Camtasia (Mac): How to Make the File Size of Videos Smaller

Problem

How can I resize my produced video file to be smaller?

Solution

Camtasia for Mac naturally produces out larger MP4 files compared to its Windows counterpart. This is something we are aware of and hope to improve on in the future. The following are only suggestions and not guarantees.

Video Format

As a general rule of thumb, producing the video in MP4 (h.264 codec) format often delivers the best quality with smallest file size. MP4 is especially popular for all delivery types. The MOV format can be used in other scenarios, but it will produce a larger file size. The default output for Camtasia for Mac is MP4.

Video Dimensions (In Pixels)

Larger videos (in resolution) will dramatically increase file size. Limit your video size to no larger than 1280 pixels (width) by 720 (height). Don't record your entire screen unless it's necessary, or consider using zoom and pan actions. You can still scale down the video, but still focus the viewer's attention on a specific portion of the screen. Another advice is to reduce your screen resolution before recording your screen activity.

Canvas video dimensions are set when you add video to the Timeline with the Edit > Project Settings option in Camtasia.

Amount of Movement in the Video

The more movement in the video, the larger the file size will be. For example, recording a fairly static presentation slides will yield a smaller file size than recording a on-screen live video. If possible, try not to drag windows around and limit some of the animations in PowerPoint. Using the MP4 video format will help mitigate some of the file size issues associated with movement.

Audio Type

It is rare that uncompressed audio is going to make an audible difference to your viewers. Therefore, you can reduce the file size by compressing the audio upon production. The default MP4 format uses AAC audio compression which has a good combination of sound quality and file size.

Frame Rate

The frame rate indicates how many frames per second are shown to the viewer. The custom production settings allow between 1 and 60 frames per second (FPS). The default is Automatic FPS, which is good most video, but for screen recordings 15 fps is typically more than adequate for most users. If you're recording something static, like a PowerPoint presentation, you can drop the FPS down which will save you a bit of file size. Frame rate can be changed by going to Share > Local Files > Options.


Data Rate

The Data Rate (bit rate) of the exported video can be adjusted to help reduce the size. Anything between 1000-3000 kbits/sec should still produce a quality video and also reduce the file size.

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