Camtasia:Mac -- captioning feature?

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23 comments

  • Doug Troxell
    1. C:Mac contains a built-in "caption editor" allowing you to rapidly add captions to your project. (adequate for short/low volume usage)

    2. C:Mac also allows you to export the audio for your project so you can have a third party service provide you with caption data that you can then import back into your project. (good for long/high volume usage)

    3. Finally, if you work at a large organization that happens to run Camtasia Relay (a server product) there is a fully automated workflow utilizing speech to text.

    Bottom line: The choice of whether to do the work yourself, or outsource it is yours. You've got lots of options.
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  • Paul Middlin
    But just to be clear- there is no speech to text option right inside Camtasia for Mac itself, like there is in Camtasia Studio on Windows.
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  • G
    Hi Doug, 

    Do you know of any third party service that will allow you to upload/export the audio file to be captioned since you mentioned that option? I quickly searched for something like that but found only speech-to-text software that transcribes while you are talking. Thanks!
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  • frankxiv
    Doug,

    Unless I'm missing something, you are being a little loose in your description of the available options in Camtasia fro Mac. In your option 2 you are correct that you can export the audio and create caption data from that, but then you say you can import it back into your project. Please explain how this is done. I do not see any option for importing caption data. 

    I exported the audio for captioning and ran it through a speech to text conversion but then realized I had no way to get the text back into Camtasia except for listening to each CC clip, selecting the corresponding text, copying the text, and then pasting it into that CC block. I could type it about as fast. 

    Basically, the issue I have is the there is no fast option for assigning groups of text to captions like there is in the Windows version. 

    Frank
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  • Stephen Wagner
    You can import a .srt or .sami file into Camtasia for Mac.   Just select  File -> Import Media .. and choose your .srt or .sami file, and it will add the captions to your timeline.

    I know this is a little hidden.  We have plans to make it a bit easier to find in the next release.
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  • frankxiv
    Which software application are you aware of that I could use to create the captions in a .srt or .sami file that I could then import? 
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  • Susannetics
    Software: MovieCaptioner for PC and Mac, (about 99.00) SubtitleEdit for PC. (Free)

    Hot tip...

    If you upload to YouTube*** you can get a pretty decent head start with auto transcriptions (You must have good quality audio and a reasonable length video to get high accuracy, but it is very doable.)

    Then you can edit in the very user friendly YouTube captioning editor, or download your auto transcribed and auto synced caption file provided automatically in YouTube to fine tune in desktop software ( both recommended save in pretty much any captioning format that you can imagine.)

    You can also pull the URL of the YouTube video into a nifty little web-based tool called Subtitle Horse, import the .srt file for editing, and save in a generous handful of popular formats including SAMI (I like this because it doesn't actually store the video, it just stores your video URL and work in progress for a few days.

    Those are a few of my captioning workflow favorite things that get you to the captioning formats you want and more. I also often use Dragon Naturally Speaking to create captions directly --- without typing --- in both software interfaces mentioned, when I'm not uploading to YouTube.

    Now, as much as I love Camtasia for Mac and PC, I think their built in captioning tools are still pretty basic and a little clunky, especially for experienced captioners. Camtasia is a great tool, but I don't expect any tool to do everything...

    The Camtasia captioning interfaces are good enough at this point for the captioning newbie or casual captioner. I don't think either version of Camtasia facilitates an efficient "from scratch" transcript/captioning workflow if you do a lot of captioning. (I do)

    I use and love Camtasia for what it does best...screen capture videos and easy video editing with a growing list of bells and whistles. But I always use other tools for all of my own transcription and captioning process.

    ***I never use auto upload in Camtasia for YouTube videos, always custom settings and I never compress prior to upload to preserve max video and audio quality.

    Happy Captioning!
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  • frankxiv
    susannemistric

    Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed response! I wish that I could ask you more questions when I try some of these options. I do have one question though. One of the things I really like about Camtasia is that it gives me the export option that allows me to insert the video into an HTML document with a wrapper around it that has a button to show the chapters and another button to turn CC on/off. If I use one of your methods, will I still have that option? 
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  • Susannetics
    Sure! When you finish creating your captions, you can render as an .srt file, and then you can import your .srt caption file into Camtasia and continue with your usual process.
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  • adia
    I just switched over to the Mac version of Camtasia. I like to add my captions before I do my voice narration. Is there a way for me to add captions as separate bubbles in a track (just like i can add audio), just like I can do in Windows?
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  • Paul Middlin
    I'm not quite sure what you mean. Windows and Mac have the same captioning feature- you enter captions that show up as text, with a colored (black) background at the bottom. However, on both platforms you can manually make callouts that look however you wish and put those on the timeline. The captioning feature is easier because it gives you a quick way to go through the whole video adding captions, but there is less control over how it looks.

    Does that help?
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  • adia
    not sure I understand you Paul... please take a look at the question I posted here: https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/how-to-add-voice-narration-to-an-existing-video?utm_...
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  • Paul Middlin
    Ah, yes I think Justin's advice there is good. When you do your screen recording, let it record audio (and just mute it later), so that you have something to add the captions to. Then you can narrate on a separate track later.

    I find your approach very interesting and am glad you shared it; I'm surprised that you are able to time your narration to the script instead of the other way around. It's definitely something for us to consider!
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  • adia
    Yeah, that's how I've been working for a while now :) It's actually very useful, especially when I work with a team of people and everyone has their part in the project.

    By the way, I'm not sure what the correct way to use the text area in the voice narration feature. There is a box, where I can type my script. I guess I should be reading the script from there when recording my audio? Not sure how useful this is... Any advice here would be greatly appreciated!!
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  • frankxiv
    @Paul There may be parts of the captioning system that work the same on Windows/Mac. However, your statement that "Windows and Mac have the same captioning feature" is not accurate. The Windows version still has the very useful feature of being able to dump all text into a Window and simply enter breaks as you watch the video in order to break the text into caption size. This is at least two orders of magnitude faster than anything that can be done on the Mac version. 
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  • Paul Middlin
    adia, that's right, the box is just to give you a convenient place to read your script from while Camtasia is in the foreground, playing your video that you're narrating.

    Frank, that's a good point- if you already have a typed script, then that workflow is very convenient (and currently only on Windows). They are only the same when you are typing in the captions to audio that already exists. 
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  • adia
    Thanks for your response! Are there any plans to enhance this feature?

    Also, since we're on the topic of Mac and Windows, can you please recommend any good posts/articles where I can find tips and tricks to make this transition smoother for me.
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  • jrdayton
    @Frank I really miss that feature on Windows!! Can I open up my Camtasia 3 (latest version) file on a PC and be able to edit the video and add a caption with that PC functionality? If one has a Camtasia 3 license, does it work for PC as well? Any workarounds that anyone can think of here? That captioning tool for PCs that I used to use was BRILLIANT and I'd love to employ it on some projects we're working on now, but we're using Camtasia 3 (Mac) right now and tbh I don't know what my options are.
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  • Paul Middlin
    You can caption within Camtasia for Mac, or you can caption with Camtasia for Windows if you prefer, and bring the project back over. If you bought Camtasia 3 for Mac, you can use Camtasia 9 for Windows as well (your license is good for one person to use, so you may install it on two platforms so long as you are not in two places at the same time, so to speak)
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  • jrdayton
    @paul thank you for the response. I did not know that my license was good to use on PC too. Does the Camtasia 9 for Windows have that old style of captioning that Frank was talking about (quote below)?
    The Windows version still has the very useful feature of being able to dump all text into a Window and simply enter breaks as you watch the video in order to break the text into caption size. 
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  • jrdayton
    @paul thank you for the response. I did not know that my license was good to use on PC too. Does the Camtasia 9 for Windows have that old style of captioning that Frank was talking about (quote below)?
    The Windows version still has the very useful feature of being able to dump all text into a Window and simply enter breaks as you watch the video in order to break the text into caption size. 
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  • Paul Middlin
    Yes, that feature is still there, though it's a little bit hard to find in v9.X. In the captioning editor, there is a gear icon in the upper left, from which I believe you choose "Sync Captions". Then you can paste all your text into that and sync it up with your video.

    It all depends how you want to do your captioning. If, for instance, you don't have the whole script typed out, it can be a lot easier to do it piece by piece, just hitting tab to move to the next sound byte. But if you have a transcript, this other method is nicer.
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