Left/Right arrow keys shrink/expand timeline instead of move playahead

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  • Updated 4 years ago
OK so using the left/right arrow keys sometimes moves the playahead, but suddenly, during editing, they zoom in on the timeline (as if I was using the plus/minus keys). In fact the up/down arrows zoom in on the timeline. I thought they put the moving of the playahead feature back in?
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JCarter

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Posted 7 years ago

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Logan S.

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Hey there,

It does the same thing for me when I try it. You can solve it by clicking back on the play head arrow, than you should be able to move it again using the left and right arrow keys.
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Bill McCarty

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Hi Logan -

This happens a lot when I'm trying to scrub through the timline and make fine edits, and it's really annoying and a major time waster.

It appears Camtasia switches from scub more do timeline zoom mode when I hold the left or right arrows down or push the arrow keys in rapid succession.

Clicking the playhead also doesn't immediately restore the scrubbing capability, and I usually have to click thre or four times.

Why is this happening, and when are you going to fix the problem?
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Jess Brody

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Having the same problem. SO annoying. Is it a glitch? Has anyone found a solution yet?
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Rick Stone

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When you notice that behavior, it typically means that focus has somehow shifted to the zoom control. Try pressing the Tab key just once when you notice this behavior and focus should return to the playhead.

Cheers... Rick :)
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Joe Morgan

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Hello there Jess Brody,

Pressing the tab key does nothing  to change the behavior of the arrow keys on my machine. I'm running Camtasia 8.6.

Simply clicking the Playhead has always worked for me. Same thing for timeline Zooming.
I believe the behavior is triggered by accidentally interacting with the zoom feature while interacting with the other tabs clustered in the same area.
Regardless of the reason, clicking the Playhead is the answer.
See Image Below, Click to Enlarge

Regards, Joe

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Rick Stone

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Hmmm, interesting. Tab works for me consistently and I too am using 8.6. I wonder what the difference is?
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Joe Morgan

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The only logical conclusion I can draw is that you have managed to assign some sort of a keyboard shortcut to your tab button through windows or some other strange configuration.
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Jess Brody

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Thanks so much Rick and Joe. I appreciate you taking the time to reply and Joe for your screenshot! The tab didn't work for me and I do know about clicking the playhead, however, I find that even after I click the playhead, I'll be clicking rapidly back and forth on the arrow keys (like 5, 8, 15 times) and it will RANDOMLY switch to zoom. Just out of the blue. Without me clicking anything else but the left and right arrows. It's extremely frustrating and time consuming because I have to stop scrubbing, reach for the mouse, and click the playhead again, hence doubling the time it takes me to edit something. I feel like it might be a glitch in the program? 
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Joe Morgan

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Yes, there certainly could be a glitch in the program.

However, I am using a wireless Microsoft sculpt ergonomic keyboard. I tried very hard to create the same errors you are encountering. I tapped on the arrow keys using all different combinations until my fingers got tired. I also hit surrounding keys simultaneously to see if that would trigger a problem. I could not re-create the error.

I even brought up my on-screen keyboard and used my mouse to give the arrow keys a workout. The arrow keys still behave correctly. With both my regular keyboard and the on-screen keyboard. I manually switched to zoom, manipulated the arrows, switch back to timeline, etc. no matter what I tried I could not re-create the error.

I know that the drivers of my keyboard are up-to-date and I suppose it’s quite possible there is a problem with your keyboard as opposed to Camtasia. Obviously, this is just a guess on my part.

Perhaps Windows is missing a driver update for your particular keyboard. You may want to investigate that and see where it takes you.This doesn't seem to be a widely reported bug and that's what has me thinking along this line.

If that doesn’t resolve the issue I would get in contact with technical support directly. This is a free service and if it can be corrected, they are your best bet at this point.

If you are able to resolve the issue it would be helpful if you post back here and let us know what the solution was.

I wish you luck,

This is a Free Service. Submit a ticket at,

https://support.techsmith.com/hc/en-us/requests/new


Or call, >>> 1.517.381.2300

 Toll Free: 800.517.3001 (U.S. & Canada Only)

8:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST Monday through Friday

Regards, Joe

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Rick Stone

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Hmmm, I was playing with this further.

While clicking the timeline zoom to give focus to it pressing tab does consistently place focus on the playhead for me, I've since discovered some rather odd behavior. If I'm using the left arrow key to move the playhead. After a few presses of the arrow key, focus mysteriously seems to jump back to the timeline zoom and suddenly I'm zooming the timeline. Until I press Tab again to move focus back to the playhead.

I'm not using any software to modify my keystrokes. At least none I'm aware of. ;)

Cheers... Rick :)
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Jess Brody

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Thanks again Rick and Joe for your thorough replies. I noticed the problem only happens when I go back and forth between the left and right arrows. That seems to be the trigger. So if I scrub right for 10 clicks, it's fine. But if I scrub right, miss my mark and click back left very quickly, it turns into timeline zoom. Very strange.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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With Camtasia 8.x, the arrow keys could sometimes be used to move the play head one frame at a time.  There were exceptions.  When the keyboard focus was inside an edit box, then the arrow keys would move the text insertion point.  When the keyboard focus was on the canvas, the arrow keys could be used to move objects on the canvas.  Sometimes, when the keyboard focus was on the timeline, you could sometimes get into a state where the left and right arrow keys moved the focus among the buttons and other controls on the timeline.  This was not the desired behavior, but it was a technically difficult problem to fix.  In general, if you clicked on the play head, or something on the canvas, and then used the arrow keys, you could move it.

In version 8.x, there were also secondary shortcut keys (Ctrl + Left arrow and Ctrl + Right arrow) which could be used to move the play head forward or backward one frame at a time.  These secondary shortcut keys are less convenient, but should work regardless of where the keyboard focus is within the app.

In our usability testing, moving things with the arrow keys was a frequent stumbling block for new users.  The idea of keyboard focus is foreign to most users, and many users could not figure out how to move things with the arrow keys.

With Camtasia 9.0.0, we made some changes which we hope will improve the usability for all, though it may feel a little foreign at first to existing users.  Instead of changing the function of the arrow keys based on the keyboard focus, the arrow keys now move the selected items on the canvas, regardless of what has the keyboard focus.  To move the timeline play head forward or back, you use the comma (left) and the period (right) keys.  It's easier to remember if you look at the < (left) and > (right) symbols above the comma and period symbols (on a standard EN keyboard, at least).  These new hotkeys should perform their function unless the keyboard focus is inside an edit box and you're actively entering text.