TechSmith Camtasia: Multiple Object Formatting Made Easy
by Kevin Siegel
When developing eLearning, one important goal is to ensure consistency from object to object. In addition, unless you're a top-notch designer you should use just a few fonts and a limited color palette. (Lest you run the risk of creating an eLearning lesson that, despite your good intentions, is visually overwhelming to your learners.)
This week I want to show you an easy way to ensure objects used in a project are formatted consistently. The key to project-wide Camtasia consistency lies in the use of multiple tracks.
When I develop in Camtasia, I create several tracks and add similar objects to those tracks. For instance, I might add alert callouts to one track, speech callouts to another.
In the image below, notice that there are two tracks. The formatting of the callouts in Track 2 are identical so they're fine. Unfortunately, the callouts in Track 1 are a mess. Notice that each of the callouts is formatted differently.
The first step to consistency bliss is to lock the track that you don't want to alter. Since the callouts in Track 2 are fine, I locked the track via the lock icon to the left of the Track (the icon is shown below in its locked state).
A locked track is easily identifiable on the Timeline thanks to the diagonal lines (as shown in the image below).
I then selected all of the callouts in Track 1 by pressing [ctrl] [a]. (I could have also selected objects via [shift]-click (to select contiguous objects) or [ctrl]-click (to select non-contiguous objects). In the image below, all of the callouts in Track 1 are selected. It is worth noting that because I locked Track 2, pressing [ctrl] [a] did not select any of the callouts in Track 2.
On the Callouts panel, I changed the color of the selected callouts to Purple.
Still working on the Callouts panel, I then changed the shape of the callouts to a Filled Rounded Rectangle.
You can see the results in the image below. All of the callouts in Track 1 are now formatted consistently.
The big trick here was working with multiple tracks, combined with the ability to easily lock a track (eliminating the possibility of changing anything about objects in the locked track).