steal away attention from quality ones.
Recognizing great screen-recording software doesn’t require any professional expertise. All you need is to know what you do and don’t want from software and base your research on that.
If this is your first time using a video editing and screen-recording program, we highly recommend using Camtasia. Their latest 2021 model furthers their streak of excellence, which we'll be explaining why shortly.
We’re going to talk about Camtasia and why it’s an excellent choice for your first screen-recorder and video editor. You’ll learn about its main aspects and how it can help you with creating video lessons.
What to Know
Camtasia has been around for a while, and it has lots of users. To be more exact, that’s more than 15 years and more than 24 million users. If you need to make a video demonstration, this is a great software to use.
You don’t need to use a different editing service either. Camtasia helps you streamline the process without sacrificing quality in any way.
Keep in mind that this program isn’t a web-based application. Instead, it’s downloadable software. Be sure you have enough room on your computer for this.
Camtasia can easily record video and audio on your computer. Whatever shows up on your screen while recording is what your audience is going to see. However, it is a lot more than just a basic screen recorder.
The fact that Camtasia can record your screen isn’t what makes it so good. That’s definitely an important feature, but it’s the video editing aspect that sets this software apart.
Not only can this turn your screen recordings into much more sophisticated videos, but it can also be used on other types of videos, such as ones imported from smartphones. You can keep your screen recordings and other videos from feeling monotonous with this software's help.
These are all things Camtasia offers:
- Upload video and audio clips
- Clip-splitting and deleting
- Incorporate music, narration, and pictures
- Icon library with hundreds of options
- Motion graphics
- Questions in playback
- Tips in pop-up window
- Speech recognition to help with captions
The features don’t end there as this program has plenty more greatness to unlock.
Bringing videos from your smartphone to the platform is quite simple. Download the app “Fuse,” and you’ll be able to upload videos to the software instantly. Once you get to the software, you can turn your smartphone video into a well-edited masterpiece.
Camtasia makes it easy to post it on video hosting sites like YouTube when your video is finished. You can also upload videos to your site that supports media.
Record screen and camera
To make a recording with Camtasia, you need to use the easy-to-find Recording Toolbar.
Pick the desired recording area and activate every necessary component, including the microphone, computer sound, and camera.
If you have a lot to share or don’t mind if your entire screen is showing, you can record it all at once.
You can also use predetermined screen dimensions, like the 1080p HD widescreen format (1920x1080).
When you just want to record a bit of the screen, you’ll draw a box around the region. This limits the screen recording to that part of your screen.
The best video lessons have plenty of annotations to help clarify things or assist visual learners. Camtasia makes it very easy to add annotations to your videos.
These are the six available annotation types.
- Arrows and lines
- Blur and highlight
- Sketch motion
- Keystroke Callouts
Making callouts involves putting text inside word clouds and arrows. You can point out important sections of your video with these.
You can also pick from different types of arrows and lines. Your audience can stay more engaged in your lessons with these on the screen.
With shapes, you can put your annotations in an array of various shapes, including stars, if you’re really feeling extravagant.
Blurring and highlight are useful for censoring sections of your screen with sensitive information. Don’t want someone to see your address? It won’t be a problem with this feature.
Sketch motions are extremely fun, as these are moving arrows and shapes, made with some pretty neat animation.
A keystroke callout is also really cool. You can tell students about typing shortcuts and demonstrate with the keys showing up on your screen. Give Camtasia the shortcut and see what happens from there.
You can easily use effects with the text, audio, and visual aspects. This can really shake up your video and give it a lot more life.
Now, let’s see what kinds of effects are offered for each category.
These are the ten video effects Cambria offers:
- Border - This lets you put a border along your video.
- Clip speed - Slow things down using this effect.
- Color adjustment - Want to make the colors more muted or stronger? Use this effect.
- Color Tint - This adds a nice colorful atmosphere to your videos.
- Colorize - A greater color “pop” is possible with this effect.
- Device Frame - Chose a device frame, like an iPhone, to surround your video.
- Drop Shadow - For a moodier feel, use this effect.
- Glow - Your video can look like it’s absolutely radiating with this.
- Interactive Hotspot - This adds clickable content to your videos, like web links.
- Remove a color - If you have a green screen, this effect is beneficial.
The device frame is one of the best effects. You just need to drop it on your video and pick your preferred frame. The video will then make a seamless transition into the frame.
Camtasia also has a lot of excellent audio effects.
These are the five audio effects.
- Audio Compression
- Clip speed
- Noise removal
- Fade in
- Fade out
Text effects for Camtasia have a specific name: “behaviors”. These can also be used with video components.
Zoom and pan camera
To really draw people in, use a zoom/pan.
From the thumbnail section, you can adjust the camera region size. Then, the software decides the best settings to add the zoom or pan.
You’ll see an arrow on your video’s timeline. Where the arrow starts and ends is also where the camera starts and ends.
You can also put on various kinds of animation. These follow the arrow-on-timeline format as well.
The length of your arrow can also determine how fast or slow your animation. The animation’s look can be affected by modifying keyframes.
These are the 10 animations.
Cursor effects are really awesome when you’re recording your screen.
Don’t let your cursor get lost amongst your screen and cause possible confusion among your students. Also, you can make your cursor a lot more prominent.
These are the cursor effects.
Camtasia has 31 significant scene transitions.
These are the five main types.
Various canvas dimensions
Your canvas is another word for the section of screen recorded. As mentioned previously, this can include your whole screen.
Camtasia offers lots of pre-made canvas sizes such as:
- 1080p HD
- 720p HD
- 4K UHD
- Facebook cover video (820 by 462)
- Instagram (640 by 640)
- iPhone XS
You can also create your own dimensions. Just adjust the height and width until you’re satisfied.
To render Camtasia clips, you can instantly post them online or save them to your computer.
These are places you can post your video to:
- Google Drive
- Screencast.com - Cloud-based system from TechSmith
- TechSmith Video Review - Great for receiving responses and suggestions
Camtasia is great software if you have an active YouTube channel or are starting one. It helps make the process of creating and sharing a video so much easier.
However, I do like to save my video files to my computer. It gives me a lot of peace of mind to know I have a backup copy.
Camtasia users can get a lot of support. However, the amount depends on if they get the Maintenance plan addition.
Typical users receive:
- Support ticket system - If you need help with something, explain your predicament here and look forward to a response
- Video lessons - You might be making video lessons, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t benefit from some yourself
- Webinars - Every once in a while, Camtasia hosts these cool lectures.
- Forum - There are 80,000 users in the forum, and you can get a lot of useful tips from them
That’s all included in Camtasia Maintenance, as well as
- Live chat access
- Phone queue
- Training with certification
Camtasia Updates: What’s New?
Camtasia’s creator, TechSmith, didn’t just stop with the first edition. With each update, they’ve raised the bar for what screen-recording software can do even more. These are some of the best things about the newest edition.
You can give your videos a lot more flair with templates. If you’ve got design experience, you can upload your own templates. Otherwise, there are some great pre-packaged ones.
Maybe you want to show your templates to a colleague or friend? With Export Packages, you can easily consolidate them into a shareable file. The people receiving them could use your templates as inspiration for their own.
If you constantly go back to a certain effect or other feature in Camtasia, you can keep track of it with favorites. Put a star on your favorite ones and build up your inventory.
Don’t want there to be any spaces on your timeline? The magnetic track gets rid of them and makes the editing process a whole lot easier.
Track Matte Mode and other improvements
Track Mattes are great to use once you’ve really progressed through Camtasia. You can make animated or still masks determining how tracks show their content. You can also enhance the editing through the removable timeline, and more presets for tools.
Camtasia’s price depends on what you’re using it for. These are the four price plans:
- Individual - $249
- Business - $249
- Education - $169
- Government/non-profit - $223.97
All of these are singular payments. Each of these, except for Individual, offers discounts for bulk purchases.
Camtasia Maintenance can be another part of your order.
This is $49.75 every year for Individual users. You’ll also be ensured an upgrade when the latest edition comes out.
If you don’t have the Maintenance plan, you can still get upgrades. However, you’ll have to pay for them. One upgrade is $99.50.
You’ll also get a 30-day refund guarantee when you purchase.
Easy to grasp - Camtasia is exceptionally user-friendly software. You don’t need a lick of video creation experience. It’s also terrific if you’ve used other platforms and have been frustrated by their lack of options and poor design. You’ll be able to catch on very quickly and have lots of fun through it all. You can make videos that look and feel genuinely professional.
Great screen capturing - This software is the top option for recording the screen. The videos look amazing, and it’s so simple to pick it up. Once you have it open, you’ll see the screen recording option on your computer toolbar. Then, you can quickly get a new recording started.
Great cursor effects - While the whole effects library is excellent, the cursor effects are what really stand out. These can add a ton of pizzazz to your videos.
Interactive aspects - With these features, your students can be active learners. To test them, you can add quizzes at different points in your videos.
Asset library - The asset library is great for helping you locate essential components for your videos. Throw on cool templates, music, and anything else your video might need.
Mobile app - The Fuse app is a great companion for Camtasia. Get a video made with your phone and upload it right to the platform, where it’ll be waiting for you on your desktop.
Customer help - Need some help? Their customer service department is outstanding. They answer questions very promptly and with total effort. No problem has stayed a problem thanks to their assistance.
Affordable - Camtasia might be expensive compared to a candy bar, but it’s also quite affordable when you consider how much comes with your purchase. You also don’t have to worry about any monthly subscription charges, like with some software.
Program crashing - Camtasia has an unfortunate crash frequency and some bugs in the system.
Customization-Friendliness - Those looking for some serious customization abilities might be disappointed.
Keyboard Commands - There should be a lot more keyboard functions than there are.
Camtasia is a useful software if you’re into video production. It’s not the most sophisticated or detailed, but it’s still perfect for newcomers. The screen recordings look pristine, and their upgrades mean Camtasia keeps providing a new and improved product to customers.
If you're a professional video editor, then we would likely advise you to get more sophisticated software. Still, for 95% of people who are beginners to intermediate users and don't need Hollywood movie style features, Camtasia is a great option.
Start with this version (which is no charge) to see how cool the system is before purchasing it.