Default filename for output files arbitrarily limited to 50 characters, Camtasia 2018

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I tend to use long, descriptive names for project files. When I go to create an output file, Camtasia 2018 truncates the project file name to the first 50 characters of the project file name, which I then have to manually correct.

Has anyone found a registry hack or other way to increase the length of the proposed output file? Windows file names can be very long, and I can see no good reason to truncate to 50 characters.

Thanks,
David
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David Bookbinder

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Posted 6 months ago

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Joe Morgan

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I believe the limitation was imposed due to Windows file path limitations.
File paths are limited to 260 characters in Windows.

I tried to produce a test video using 225 characters. I received the error message your reporting.

I use an online character counter and a couple of sentences from the webpage to create the 225 character file name. Thats how I can be so specific {:>)

I overcame that limitation by disabling "Organize produced files into sub-folders"



Producing a video with 225 characters.



I suspect its a setting that TechSmith has imposed? If you create a file path that exceeds 260 characters. Windows won't open it.

With Windows 10, you can exceed 260 characters with a registry hack. This may or may not have an effect on Camtasia?
https://lifehacker.com/windows-10-allows-file-names-longer-than-260-characters-1785201032

As far as Camtasia is concerned?
If theres a registry setting you can hack for producing with sub-folders. They might be able to answer that for you. You could contact support.2018 is fully supported.

Regards,Joe
(Edited)
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David Bookbinder

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Thanks, but this is not the problem I'm seeing.

I don't check the checkbox you have indicated (I don't use the player), and the whole file path I'm using is only 80 characters. I can add characters to the proposed filename, so it's not a Windows issue. In the example below, which is the one I'm working on now, only the last letter of the project filename is truncated, but it's always no more than 50 characters that is proposed. 

I'll start a ticket, but I'm 95% sure the answer I'll get is "use shorter project names," not a way around this arbitrary limit.

David
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Joe Morgan

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What version of Camtasia 2018 are you running?
Theres a couple of bug fixes in 2018.0.6 related to long file names.
I'm using 2018.0.7 and created a 225 character name. So what your reporting isn't effecting me.

I wasn't using the smart player either.
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David Bookbinder

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I'm using 2018.0.8.

The problem is not that I can't create a long filename. I can add more characters to the filename that Camtasia proposes, which is based on the project name. The problem is that Camtasia truncates that proposed  rendered filename to 50 characters if the project name is longer than 50 characters.

I want the output file to be the same as the project name, so I have to add the missing characters to the proposed rendered filename manually. It's an unnecessary extra step I will be repeating many times, unless I choose shorter project names, which I'd prefer not to do.

Thanks,
David
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Ed Covney

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David - It's not arbitrary - it's more than 98% of us need, you're the exception.
TechSmith software engineers save file names in fields of data base files and those are properly (IMO) limited to 50 characters, more than I would ever use. If we voted on it, I'd be a staunch no - I don't need TechSmith files on my PC to grow untethered.
And it may be out of TS hands. They use a Sequel style DBMS, which may make that limitation for them.

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Rick Stone

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This isn't intended to be a slam on David at all, it's just that this discussion reminded me of this scene from SpaceBalls and I think we all can stand a good laugh from time to time.

.
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David Bookbinder

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Ed,

I disagree. Unless TechSmith surveyed a large proportion of Camtasia users and got near-universal agreement that 50 characters is plenty, and that the vast majority of these users wanted no more than that, then the decision to deliberately truncate the proposed filename is by definition arbitrary: "Based on or subject to individual discretion or preference or sometimes impulse or caprice."

There is no performance or storage savings gain with this approach, and users are still free to make their filenames as short as they want. I can't see any programming efficiency gain, either. It's trivially easy to parse the full path of the current project, extract the filename, and then create a string composed of the new path, the existing filename, and the new extension and populate the "Production name" field with it. Camtasia has this information already stored in its program space (it's displayed in Recent Projects, for example). The TechSmith designers have simply chosen to truncate the project name when they output it in the "Production Name" field.

As for your concern about TechSmith files growing untethered, I don't see the relevance. TechSmith already stores the full path of the project. So no additional space is taken up in any database by displaying the full filename in a dialog box. Besides, if database size were their concern, then they'd presumably limit all file path fields to 50 characters. Nowhere else do they do that. Just here.

David


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David Bookbinder

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Rick,

Thanks for testing and verifying that this is what Camtasia does and for your educated speculations on why they may have decided to do so.

David
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Joe Morgan

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I completely misunderstood the problem. Sorry about that {:>(
Brain Freeze??? IDK

Camtasia 8 let me create a project with my 225 characters. And even produce it using the project file name.
Then,
I exported the video with sub folders. It truncated the videos name and all related files.
I zipped the project, but couldn't open it. Error codes 114 & 527.
This occurred in Cam 8 and 2018.
Cam 2019 threw out 2 error messages. Lacking any error code numbers.

My view from 30,000 feet?
They increased the limit in 2019 to accommodate people like yourself.
I don't believe its an arbitrary number.
Its likely a number that's intertwined with the Smartplayer.The Zipping and Un-Zipping of projects & what Windows may or may not accommodate. With many other possibilities. 

Bottom line, there will be no updates for 2018. So your stuck.
If you complain loud enough, can demonstrate this restriction is hindering your workflow. They might upgrade you for free or offer you a discount?
They darn sure won't update 2018.
 
It was an interesting topic.
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David Bookbinder

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My view from 30K' is that it's another example of TechSmith not really adequately testing their products before they release them. If some part of their system can't accommodate long file names, then they should prevent you from saving files with long filenames, not just truncate the display of the MP4 file. Or, better, fix the whole system so it accommodates the filename length limit of the operating system.

I like using Camtasia when it works, and it has been a decent learning experience, but the amount of troubleshooting it took just to get it running more or less adequately - about 15 hours on my own and with tech support - plus the signs of an immature product that's in its 10th or 11th release will probably lead me to a more robust editor after this. Currently, I'm trying to wrap my head around the complexity of DaVinci Resolve. 

Anyway, as you say, it was an interesting topic I hadn't expected to take the turns it did.

David
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Ed Covney

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David,
First an apology for being blunt in my prior post.

When office 2007 came out my son in law started giving all his Word and Excel spreadsheet files very long file names. Within 3 years he couldn't find anything in a timely manner, so he spent a Sunday afternoon making sense of it by renaming almost all of them.

"- about 15 hours on my own and with tech support - "
Totally avoidable had you just played the hand you were dealt (IMHO).
(Edited)
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David Bookbinder

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Ed,

My "apology for being blunt," back. 

The "hand I was dealt" with Camtasia that you say I should have "played" was that I had 1) frequent crashes while editing and 2) unusable jumping and jittering during the editing process as soon as I stared adding transitions and behaviors. Everything else ran on my new computer, purchased for Camtasia after it failed to run on my existing computer, just fine, including other video editors. On the new computer, too, Camtasia was completely unusable. Not just nit-picky unusable. Completely unusable. 

That's what took 15 hours to fix, troubleshooting here and with TechSmith tech support, before I finally got a somewhat usable video editor out of Camtasia. I love the features -- it's perfectly adapted to the kinds of instructional videos I'm doing -- but the QA for the product is poor. I've been using computers since 1980. I've never had a piece of software that was as difficult to get to do what it's supposed to do as Camtasia.

At this point, the preview is still jumpy and sometimes out of sync with the audio, but the crashes don't often happen. The 15 hours of trying workarounds and back-and-forth with TechSmith got it running as long as 1) I preprocess my MP4s through Handbrake, 2) fall back to the on-board GPU instead of using my (much better) GPU card, and 3) eliminate using hardware acceleration in the UI with a registry hack TechSmith provided after reviewing my crash dump files. 

The filename thing is a trivial matter, a minor annoyance. The other issues were show-stoppers. Had I not already invested the time in taking a Camtasia course, I would have moved on then and tried to get my money back. 

What you seem to be "apologizing" for is TechSmith (IMHO). You may be one of the lucky Camtasia users who has had a decent experience with it out of the box, but if you look through this board you'll see that a lot of others have had similar experiences to mine.

As for your opinions on long filenames, I got by with 8.3 in the CP/M and MS/DOS days, but long filenames greatly simplify my workflow. Your son-in-law's experiences with long filenames are irrelevant to me. 

David
(Edited)
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Rick Stone

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I thought the discussion was focused on the number of characters that Camtasia feeds into the output field if the project has been saved.

Seems that special characters is a completely different issue and wasn't brought up here.

While it would be great if the Camtasia developers were able to filter out special characters and perhaps substitute a nice and safe underscore, I believe that is a completely different issue and should perhaps be in a different thread if warranted. ;)
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Ed Covney

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Rick -  As originally posted, how did you take it to mean? 
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Rick Stone

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As with so many discussions of this type, I'm not sure what David could have done differently to make things clearer. 

Perhaps this stems from my many years of working in a call center supporting computers and learning to "read between the lines", but I generally scan the post headline, then read the body in the hopes that whomever is posting is clear about what they are asking for help with.

So the headline read "Default filename for output files..." and that was enough to clue me in that what he is seeing is something Camtasia is using as a default. But a new Camtasia project typically defaults to "Untitled Project" unless you first save the project file with a unique name. So I had to assume it meant David is saving the project first and what he was seeing was based on that filename used when first saving.

On a bit of an aside, it seems to me that this is a failure on the part of the development team. Although, like you, I don't use file names that are unusually long. I suppose it is a bit of a holdover from the old 8.3 standard. But I'm much more lax these days about keeping things really short.

Hey, old dogs CAN learn new tricks!

Happy Monday all... Rick :)
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David Bookbinder

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Rick,

I suppose I could have said "default proposed filename for rendered file in Production dialog box," but I doubt that would have fit into the subject line.

I think in terms of input and output. Input is the media files and project file, output is the rendered file, much like source code and the compiled executables.

David
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Rick Stone

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I thought your initial post was easy to understand. Like I said, given the situation, I'm not sure how you could have done it any better than you did. 

Let's all now form a circle and hold hands as we pray to the TechSmith gods for a week to ten days and hope they decide to look at this issue for a future modification! LOL
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Joe Morgan

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Well Dave,

How you worded your original post seems pretty insignificant at this point. This post makes for the 30th  or so post over 3 days. I had a growing page of e-mails in my inbox. All related to this thread. That’s why I quit following it 10 or 15 posts ago.

Oh sure, had you written something different like....... When producing my projects. I use the projects saved file name. It will automatically appear/populate the “Production Name window” in the Production Wizard.

However, when I do this. When the projects name exceeds 50 characters. The wizard automatically truncates the production name to 50 characters. Can this be prevented?

 That would have been clearer to me. Had I read the initial post before or after another cup of coffee?  Members misinterpret others posts all the time.
Many times, I find it easier to parse out what’s a thread is based on.From others semi-correct OR incorrect responses. It’s just the nature of the beast.

Anyway, As far as I’m concerned. I don’t believe TechSmith has to modify anything at this point. The modification to 80 characters “Should Be” enough to satisfy anyone needs.

  If not, I think one should re-visit their file naming strategy.
There’s some rules of thumb when creating book titles............Use 5 words or less, reflecting the content in some manner.

This works well for billions of books. Requiring far less than 50 characters in most cases.
 For what it’s worth. {:>)
(Edited)
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David Bookbinder

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Well, Joe,

Somehow this thread became about what's filenames "should" be, in terms of their length, rather than about a feature that is arbitrarily limited in Camtasia. Hence, probably 95% of the posts, including this one, have little to do with the original topic.

For the record, I don't care how other people name their files. That's their concern, and I'm sure most computer-proficient people use names that work well for them. If you like 5 words or less, great! If Ed likes 50 characters, terrific! But Microsoft gave me 260 characters to work with, and so I'm using them in a way that suits me.

My self-help book has a five-word title, but it also has a six-word subtitle so that people who are grabbed by the title can find out more about what's in the book without cracking it open, and so it's more likely to show up in search engines. It's standard fare in the nonfiction book industry to name books that way.

My course has an even longer title/subtitle combination, for the same reasons. It has descriptive lecture titles. I use those lecture title strings of characters in the outline for the course, the Camtasia project file, the source MP4 file, the rendered MP4 file, the title slide text, the name of the title slide file, the lecture script file, and in the YouTube description, among other places. At first, I did have a shorter file-naming scheme for the lecture project and rendered files, but naming with the full string is much clearer to me, and I can copy and paste the same string to all those locations -- including the rendered file, due to the Camtasia limit.

From a practical point of view, 80 characters is probably enough for most people. Until it isn't. I still see no reason to, in this one place, limit the characters in any way, when the rest of the program is fine with using the limits imposed by the file system. I think it's just poor design.

And now, from an earlier post you made, I learned that Microsoft's limit of 260 characters has been lifted. 

More power to long filenames! Power to the character string! Oppressed short filenames of the world, Unite! 

{:>)

David




(Edited)
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Joe Morgan

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Your initial complaint was 50 characters wasn't enough. That one letter went missing in your example.
Apparently 30 additional characters are still to few for you.

I suggest you reformulate your problem/complaint.
Then post it as an Idea.

Sincerely, good luck with the request.