Angles for arrows and lines

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  • Updated 8 months ago
Sometimes I use the media assets for arrows to underline things.  This gives me some problems.  Here's what I do:

1. drag the arrow to the canvas
2. change the arrow head to a straight line
3. drag the line to place I want it
4. drag the head or tail of the line to get the length I want.

My problem is at step 4.  Invariably, when I drag the head or tail to make the line longer or shorter, I inadvertently pull the end up or down.  Usually, though, I want a perfectly horizontal line.  That is hard for me to manage.  

What I'd like to see is some combination of options like this:

1. A length slider/spinner so I can explicitly set the length of the line I need
2. A slope indicator/setter so I can explicitly set the slope to 0 degrees (or any value between 0 and 360).  At least, a slope display so that I know when I hit 0 degrees (or the desired value).
3. A shift-drag option to rotate the line by fixed increments like the one in PowerPoint.  i think that one is 15 degrees per stop.  


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gerald.britton

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Posted 9 months ago

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Brian Nystrom

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I agree that this would be helpful.

Rotation controls already exist and I don't understand why the aren't affected when the end of a line is dragged off horizontal. Actually, I just discovered that if you change the annotations Style from "Basic" to "Legacy", the line object does  affect the rotation controls, so you can use them to gauge when the line is horizontal or reset it by changing the Z-axis rotation to zero. If you do the latter, the object pivots around its center point, so you may need to readjust its vertical position after leveling it.

Zooming in using your scroll wheel or the dropdown above the canvas can make it easier to see when an object is not level. Turning off the drop shadow makes it easier, too.

One question I have for you is why are you using an arrow when there is a line annotation available? If you need a specific color, style or width that's not in the menu, you can create it and save it as a Library asset.
(Edited)
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gerald.britton

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Yeah I did make a custom one and save it in the library.  (I already had an arrow in my library so I just made it into a line.) I'll have to check the style thing you mentioned though.  Sounds promising. Actually, that sounds like a bug.  why would one style affect the rotation controls and the other not?  Just sayin'.
(Edited)
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Brian Nystrom

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The world may never know...
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Joe Morgan

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The text in Legacy Callouts is fixed. It won't change when you resize the callout.
The text will get cut off if you make the size of the callout to small, because there's no room for the text. But that's user error and that's the way things should be. In my opinion. The text will remain the same size as you enlarged the callout.

This gives you full control of the size of the text. Making it easy to create consistent callouts with identical sized text, across variable sized callouts. No muss, no fuss.

This is the way most video editors handle text to the best of my knowledge.

This automatic resizing of text to fit within a callout, introduced with the newer callouts. Can work in many situations. But you have to be willing to throw consistency out the window.

If TechSmith ever removes legacy callouts from Camtasia. That would be a tragedy. I don't use callouts very often. But I use legacy for all the reasons listed above.

Legacy arrows and lines were created with same algorithms as legacy callouts. For that reason the same rotational controls are utilized with each set of callouts.
Why the newer callouts use different algorithms? May have something to do with the automatic resizing? But that's a guess?

Regards, Joe
(Edited)
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Brian Nystrom

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This is good to know and I'll try using legacy text callouts in my next video. Perhaps it will eliminate the need for some of the gyrations I have to use when using standard callouts to replace text.

That said, what does this have to do with the angle of lines and arrows and why the standard line/arrow callouts don't interact with the rotation adjustments.?
(Edited)
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Rick Stone

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When clicking and dragging to configure the line length, you should be able to press and hold the Shift key to keep it perfectly level.

Is that not working for you?

Also, holding shift while dragging does constrain to what appears to be 45° angles.

Cheers... Rick :)
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Rick Stone

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So very sorry. I was confused and for some reason was thinking we were discussing SnagIt. I stand corrected. This does not work for Camtasia.
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gerald.britton

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no problem. thanks for chiming in!
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Rick Stone

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If you are looking to get perfectly horizontal or vertical lines, the alignment snap guides are helpful for that. Unfortunately, you have to adjust each end separately. But once you get the line perfectly straight, it's easy to click in the middle of it and drag to position where desired.
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gerald.britton

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Have to try that!
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Alex Robert

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That worked for me. :)
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davemillman

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So in Camtasia Mac 3, line segments snap to horizontal with or without the shift key being held down. While it would be nice to conform to the way other apps use the shift key, keeping lines horizontal just isn't a problem on Camtasia Mac 3.
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tom

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I'm not understanding the above discussion.

I'm trying to draw a vertical line. How do I force it to be vertical?  I've tried Legacy lines and other.  Camtasia 2018.0.7
(Edited)
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Rick Stone

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Unfortunately in Camtasia one of the only ways to ensure a perfectly vertical line is likely to add a shape that is square or rectangular. Then draw the line and use the snapping feature to snap it to an edge. 
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tom

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Clever solution, Rick.  I actually found I could snap to the center line of any object or the entire screen. But your approach is better since I can do it with the object sitting in it's final location!  THANK YOU.
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Joe Morgan

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Actually, you don't have to add a shape to the canvas at all.
All you have to do is snap the line to the center of the canvas because there is a snap grid associated with the center of the canvas.
There is both a vertical and horizontal line so all you have to do is place each end along that axis.


Regards, Joe

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Brian Nystrom

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If you're using a legacy line, you can go to the Properties panel and set the Z rotation to 90 degrees (vertical) or 0 degrees (horizontal).
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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I'm going to remove the "Camtasia (mac)" category from this post, because on Mac you can hold the Shift key to constrain lines/arrows to vertical/horizontal. So, this feedback is for the Windows version I believe.
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Rick Stone

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YAY for feature parity! ;)