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The New Features of Camtasia 3

By: Mich Donovan


TechSmith recently rolled out the newest iteration of their screen recording and editing software Camtasia. Not only is this our preferred tool for screen capture in the courses we produce for Online Duke, it is what we recommend to instructors who wish to make videos on their own but don’t want to get into the more complicated interface of Final Cut or Premiere.

The most notable change is the meshing of Camtasia Studio and Camtasia for Mac. Up to this point, TechSmith developed separate software for both Windows and Mac. They were similar, although the Windows version was much more robust with features (and more expensive). In this update, they’ve combined the two to simply Camtasia, which mostly means a value increase for Mac users.

In the previous versions, both software could share the raw media files but any editing of those files was not cross-compatible. In Camtasia 3, there is now the option to export to Windows/Mac, which zips the project, maintains your edits, and can be opened by any other current version of Camtasia.

Among features brought over from Camtasia Studio is quizzing and interactivity. Questions can be fill in the blank, multiple choice, short answer or true/false, and can offer scoring/feedback within the video, as well as score reporting through the Camtasia Quiz Service. For any of this to work, however, the video must be played through TechSmith’s proprietary Smart Player. Users can either host the video on TechSmith’s, or export the various html and javascript files to host on their own platform.

New to Camtasia 3 are Behaviors, which are essentially some Keynote-esque animations that can be added over text, callout graphics, or almost any other imported media. They offer a fair amount of customization and can be used to make some pretty sophisticated animations. Along with these, TechSmith offers a variety of backgrounds, icons, graphics, and music that anyone can access whether they’ve purchased Camtasia or not.

Missing in this version is the ScreenDraw feature that was previously available in Camtasia Studio 8. This allowed for live annotation over the screen using a built-in pen tool.  For anyone looking for such functionality, our current recommendation is Ink2Go for general annotation and Powerpoint’s built-in pen for any slideshows in presentation mode.

Aside from cosmetic changes to the interface and some more processing power, the last notable change is the price. Previously $299 on Windows and $99 on Mac, the software is now $199 for either (or $169 for a single educational license).

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