Being Smart About When You’re Being Dumb…

May 16, 2009

So I installed Camtasia and have been working with one version or another for the last couple of years. Most of the time I’ve been using it for creating software support training clips. The last version kindly installed a toolbar in PowerPoint which I have stupidly–and consistently–ignored because PowerPoint has its own narration feature. Yet, I continued to suffer through the training PPT that would launch for Camtasia each time I opened PPT ’07thinking that someday I would actually look at it or click the supplied training support clip links on it’s opening screen. This went on for awhile–could have turned it off, but it was my annoying reminder that I hadn’t looked at this function and thought I should at some point. Today was it–as I had a spare couple of minutes.

So, while repuroposing some PPT presentations on things like delicious, I finally took a look at what the Camtasia PPT add-in will do. It allows me to narrate–not such an exciting feature since PPT has this built in. More interestingly, it will extend my narration past the PPT presentation if I want to launch an app or anything else, but the HUGE useful piece for me is that when you switch/select to edit the Camtasia recording, the Camtasia Studio software automatically sets markers at the begining of each slide. Saves a pile of work–as I can then automatically split at those markers and intersperse screen shots of the software in action at those relevant points. One item though, the Camtasia recording of PPT–unlike the narration capture native to PPT–acts as a screen capture, so if you’re waving your cursor around the screen–that will appear in your Camtasia recording where it doesn’t in the native PPT narration–which is audio capture only synchronized with your slide advances.

I’ll be playing with the Camtasia Add-in in the coming week–but since boys are home sick this weekend–too bad on  the long weekend–I’ll have to wait until they’re sleeping to get a solid narration recorded….

Trying to be smart about when I’ve been dumb…..