Position Media on the Canvas

The canvas, also called the preview window, is the working area where you arrange, rotate, resize, and order the appearance of media on the timeline.


  • Canvas tools and project settings are located in the toolbar above the canvas.
  • If you move any media outside the canvas boundary, it is not included in the video.
    To add media located outside the canvas to the video, add an animation to the media to move into view.
  • The final video only includes media within the canvas boundary. The z-order position of the media on the canvas is determined by where media is placed on the timeline.
  • The canvas contains boundary guidelines to help you snap media to the edge, center, or align with other media.
  • Preview the video using the video playback buttons. Or drag the progress indicator to scrub through the video.


Canvas Tools

Change Canvas Background Color

The canvas background displays in the final video whenever media or assets do not cover the entire canvas.


For the entire video:

  1. Right-click the canvas and select Project Settings.
  2. Select a color from the Color dropdown.
  3. Click Apply.


For a portion of the video:

  1. Click the Annotations tab.
  2. Click the Shapes subtab.
  3. Drag a rectangle onto the canvas. Drag the handles until the annotation covers the entire canvas.
  4. Right-click the annotation on the canvas and select Arrange > Send to Back.
  5. In the Properties, select the desired background color from the Fill and Outline color dropdown.
  6. Drag an end of the annotation on the timeline to extend the duration.

Turn Edit Mode On


Edit mode allows you to resize, rearrange, and rotate media. After using Crop or Pan, click Edit to continue working on the canvas.

Turn Crop Mode On


Crop removes the unwanted outer areas of a video or an image clip.

  1. Click Crop to turn crop mode on.
  2. On the canvas, drag the blue handles to remove desired area.
  3. Click Edit to return to edit mode.

Turn Pan Mode On


When zoomed in on the video at a high magnification level, use pan mode to move the video around within the boundaries of the canvas.

  1. Click Pan to toggle pan mode on or off.
  2. In pan mode, the cursor turns into a hand on the canvas. Click and drag the video on the canvas to view an area of the video not currently shown on the canvas.
  3. While in pan mode, the canvas editing features are disabled.
  4. Click Edit to return to edit mode.

Detach or Attach Canvas

  1. Right-click canvas and select Detach Canvas. The canvas detaches and moves around your screen freely.
  2. To reattach canvas:
    • Windows: Click the Reattach canvas button in the empty canvas location. c2021-reattach.png
    • Mac: In the empty canvas location, Control+click and select Attach Canvas.

Switch to Full Screen Mode

c2021-fullscreen.png Windows


c2021-fullscreenmac.png Mac

  1. While the canvas is detached, click the Full Screen button to expand it to fit the entire screen. All editing features are still enabled while working in full-screen mode.
  2. Press the Esc key on the keyboard to exit full screen mode.

Change the Canvas Magnification


Click the Canvas Options dropdown menu to change the magnification level of the video on the canvas.

  • This does not change the canvas dimensions / editing dimensions of the video.
  • Choose Fit to view the entire video within the boundaries of the canvas.
  • When the view is magnified, click the Pan mode icon c2021-panmode.png to enable moving the video around within the boundaries of the canvas.


Edit Media on the Canvas

Edit media on the canvas to arrange, rotate, resize, and order the appearance of media on the timeline.

Select Media

Click media on the canvas to select and move or edit the properties. This also selects the media on the timeline.

Move, Resize, or Rotate

  • Move media: Click and drag the media to a new location on the canvas.
  • Resize media: Drag a handle around the edges of the media in or out to set desired size.
  • Rotate media: Drag the center handle of the media to rotate.

Select More than One Media

  • Press and hold Shift then click each media on the canvas or timeline to select.
  • Selected media can be moved, rotated, and resized together.

Open Media Properties

Click media on the canvas to select and click Properties

Reorder Media

  • Right-click media and select Arrange.
  • The media automatically updates on the timeline to reflect the new z-order of the media.

Align Media

Canvas snapping can assist in aligning media. As you move media on the canvas, the snapping guidelines appear.


To disable canvas snapping guidelines, select View > Enable Canvas Snapping to remove the checkmark.


This help topic is for Camtasia version 2021. If you have a previous version, upgrade to the latest version of TechSmith Camtasia or view the help for another version in the Previous Versions section.


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