6 Tips to Help SmartFocus Act Really Smart

SmartFocus is a feature of Camtasia that automatically zooms in on areas in a Camtasia recording file based on the action in the recording such as cursor movement, menu selections, and the active window. If you follow these recording tips, you can help SmartFocus better predict where to zoom saving you the time it takes to manually add zoom animations yourself:

  1. Slow down. Don’t click around the screen too fast. Instead, use slow, deliberate mouse movements and carefully consider the path you’re making with your mouse.
  2. Record clips longer than 30 seconds. SmartFocus is optimized for recordings longer than 30 seconds, so for shorter clips, it’s better to manually add animations to zoom in and out.
  3. Hover the cursor where you want the viewer to look. Don’t let the cursor sit on the far side of your screen as you’re talking about a graphic. Instead, keep the cursor still on the area of focus in the recording. If the graphic is the focus, place the cursor on or near that area as you speak.
  4. Do not “talk” with the cursor. Do not move the cursor around the screen as you speak. Instead, try to keep the cursor still in the area of focus in the recording.
  5. Keep the cursor close when entering text. SmartFocus may not predict the correct action if you click in a text box, move the cursor to the other side of the screen, and then start talking. If you want the viewer to see what is typed into the text box, keep the cursor in the text box.
  6. Use the mouse scroll wheel (if applicable). Don’t click and drag the scroll bar to scroll long pages. SmartFocus may zoom in on the scroll bar instead of the content scrolling. Instead, try using the mouse scroll wheel.

If you want SmartFocus to help you by adding zoom animations automatically, the tips above will really help you get the best results.

If SmartFocus is new to you, the tutorial below shows how to add SmartFocus to your Camtasia Studio videos. Check it out, and you might save yourself some time in the editing process.

Can’t see the embedded video? Watch it on YouTube.

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Matt Pierce

Matt Pierce is a Learning & Video Ambassador at TechSmith. A graduate of Indiana University’s School of Education’s Department of Instructional Systems Technology, he has ten years of experience working in learning and development with a focus on visual instruction. He has directly managed the training, user assistance, video, and other teams for TechSmith. Teach him something @piercemr