Camtasia 9 video editor finally arrives with a new UI, 4K support, and 64 bits on PC or Mac. Worth the wait?

Posted by Paul Braren on Oct 14 2016 (updated on Oct 19 2016) in
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    Last year, I wrote:

    I do hope TechSmith goes forward with plans to develop a truly 64 bit version of Studio

    Finally, it's here, Camtasia video editing, in 64 bits!

    • OKEMOS, Mich. – October 12, 2016 - TechSmith Releases New Version of Camtasia: A Powerful Platform for Making Remarkable Videos

      Specifically, Camtasia’s new features include:

      • Behaviors, which allow you to apply stunning animations to your text, images or icons

      • New assets such as animated backgrounds, icons and music tracks that grab attention

      • Motion graphics, including lower thirds and intro slides to help your content look great

      • 64-Bit platform, allowing Camtasia to leverage your computer’s processor for faster rendering and improved stability; even on your most complex projects

      • Cross-platform collaboration through a common project file that lets you work on a video project on both Mac and Windows

      • Updated modern look and feel
    • Camtasia 9 [Windows] and Camtasia 3 [Mac] have been released!

      With this release we brought the best of Camtasia Studio and Camtasia for Mac together and added new ways to help you create amazing, engaging content.
      Regardless of the platform you choose, you will now enjoy a fresh, modern look that puts everything right at your fingertips with a unified user interface and workflow across both Mac. As a result, Camtasia Studio and Camtasia for Mac are now known as Camtasia.

    Here's how Camtasia 9 looks on my 2560x1440 monitor, ideal for previewing 1920x1080 [1080p] content, unscaled. Click twice to zoom in all the way.

    The wait has actually been well over 5 years, and I sure hope it was worth it. Heck, my Windows workstations have been 64 bit since the Vista days, a decade ago.

    I was getting seriously worried there for a bit, since I've invested well over 5 years creating hundreds of popular technical YouTube videos with Camtasia. Pretty basic cuts and fades are all I need. The source footage is mostly screen recordings of my 1920x1080 (1080p) Windows desktop, but occasionally the imported media is an MOV file from an iPhone, at 1920x1080 30fps, or from an iPhone 6 Plus, at 60fps. My recent move to the speedy new iPhone 7 Plus means I can now get 4K MOVs, 3840x2160 at 30fps. I'll actually be doing a simple unboxing video of a new 10GbE switch this weekend, editing and publishing the 4K video as a test.

    Great Timing

    This release of Camtasia 9 couldn't have arrived at a better time, with the arrival of VMware vSphere 6.5 expected soon. My how to video for it will likely consist of about 3 hours of footage that I edit down to about an hour, performing 100 to 200 careful scene cuts or speed ups. Glad to see 400% is isn't the fasted speed-up anymore! When working with such a large project that takes hours to edit, and hours more to render, that's exactly when the legacy 32 bit Camtasia Studio 8 for Windows traditionally began to falter and sometimes crash. Yep, just as you near the end of a giant editing job, and not really in the mood to lose any changes made since your last save. Automatic safe and automatic crash recovery usually works.

    Also looking forward to using better, more professional looking annotations/captions, new cursor effects, and finally, 4K support. Hopefully I'll find some unsability enhancements along the way as well.


    I have my fingers crossed that the stability of this new 64 bit code base will be improved, but 20 years of experience with PCs tells me that is unlikely. Yes, I recall the dark days of PC editing in the early 2000s, where you had the Sony LANC protocol for PC-to-camcorder control, and Hi8 camcorders for realtime playback/data transfer over FireWire. Oh what a disaster all video software was those days. Camtasia isn't perfect, but it's way easier and more stable than anything I had tried before it. Still, keep in mind this seems to really be a dot-zero release of completely rewritten software, not merely a recompile. Not sure, but the skin and look and feel certainly do appear quite new.

    More CPU and GPU Power

    Use GPU for video scaling and effects.

    Soon, I hope to use Camtasia on one of my Supermicro SuperServer Workstation Bundle 1 12 core Xeon D systems, with a VisionTek 7750 GPU capable of triple 4K output. But for now, I'm stuck with a ~5 year old ThinkPad laptop that has a discrete NVIDIA Quadro 1000M GPU, and a Samsung 850 EVO 2TB SSD that runs at SATA3 speeds. None of that mattered much with Camtasia 8 though, editing and rendering both seemed limited largely by CPU speed, and larger memory sizes available in today's computers wasn't getting used. I'm hoping 64 bit will help keep more of a big project in working memory, rather than getting swapped out to disk.

    Closing thoughts, for now, with more observations to come...

    No software is perfect, and I've tried several other video editing packages over the last 2 decades. For me, winning points include

    • easy tie in with YouTube for automatic upload after render
    • relative ease-of-use
    • many of peers and work colleagues also use it
      and helps justify the investment. For me, and my valued site visitors.

    To be a well-informed shopper, see also TechSmith's Camtasia (Windows) support forum here for a reality check.

    I will be using both the new Camtasia 9 and Snagit 13 extensively in the coming days, and will add updates on my experiences, right below this article.


    Step-by-step guide to installing Camtasia 9 and Snagit 13

    This procedure is focused only on the PC version of Camtasia that I'm personally testing.

    System Requirements

    If you're upgrading, backup your system before you begin!

    Not sure what the implications of this are.

    Something like Veeam Endpoint Backup will do nicely, just in case you wind up wanting to restore your entire system to its previous state. Why would I strongly recommend such a drastic measure? Well, when you launch Camtasia and go to work on an existing .camrec file, it appears to be a one-way street. That's right, once converted, it would appear you can no longer go back to Camtasia 8 to open that same .camrec file back up again. So again, better off being safe than sorry, and starting with a complete system backup, to allow for easy roll-back should things not work out well for you with the new version.

    Alternatively, install Camtasia 9 on a fresh copy of Windows 10 somewhere else, on a secondary workstation or VM, and kick the tires for a bit.

    1) Download Camtasia - Video Capture and Editing

    From here:

    • Download Camtasia
    • Choose Windows, the file you download will be called:
    • If you use Windows Explorer and right-click on the file and choose the Details tab, you will see it's currently version

    2) Download Snagit (optional) - Advanced Screen Capture

    From here:

    • Download Snagit
    • Choose Windows, the file you download will be called:
    • If you use Windows Explorer and right-click on the file and choose the Details tab, you will see it's currently version

    3) Purchase license within 15 days

    Use Camtasia and/or Snagit with all functions active. It's not crippled in any way, other than the watermark on all produced videos. You can safely determine whether you like it, and if it performs well enough on your system.

    There are currently no coupon codes or discounts. If you value the content in this article, please consider using the following affiliate links when purchasing your license:

    TechSmith Camtasia [PC or Mac, same license key]
    TechSmith Camtasia Upgrade [PC or Mac, same license key]
    TechSmith Camtasia & Snagit Bundle [PC or Mac, same license key]
    TechSmith Snagit [PC or Mac, same license key]
    TechSmith Snagit Upgrade [PC or Mac, same license key]

    4) Uninstall old versions CAREFULLY! (if new user, skip to #5)

    Why? Because the new 64 bit versions simply install alongside the old 32 bit versions. I do wish they offered an "upgrade" option that would uninstall the old one and then install the new one, but currently, they don't. If you don't bother with the uninstall first, you can uninstall the old versions later.

    "To continue without deleting the Library content, choose No."
    • right-click on Snagit 12 in your Windows system tray area at bottom right, and exit
    • right-click on the Start button
    • choose Programs and Features
    • type TechSmith at the top right search dialogue
    • uninstall whichever products you already have, such as Camtasia 8 and Snagit 12, BE CAREFUL, when prompted, just say NO (as pictured)

    5) REBOOT

    6) Install the new versions

    There are instructions that TechSmith provides:

    That's it, you can go about using the new versions, see also TechSmith's built-in Getting-Started Tutorials, and their online Tutorials.

    TinkerTry Tips - in Camtasia 9, two of four Camtasia 8 tips still apply

    From the 4 tips below that were in my Camtasia Studio 8 article, two are hopefully no longer relevant, which is why I crossed them out, seen below. For #1, I used to have to do janky stuff when trying to use MOV files, since Quicktime support from Apple is long gone for Windows users. To prep for Camtasia 9, I first uninstalled the Install QuickTime on Windows 10 hack, for a fresh start. Despite that product removal, the MOV files from my iPhone do import and playback in Camtasia 9, albeit playback is jerky, from my limited tests so far. That would seem to indicate it didn't remove the codec. See also TechSmith Community:

    Pro- tip #1:

    How to edit .MOV files on Windows 10
    When you try to import such files into Camtasia Studio 8 for Windows, it'll complain that you don't have Apple Quicktime installed. Unfortunately, Apple's Quicktime installer refuses to work with Windows 10, even using the common tricks (compatibility mode, run as admin, etc.) The only such software I've come across actually, having moved 7 other systems to Windows 10 these past 2 months. Good news, there is a workaround:

    - How to Install QuickTime on Windows 10
    Jul 11 2015 by Tommy Stephansen at TOMMYNATION.COM

    Pro-tip #2: To create perfectly clear article headers

    This technique avoids resizing that will degrade your screenshots.

    1. determine what resolution your article thumbnails are, mine are 740x300
    2. use Camtasia Recorder, set it to 740x300 pixels wide, then lock that resolution to a browser (or whatever other software you're trying to show)
    3. now minimize Camtasia Recorder so the dashed outlines go away
    4. you are now ready to grab an image for your post that is already the exact dimensions you want, avoiding the need resize, so it will be nice and clear. This article, and most TinkerTry articles, are your examples.

    Pro-tip #3: I use Snagit but am moving to another computer

    I recently rebuild my Windows 10 system from scratch. This meant moving my Snagit Editor images from one PC to another. Here's the technique I used:

    With the Windows version of Snagit 13, your existing Snagit 12 library is automatically retained, with all your thumbnails seen unbroken, as long as you don't accidentally click on Yes on step 4 above.

    Pro-tip #4:

    To reduce the likelihood of crashes

    I do hope TechSmith goes forward with plans to develop a truly 64 bit version of Studio, as videos over an hour in length with >100 edits can sometimes crash. It usually recovers the work upon restart, but I'd rather it not happen in the first place.

    Meanwhile, I save my work before making a lot of audio edits.

    Closing thoughts

    No software is perfect, and I've tried many other video editing packages over the years. For me, Camtasia's easy tie in with YouTube for uploads, along with relative ease-of-use and the fact that many of my peers and work colleagues also use it, means it was well worth the investment. For me, and my valued site visitors.

    I will be using both the new Camtasia 9 and Snagit 13 extensively in the coming days, and will add updates on my experiences, right below this article.

    To be a well-informed shopper, see also TechSmith's Camtasia (Windows) support forum here.


    Oct 17 2016

    I have now produced my first 4K video that required some light editing. Basically, I did the following:

    1. created a new Project
    2. changed Project Settings, Canvas Dimensions to 3840x2160 manually (there is no drop-down for 4K resolution)
    3. added four 4K scenes to the timeline, from an iPhone 7 Plus running iOS
    4. changed transitions to fade-to-black
    5. added Camtasia 1920x1080 recording of Windows 10 desktop to the timeline, rescaled 2x (to same 3840x2160), which inevitably introduces some blurring (I don't own a 4K monitor, only 2160x1440 max)
    6. "Share" "Local File" where I created a new MP4 profile with default compression rates and same 3840x2160 resolution, surprised there was no 4K profile in the drop-down menu
    YouTube Stats for Nerds.

    It would seem this is a light-refresh of the existing product, with a slightly altered UI, and recompiled for 64 bit execution. It seems to still have some of the bugs I had frequently seen in Camtasia Studio 8, such as failure to render then upload larger videos to YouTube, ending with an offer to save the MP4 locally, for later manual upload to YouTube. This was disappointing, especially since this 20 minute 4K video took 4 hours for my laptop to render, about 5 minutes to upload (I'm blessed with 300Mbps down / 30Mbps up), and about 20 minutes for YouTube to render in all resolutions from 360p to 4K. Would have been nice had that render/upload/render process happened while I was sleeping. It would seem that 4K is a pretty hefty price to pay for next-gen video production on PCs. It will be interesting to see how much faster this gets when I try again on newer system with beefier CPU and GPU.

    You may also find this Camtasia forum discussion very helpful, it goes over many of the changes that are likely to trip you up, especially if you were used to Camtasia Studio 8. See also the latest Camtasia Hotkey.


    Here's my first Camtasia 9 produced 4K video sample

    ASUS XG-U2008 fanless unmanaged network switch unboxing & initial testing [4K/Camtasia 9]. Recorded on Oct 16 2016, with iPhone 7 Plus video in 4K, and video of Windows 10/VMware vSphere Client recorded at 1920x1080 that was scaled up 2x afterward.

    I made a mistake in the editing, forgetting to speed up or crop out a boring segment around 15 minutes in waiting for a new system to boot. If I crop that segment out in YouTube, it will down-res the entire video to 1080p. My only fix would be to re-render, upload, and wait for YouTube to ingest/render, a 5 hour process for this 21 minute video. I chose to not bother, but I'm sorry for the inconvenience. One tip to help make it even easier to speed up HTML5 video playback would be this Chrome extension.

    Oct 18 2016 Update

    In Camtasia 9, I noticed my settings weren't brought over from Camtasia 8, so I clicked on Tools, Options, Program, then under Workflow I unchecked "Hide preview window after recording is stopped." Now it should prompt me to save the recording and give it a name, as soon as I click stop. Instead, it did nothing, recording lost. There may be a bug with this functionality, which I've reported, ticket #275203.

    Oct 19 2016 Update

    I use a 2560x1440 primary monitor for my Windows 10 workstation, and one or two secondary 1920x1080 monitors. Such configurations are a huge productivity boost for content creators. After the upgrade, 64 bit Snagit 13 luckily kept my library intact. But it was terribly slow at routine tasks like screen capture, taking between 4-6 seconds to do what used to take under a second. Argh! Good news, turns out this article got most of my performance back, without having to open a new ticket:

    Figured this tip might very well help you out too. As is the case with any registry changes, remember to back up first! I did both of the suggested registry tweaks, importing SimpleCrossHairs_13.reg and MultiMonHotfix_13.reg into my system, using the above instructions.

    See also at TinkerTry