Absence of relative paths in a project; an ugly but functional workaround

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  • Updated 1 year ago
It is both ridiculous and woeful that Camtasia does not offer the option of having media assets on relative paths. This is something that has been asked for again and again and again (as but three examples) over the years. (As in, over half a decade.) The reason for the need should be blindingly obvious. It's not like it's a new concept in Web design but Techsmith seems to be of the view that we should plan out our file structure years in advance, never move projects to an archive folder, never change PCs, or alternatively spend time zipping up files one by one because hey, we have nothing better to do, right?

Otherwise we can move our files (as we do with any other type of data file in any other type of application) and spend the next 10 minutes answering an endless series of dialogs that read "Hey, Camtasia can't find such and such a file, do you want to search for it?" The devs did do one good thing here; the name of the file that you're looking at is shown in the title bar of the File Open dialog, so you don't need to note it down. This is particularly important for files that have generic names.

So what is this workaround of which I speak?

Apparently the project will automatically re-bind the assets IF they are in the same folder as the project file. I discovered this completely by accident, when I had moved a simple project which was just one .trec and a project file and which I hadn't bothered to separate into folders (as anyone with an ounce of file system maintenance knowledge knows they should do, and should be able to do). I had moved the project to an archive folder on another drive, then needed to look at it. I expected to get the usual annoying "Hey, Camtasia can't find..." dialog, but I didn't. I checked the link to the .trec and it was pointing to the correct location.

So I tried with a larger project; I brought all of the assets into the project's root folder, re-bound them, re-saved the project, then moved it elsewhere. I reopened it and... everything was found, and all of the media bin items pointed to the new location.

I then did the same with another project, but copied it instead of moving it. On this occasion the links were still pointing back to the original location.

So it appears that Camtasia checks the original location, and if it can't find the files there it checks the project's folder. If it finds them there, it will re-bind them. If it can't, then off to "Hey, do you want to find..." city you go.

So if you adopt the ugly, inefficient practice of dumping everything into one folder (which can be alleviated a little by adopting very rigid naming practices), you can at least move projects around without the time wasting need to re-bind the assets or hack the project file. Or do the "zip-it-up" shuffle. You'll still have an issue if you have common assets on a network share, and that share moves, but that is way less painful than having to re-bind everything.

This is NOT a solution; THAT would be being able to choose to add assets on a relative path.
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Mal Reynolds

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  • Frustrated at the increasing number of basic functionality gaps that are turning into chasms as my video production ramps up.

Posted 1 year ago

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aboogieman

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I like the idea of relative paths very much.

I know it's not the same thing, but if you're are on Windows, a sort of a workaround is to switch to a different drive, but with the same path by using the ASSIGN command. (I love that command. Used to use it all the time.)

For example, if you  previously had all of your video files in C:\MyVideos drive and want to move them to D:\MyVideos, all you have to do is open a CMD prompt (or PowerShell) and type:

assign c=d

And *poof*  Camtasia sees all of your videos on the D: drive.

HTH – best wishes.
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kayakman, Champion

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Mal Reynolds

very interesting observations about relocating files into the same folder containing the .tscproj project file; thanks for sharing

I just tested [using cut/move] and it does work as you say

I'll add that after first opening of the project AFTER the files have been relocated into its folder, the project opens OK but the Editor UI does not indicate that the project has been changed [edited] ... i.e., the project file name at top of Editor does not display the "*"; if you try to manually save or exit, you'll then get the familiar "want to save" dialog; I think the lack of the "*" indication is a bug
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Mal Reynolds

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Yes, I had noticed that and had the same thought. But as bugs go there are worse ones. If you neglect to save it, it will just re-bind everything the next time you open it so there's no harm done. I therefore didn't worry unduly about it, especially since, as you've noted, you do get the prompt to save when you exit anyway.