Screen recording tips
This post focuses on the use of Camtasia tools to enhance your screen recordings and produce captions, as well as standard phrasing that you can use to record demonstrations.
Camtasia screen recorder and video editing software has several tools you can use to enhance your recordings.
- Cursor effects: Camtasia allows you to add effects to your cursor, helping learners follow where you are pointing or clicking. Use the “Rings on Left-click” option to clearly show where you are clicking during demonstrations.
- Blur/Pixelate: If you have to enter or show any of your personal information e.g. your username during a screen recording, use the blur or pixelate tool to obscure your details.
- Highlighter: Use the highlighter tool to draw the viewer’s attention to important elements, like boxes and buttons that need to be clicked.
- Spotlight: Use the spotlight to draw the viewer’s attention to an area of the screen that you are talking about or that they need to be aware of.
- Noise removal: Camtasia has an inbuilt noise removal system, which will help make your audio clearer. This setting can be enabled in the Audio menu by checking a box. You can use the advanced settings below the check box to change the sensitivity.
You can produce captions in Camtasia in two ways:
- If you select this option, Camtasia analyse your narration and produce captions for you, this includes setting all the timings.
- All captions produced using speech-to-text need to be checked thoroughly as this process can produce mixed results.
- It is good practice to export them and check spelling and grammar within MS Word.
Using this method, you will need to add each caption individually. You can copy text from your script. You will also need to sync your captions to the video.
Points to consider when editing/producing captions:
- You should time your captions to be onscreen for at least three seconds for the shortest examples, and up to seven seconds for longer examples.
- Wherever possible, split large captions over two screens to avoid needing to have any on screen for more than seven seconds.
- All captions should fade in and out (this is the default setting in Camtasia).
- Text in captions that are displayed on the screen should be bold and in quotation marks, eg: When you’ve found a result that looks relevant, click the ‘Abstract’ link.
- All recorded demonstrations should include narration. You should adopt a friendly tone, taking time to speak clearly and slowly. Remember that people may be working along with you.
- You can record audio at the same time as you record the visual elements; this allows you to get the correct timings, ensuring they match up perfectly. It also helps you to slow down and work at a pace that is easier to follow.
- You can also record the audio and visual separately. This method requires more forward planning with regards to timings and will also require more time in post-production to ensure all elements are synchronised correctly.
Standard phrasing list for recording demonstrations
Below is a list of standard phrases that are likely to feature in demonstrations. Using these can improve clarity and consistency across our content. If new text is needed, try to match the style and tone of these phrases.
- This is the search interface in…
- Here you can select which platforms you want to search
- In this example, we are searching…
- This is where you…
- In this example, we’re looking for research into XYZ
- This drop-down allows us to select…
- Enter your other search terms in these boxes
- This drop-down allows us to select…
- Click the … button
- That is the end of this demonstration. In the next, we’ll look at…
- Let’s select … and …
- Now let’s have a look at what we can do with our results
- This page shows you…
- These buttons let us…
- First, select the results you want to save
- You can email these results in a number of formats
- Enter your details here to email…
- You can also download your results
- You can also save your search and run again in future
- You’ll need to …
- That’s the end of this demonstration