Camtasia Cross Platform Support...Between Project Files on Mac and Windows

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This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: How can I share Camtasia projects between a Mac and Windows computer?

I am sure this is not a unique idea or request, but as a longtime Techsmith Camtasia/SnagIt user I recently (today) downloaded the Mac version to try out and was surprised that camrec and camproj files from my Windows machines are apparently not compatible. It would make for a very efficient and productive workflow if the files were able to be shared across platforms.

I work in technical marketing for Autodesk, and my team is responsible for capturing images and video of our software in use, and then editing/producing for distribution via the web, print, etc. Point being that at times we are capturing on either platform, but would like the flexibility for someone else on the team to edit/produce on another type of OS.
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Jay Tedeschi

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  • bummed...

Posted 9 years ago

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Conan Heiselt, Employee

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Thanks for the feedback, Jay.

There is a way to share recordings back and forth: http://www.techsmith.com/learn/camtas...

I recently tested taking recording files from Camtasia on the Mac (v.1.2) to the latest versions of Camtasia Studio (Windows) v.6 & 7. They worked fine.

If you do go from CS -> Cmac instead, make sure that you either go the route of recording as an AVI or producing a video file so that the cursor is preserved.

I know it's really not ideal, but hopefully this will allow you some flexibility in going back and forth between platforms in the mean time.
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Jay Tedeschi

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Hmmmm... I was actually thinking this morning that a workaround, at least for now, would be to either save the camrec file as .avi, or open the camrec with 7zip and extract the video.

Thanks for your attention in this matter.
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Charles

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Does anyone have any experience with Parallels in Mac in order to use Camtasia Studio / Windows 7 on a Mac?
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Daniel Foster, Snagit strategy lead

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Howdy Charles, our support department recommends using BootCamp instead of Parallels (details here). But some folks here in the community may have experiences to share, too.
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brucerothwell

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I have had experience using Parallels and Bootcamp for some very heavyweight apps, and have seen both work well.

The key to remember is that when using Parallels, you are sharing resources between the host (OSX) and the virtual (Windows), so there can an issues there.

Try Parallels first, and see how it works for you, but be prepared to go to a Bootcamp configuration if stability and performance becomes an issue.
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Daniel Foster, Snagit strategy lead

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The URL Conan posted above is temporarily broken. Here's the new one: http://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-cam...
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brucerothwell

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Of course, the proper thing is for the PC and Mac versions to support the same features and work with the same database structure.

Microsoft Office seems to do this.
Denba Canvas did this until ACD Systems bought them and stopped supporting the Mac platform.
Adobe does this with Illustrator and Photoshop.

I know that supporting the Mac platform is new for Techsmith, but I hope invest in the programming effort to do it up right, as opposed to just dabble in supporting the Mac platform.

After all, it truly is a much more stable OS anyway.

-
Bruce Rothwell
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Steven Sauve

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Premiere, ProTools, and Cubase play nice between PC and Mac, and all of them are serious non-linear media editing apps. I believe Flash and Dreamweaver do too.

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David M. Converse

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Certainly one factor is that Camtasia Studio uses the Microsoft video framework and records in AVI while Camtasia for Mac uses QuickTime and records as a QuickTime movie. The Mac doesn't have Windows Media support and Windows doesn't have QuickTime unless its later installed. Trying to use a non-native video framework is problematic-you generally want software to install and run on a new machine right from the factory.

The Mac product also uses a file format called a Finder package/bundle which is Mac-only; Apple uses the same type of file for its iWork programs as well as in numerous places throughout OS X.

And remember that Camtasia for Mac and Camtasia Studio have different feature sets- if I had a project on the Mac with three video tracks, how do I convert that so it works on Camtasia Studio?

Hopefully at some point we will see a utility or other way to convert projects between platforms. FWiW, currently you would have the same issues if you were moving between, say Final Cut on Mac and Sony Vegas on Windows.
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Mike Janowski

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Windows Media support is easily added to Quicktime via Telestream's products. License it and use it...that part of the problem is gone.
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brucerothwell

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Final Cut and Vegas are from two different companies.

My comparison two Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop is more suited here.

How does Miscrosoft deal with the file issue wiith the Office apps?

Now, I understand that there are certain features that you can develop on the Mac platform that you cannot on the Windows platform, but the quantity of video tracks should not be one of them.

-
Bruce Rothwell
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Conan Heiselt, Employee

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Hey Bruce,

Thanks for your input. I'll be sure to pass your feedback on to the Camtasia project manager.

I agree the ideal would be for the two Camtasias to have interchangeable files and projects. We're definitely aware of the issue, but as David said above, it's rather complicated, mostly due to the history of the two products:

Camtasia Studio has been around for over ten years. Since then we've learned a lot. Camtasia on the Mac takes what we've learned and started over with the goal to make the best screencasting application we could. As it grows, we'll add new functionality based on what our customers ask for and need--so, we're listening. It'll just take some time; Camtasia on the Mac is still a v. 1 product.

Again, thanks for your patience and input. Keep it coming...

Conan.
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Bard R Gunnerud

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In 2012 it is very odd to not be able to have a file format that is cross platform compatible. If Adobe can do it with After Effects and Premiere, why can not Techsmith? When even the Mac version is a new software, why in the world would you not make is compatible with the already well establish Windows version?

I work as a teacher at a university and at work I have a Windows setup with Camtasia, but starting this fall, I have a MacBook Pro for home and travel. I use Camtasia to give students feedback on animation and video assignments. For me the batch render on the Windows version has been crucial when I have to render out 80+ videos, and the ability to use the pen tool while recording is also very handy to pin point problems to students. Two feature which are absent from the Mac version. If I at least could open Mac recordings on the Windows version I could have used the Windows version to batch render while I keep recording new on the Mac, but no! Export from the Mac version is not producing the same quality with the same files size either. To get the same quality as I get with the default web publishing on the Windows version, the Mac mp4 file is twice the size, if not more! It might be that I can produce the same quality and files size on the Mac but the options when exporting on the Mac is simply a joke. A slider saying "Small file size" or "High quality"? Hello? How am I suppose to compare settings with the windows version when it says nothing about bit size and compression?

The solution to render out mp4 to import both takes time I do not have, and you loose the cursor information. It's simply not an option.

I'd say development of a tool to transfer recordings and projects between the two platforms should be Techsmith's #1 priority!

Everyone knows that in the software development industry of today, it's all about cross platform compatibility. Heck. it's already killed Adobe's hugs Flash platform for that exact reason. The fact that TechSmith does not take this serious makes TechSmith seem outdated, slow and doomed: Unless they change their focus and philosophy that is. :)

Hoping for a soon solution to this basic problem as it's been an issue since the Mac version came out!
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Tom Evans

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Well said Bard. As much as I really love the intuitive and easy-to-use (and easy-to-teach) feel of Camtasia, I'm thinking about switching fully to Captivate to better handle cross-platform training of the faculty that I work with.
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brucerothwell

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Not sure if anyone has pointed this out, but if you go to Captivate, and hope to use Presenter with it (v8 can be used for screen video captures now, from what I uderstand), you won't be able to: Adobe does not offer Presenter for OSX.

So, in that regard, Adobe does not offer cross-platform compatibiity.
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Jay Tedeschi

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I think that ultimately the goal should be file level compatibility across all supported platforms. Adobe does it, Microsoft does it, we (Autodesk) do it... I think at this point in time it is what is expected by the user community.

I am not knocking Techsmith here, quite the contrary. I use Camtasia Studio/SnagIt literally on a daily basis... I just want to see the tools get to the point where I can make my platform decision based on what makes the most sense from a platform strength standpoint.
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Mike Janowski

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A the request of a client who recorded two presentations using some version of Camtasia Studio (Windows), I downloaded Camtasia:Mac, hoping to open a project and import his media.

LO AND BEHOLD! It's 2012, yet Camtasia mac and Camtasia Windows create incompatible media. Fellas and gals, WHAT GOOD IS A PROGRAM, OPERATING ON WHICHEVER PLATFORM, IF IT CAN'T OPEN A FILE MADE BY WHAT IS OSTENSIBLY THE SAME PROGRAM? It is the height of lunacy to create a program for one platform and not make it compatible with the other platform. Are you guys nuts? And you think I'm going to bother buying this program when you can't get your act together? No, here's what happens...I go to my client, tell him that his Windows verasion of your program doesn't work with the Mac version of the same program, and advise him NOT to buy from TechSmith. It's that simple...you lose unless you come up with a good way to open not an AVI file or a QT movie (hell, I can take the orginal PPT and the video recording he made and create my own, I don't need Camtasia's help), but the full Camtasia project.

Really, guys. It's 2012...both kind of computers live and work out there, get with the program!

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Camtasia Windows vs. Camtasia Mac - not compatible; WHO ARE YOU KIDDING?.
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kristina smith

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I totally agree! I am furious that I was never warned about buying both versions. I bought them using the same account within about 3 weeks of each other because I have a desktop PC with 2 screens which is really handy for recording the material but when I travel, I go with my MacPro. Of course I want to simply switch over to the Mac to edit what I recorded on the PC. This incompatibility issue needs to be highlighted MUCH more clearly.

I also wanted help from a colleague who has ('had' at this point) 2 days where she could have helped me, but guess what? She has a Mac, too. So we are just wasting time.

The website should definitely highlight this problem.

I want my money back :((.
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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I'm very sorry that this was not clear to you. I feel confident that if you contact our sales department, they would be happy to refund your money. We are never trying to trick anyone; we genuinely work hard to make both products the best they can be, even though they do not currently share the same project format.
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kristina smith

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Hi, I have been offered my money back, thanks. The response was also quick, which I appreciated. But the webpage where customers download the program should have a line of text saying that the two versions are not compatible (yet.) That information really needs adding a.s.a.p. That would save a lot of heartache. I have lost SO much time because of not knowing this. And would also mean you didn't have to deal with these issues on the forums...
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Steve Johnson

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Can I create a Camtasia project on a Mac and then move it to Windows, and vice-versa?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Allow me to transfer Camtasia project files between Mac and Windows.
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t

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hi, i have the newest camtasia for windows.

actually, i am switching to mac. therefore i downloaded the trial camtasia for mac.
i found no way to open my camtasia windows projects in the mac version and vice versa. the file extensions are also different.

i cannot believe that. could you please tell me how to exchange my projects between these two?
thanks t.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Incompatibility of Camtasia MAC and Camtasia Windows.
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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I would really love to hear a couple things from folks needing cross-platform support:

1. What types of things are you doing where this is needed? Jay's example a the top, for instance, where he needs to record on one platform and have a different person on the other platform do the editing.

2. What do you need more/first: being able to import a recording from the other platform, or a project that already has edits? Why?

Knowing this like this will help us get the right/best solutions the fastest, so we really truly appreciate your input and help!!
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Honestly, it isn't a question as to whether that's sensible. The issue is, it's a long way from here to there, so we want to feel out from you all what you really do and need, so we can figure out what to do first. Start with just being able to open recordings (but not projects) from one platform on another? Or maybe just make it easy to sync them across devices using the Cloud? Or only certain features work? Get projects opening across platforms, but where there is not feature parity, let those parts just be unavailable? Or focus on feature parity first so you can make matching content, and work on opening projects cross platform second?
That's why it would be very helpful to know what you do and need most, first, to help us carve out a path from here to full cross platform support.
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michaelbtw

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If I were running the project (and run software dev projects is what I do), I would strongly advocate for not releasing things piecemeal - get a 90% complete solution in place first. That will most likely be confusing/counter productive to users and sap your team's time trying to explain.

First, try building an exporter that converts the PC project to Mac format, and vice versa. It doesn't seem that should be too impossible as it looks like your project files are XML and audio mp3, so you mainly need to convert the video codecs and maintain the edit points.

Take the most difficult technical problem first, solve that to make sure you can, then take the next most difficult, etc. Meantime, make it clear to customers that there is no cross platform support at this time, b/c most people assume that if you have a product for the Mac and for the PC, they can move files from one to the other as most software that supports both platforms works that way.

HTH.
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Jamie Billingham

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I finally bought a Mac and absolutely love it. My problem is that I have six years worth of Camtasia project files on a drive that I used to rescue what was left of my old PC hard drive. One of the folks I work with wants to use some of my project files so we don't have to re-record and re-edit a bunch of tutorials. He also has a Mac though.

Guess I'll be resurrecting a PC.

This was the reason it took me so long to switch to a Mac btw. I have a heavy investment in Camtasia and Snagit with years of projects.
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Erin Faulkner

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This comment is intended to be for Paul Middlin's request for examples. I'm not sure what thread I actually picked, sorry...

I use Camtasia to record usability tests. Some of these are conducted in the field using my MacBook Pro. Some of them are conducted in our onsite usability lab which has PCs running Windows 7. Recordings from the PC are backed up on a shared server so that they do not take space on the usability lab machines, and also for (supposedly) easy access from anywhere.

My bare bones needs are to view the recordings from the windows machine that I put on the server, from my Mac. Preferably without spending several hours transferring or converting them between devices. I do not usually need to edit the recordings.
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Trevor Dykstra

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Paul,
We need to be able to create the project on Camtasia for Windows, and then edit the project in Camtasia for Mac (including Callouts, etc.). Then be able to edit again in Camtasia for Windows.
So basically we are looking for compatibility similar to MS Word - you can edit a .DOCX word document either using Word 2013 for Windows or Word 2011 for Mac - the same document can be edited in either platform without import/export. (So you can open/edit Camtasia projects in either Camtasia 8 for Windows or Camtasia 2 for Mac - it is completely inter-changeable)

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Charles

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I will chime in here Paul. All of our designers and editors have switched over to using Macs and don't own PCs any more. Even with the limited capabilities of 2.0, we have produced some great looking videos in Camtasia.
A new client, however, is not Mac-oriented and just informed us that in addition to needing exports of various sizes, he needs to receive the original files and assets in the PC version.
I have two issues--the first being a financial consideration with asking folks to buy software for a platform they are using for only one client. The relatively low cost of Camtasia for Mac allows us to use multiple computers in order to get the job done efficiently.
The second consideration is that if the client asks us to provide what we did on our Macs in Camtasia Studio, which assets can we copy over without going back and re-creating everything? Better yet, wouldn't it be great if a whole project created in Mac 2.0 was able to be imported into Camtasia Studio?!
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Thank you for the fantastic and detailed example!
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Paul Croston

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Hi,

we have the situation where we have some people who will be recording the video projects on a Windows PC but the editing and production of the video will be completed on a Mac.

So is it possible to transfer projects between Camtasia Studio and Camtasia for Mac?

Many thanks,

Paul Croston

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Transferring projects between Windows and Mac.
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Daniel Foster, Snagit strategy lead

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Hi Paul - recordings can be transferred between platforms with a bit of effort but edited project files currently cannot. Conan posted the workaround for recordings above.

We also appreciate any details you can share about your cross-platform needs and how we can better support your workflows.
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David M. Converse

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Just an FYI, we do have a technical support article with some options for working cross-platform:

http://techsmith.custhelp.com/app/ans...
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Jordan Arseneau

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Thank you, David and Paul, for chiming in here...I appreciate the opportunity to converse with actual people!

I have limited knowledge of Camtasia, but am a video editor and producer by trade, and so have to deal with editing, media and cross-platform situations all the time. To say I was shocked that Camtasia wasn't cross-platform is an understatement. I mean, I expect that sort of bone-headedness from Intuit, but not from a media software company. Neverthless...

You ask what's most important, and my off-the-top answer is "everything". However when I think about it...for me, the most important thing here is to be able to open an edited (and editable) project file across platforms. If there's a bit of media conversion involved (avi-to-QT, whatever), that's fine. But at this point, I have a client who's sent me some Camtasia Studio recordings done on a Windows box, and wants some "small edits" done to them...which I can't do on my Mac. I'd be willing to do the media conversion myself if I could open up the project and actually see what he's talking about...
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Randy Schott

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Hi Jordan,

No doubt you have noticed the vast difference in features between the Windows and Mac versions. Obviously, we would have to close that gap in order to even begin addressing the cross-platform issue.

However, there are some things that each version does that may not even be possible on the other platform. One thing that comes to mind are visual/audio effects. At some point, I remember seeing that C:Mac can make use of whatever CoreVideo/CoreAudio filters you had present on your machine. None of these will exist on the Windows side (Quicktime for Windows is horrible). The same is true of the transitions on Windows. None of them are currently supported on the Mac side. At some point, they made add transitions, but they may not have an identical set of them.

So I guess the question becomes: What do you expect to happen in those cases? For the effects, it's probably fine just to not render them. That makes it impossible to edit them on the other platform, but not much can be done about that.

But transitions are slightly more integral to the project. They affect the timeline length in some cases, so removing them is not an option. I suppose we could just render a big sad-face on the screen during the transition? :-).

These are the types of things I'm concerned with when I consider cross-platform support. It will be difficult at best to get full parity between the two versions. But I think we could probably achieve importing/exporting projects. The assumption would just be that you would lose/be unable to edit any features not present on the target platform.

By the way, most of these issues stem from the fact that the target audience on each platform is slightly different. I think the pro-level editors ignore the fact that Mac users expect the UI to act a certain way, while Windows users usually expect the complete opposite. Then you end up with an application that's hard to use on *both* platforms.
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Randy Schott

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After re-reading this, I realize it might seem a little negative/argumentative. Just to be totally clear, I want cross-platform support just as much as all of you do. In fact, I commend all of our users for the patience they've shown when we fall a little short of expectations. I just have a bad habit of *needing* to explain the frustrating technical aspects. :-)

Please keep the great feedback coming. That way, when we DO address the issue, we can do it right.
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luke.kwongsk

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Is Camtasia for Mac able to read project and media created by Camtasia 7 for Windows?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Camtasia/Mac compatible with Camtasia/Windows?.
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Media Producer

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Just throw up a warning box that some features will be lost and flag them as such in the project, onscreen when it happens. I'm assuming that such a failure could easily be routed to an error catch since its either null or unrecognized.

(Warning: FX missing!) -- thats all you need.
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Media Producer

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I'd say the most important 'feature' in cross platform work is... that it exists.

Even if its just to open the files and export/import... hey I'm working at that point.
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J C

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I'm a teacher and have recently talked with some of the sales and tech support staff about upgrading my Windows version of Camtasia and then getting a 50% off discount for the Mac version.

As the feature set on the Windows side is apparently larger, I'm wondering how easy/hard it is to share files, import, export from one OS to the other.
Or... like SnagIt, would the process be more like saving a .mov, .mp4, or .m4v file?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Cross platform (win/mac) Camtasia work flow.
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Kimberly

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Working in a environment with both macs and pcs (and ipads and androids) the lack of cross platform capabilities really is a major detractor.
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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What do you think your biggest needs would be in this environment? Knowing that more means longer to develop, we need to balance our priorities- so what comes first for your group? Sharing recordings? Projects? What types of activities or sharing do you anticipate?

Thanks!
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Tom Cloutier

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I'm just a Snagit user. But I'd like to be able to work between my Mac at home and my PC at work. When an idea strikes I have to get it down right away. And to do it twice is quite burdensome. Cross-platform in some fashion, even SVG if it would work, would be a great help.
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shifter

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Can I record or capture with camtasia 8 on windows and then pull the project into Camtasia for mac to edit?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Importing captures from camtasia 8 to camtasia for mac..
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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No, not directly. You can pull the recording apart and take the pieces out to try to make due, though it's not quite as good because it will lack the cursor information and meta-data that allow for things like SmartFocus and such. But if it will do anyway, try Conan's link above, which I'll repeat here:
http://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-cam...
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Also, I'm curious, could you fill us in on why you'd like to record on Windows but edit on Mac?
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Melissa Estuesta

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Paul, I cannot speak for Clint, but the case of recording in Windows and editing on Mac is exactly how it works at my job. So here's an example. We have loaner PC laptops for university instructors to take home and record their lectures with. Here on the job, we edit them on our Macs. It's a huge hassle to have to edit through VMWare, but we've been dealing with it.
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Kimberly

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Similarly, but different, I record webinars at my desk. Then I edit from my laptop on the couch in the main room. I'm PC on the desktop and mac on the laptop.
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shifter

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Paul,

I have the mac version but 80% of my projects involve recording captures from windows primarily because telecommunication, programming, and enterprise apps are still mostly windows based.

Our creative team however is mac based. I had hoped interoperability had made its way to v.8. I encourage techsmith to look at creating project files that can be opened up on either mac or windows.

To close on a positive note, I also want to say thanks for the ability to publish now to all devices. That is awesome!
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Mike Janowski

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I can tell you this is common, apparently far more common than you at TechSmith realize (maybe someone ought to do a bit of market research...). Much of the time, clients want to record their own presentations, asking me to provide video/audio support...and then edit. Unfortunately, the majority of these clients own/use/run Windoze PeeCees...and I edit on a Mac. That's why...
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Melissa Estuesta

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Furthermore, it makes it more difficult to provide UNIFORM output for clients.
The designs/themes for the HTML(Flash) publishing look entirely different
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Conan Heiselt, Employee

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Hi Melissa,

Both Camtasias can output identical Flash players depending on what versions you have.

Camtasia Studio 7.1 and Camtasia for Mac 2.1 (and before) can produce the same player, just choose the "Overlay" player when producing in Camtasia Studio.

Also, Camtasia Studio 8 and Camtasia for Mac 2.2 also produce with the same player by default (with CS 8 choose the "Transparent" player).

Is that what you mean, or did I misunderstand what you're looking for?

Conan.
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Dino Goncalves

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I have looked at the answers..but am still lost.

I have a colaboration i want to make...I am on a mac..and my partner is on a pc.. I have put together a green screen recodring, and the idea was that I share my .cmproj files with him, so he could open them up in windows, and play my creation from start, and add his Green screen recording at same time... then he would send it back to me, and i would complete the eedit, and finalize project. so it would look like we weere being interviewed from same location...but we are not... Is this possible?..and please dont refer to the above url, which is NOT clear...
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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No, it is NOT possible to share and edit project files across platforms right now. You the two project file formats are different on windows and mac, and cannot be opened/edited on the other platform.

So, what I would recommend for you would be to have your partner send you a produced movie in the .h264 format of his green screen video. Then take that into your project on mac to make the edits you were speaking of, where the Remove a Color feature exists (it is not yet available on Windows).

I hope this helps.
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Jim Blair

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I'm really disappointed that this feature isn't available. I didn't realise this when I bought Camtasia for Mac, so I could have saved my money and stayed with Screenflow.

I expected the software to work like any other piece of software thats available on multiple platforms e.g. Photoshop or Powerpoint i.e. you can create and edit on multiple platforms.

I have a Mac at Home, PC in the office, so it's essential for me.
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Tom Evans

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For goodness sake, why aren't the Mac and PC files compatible! This really inhibits collaboration on projects.

I'm a faculty developer at Ohio State using a Mac. I have Camtasia Studio running on Parallels and I have to ditch that program because the combination of Parallels and Camtasia Studio slow my system down to where nothing works.

So... I'm getting Camtasia Mac... in hopes that the projects I'm helping faculty build can bounce back and forth between my Mac system and their PC system.

Very poor design Techsmith. If you are branding the Mac version as "Camtasia" then the file formats and user experience should be virtually identical.
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Richard Campbell, Champion

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Don't blame Techsmith - blame Steve Jobs for building walls around their platform.
Consider yourself lucky that the Ohio State techies support both platforms - many universites won't.
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Zak Mensah

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Just adding to this request for camtasia files that work across PC/MAC. In our office we have both pc/mac and editing files between the two would be very helpful. I guess I could record on one or the other BUT i'd like to then choose which I edit on as I don't always have access to the PC.

If you had to rebuild the app for the next full version that would be great.
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Renee Badra

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Thanks for adding your thoughts to this thread Zak, we appreciate your feedback.

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