I just learned two "hidden" ways to be more efficient while editing audio/video files in Camtasia. I often use this software to clean up webinar recordings. Admittedly, this will only be of interest to hard-core Camtasia wonks, but hey… that might be you! By the way, at the time of writing, Camtasia version 9.1.2 is the most current, and that is the version my tips refer to.
The first is just a simplified method of doing something I already knew how to do. Let's say your webinar recording includes a slide with a hyperlink on it. You would like your edited recording file to be interactive so that a viewer can click on the link and open up the target web page or document.
My workflow to accomplish this task had been to overlay a rectangular annotation box over the desired text, change the fill to transparent, change the outline width to 0, and make sure there isn't any accidental text left in the box (Camtasia likes to add ABC to give you a guide). Then I would have to click on Visual Effects in the left-hand command menu and drag an Interactive Hotspot onto my annotation box element.
It turns out that Camtasia already has a single-step method I hadn't previously found. Instead of adding an annotation box from their collection of standard shapes, you click the fourth tab with the icon of a teardrop. These give you "Blur & Highlight" annotation elements. The fourth element under this tab is an invisible interactive hotspot that lets you place your link address without the other intermediate customization steps. Yes, this would make more sense if it was grouped under "Interactivity," but now you know where it's been hiding out!
If you have never tried this before, I should warn you that the functionality only works if you produce your file with the Camtasia Smart Player and run the whole thing using the HTML web page that gets generated for you. Standard MP4 and WMV files do not allow interactivity, and if you want to upload your video to YouTube, you need to add the interactive hotspots in YouTube using their own editing tools.
The second tip is much more concise and easy to understand. The menu for "Jump To" is missing a very useful shortcut:
In addition to the displayed shortcuts, you can also press the comma and period keys on your keyboard to move the timeline pointer one frame backward or forward. An easy way to remember this is to note that those keys have the less-than and greater-than signs on them acting as visual pointers.
Why would you want to move the timeline position by only a single frame? Let's say you are trying to cover up an error on a slide that got recorded in your webinar. You place an annotation box overlay in your video to cover the problem. But you need that annotation to show up at the exact moment the slide is displayed and disappear at the exact moment the presenter moves to the next slide. It's a pain to move the slider back and forth at maximum timeline magnification, trying to find the perfect frames to start and stop your annotation overlay. The keystrokes let you get close by dragging the slider and then find the exact frame where it changes by clicking one frame at a time.
I may be the only person who cares about these tips, but it can't hurt to have them floating around on the interwebs in case someone else ever needs them.