Suggestion: Macros would solve many requests for new features

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Many requests for new features are very specific to the user or to individual project needs; adding them to Camtasia  would do little more than bloat the program (as well as adding more buttons or selections to the increasingly complex set of menus, submenus and drop-down options).  A number of years ago I suggested two ideas, and now recommend them again.

1.  Allow users to create their own personalized macros for specific repeated tasks (e.g. lowering audio by a specific amount).  This would increase flexibility without growing the program unnecessarily.

2.  Allow users to add macros (and/or other Camtasia program functions) to a user-defined toolbar,  This would reduce clutter and make workflow more efficient without making the program interface overly complex.
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rg

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Posted 2 months ago

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kayakman, Champion

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totally agree

I've been advocating for this for well over 10 years

I've done a lot of app development in Microsoft Access, where its VBA tools let you do almost anything in an automated way

if only Camtasia offered the same ...
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Ed Covney

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TS installs bloat w/o our help. How many DIFFERENT dialog boxes does TS use in picking default folders? (Only one is required!) In my opinion, our only hope is for the developers to start from scratch. i.e Camtasia is 5,000 little programs, not a single large one.  Features don't (or shouldn't) bloat a program in today's Object Oriented Programming (OOP) model.

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Rick Stone

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Hmmm, I'm reading this reply and it makes me wonder. 

Note that I'm not a programmer, nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so I can't claim to be one and easily fake it. LOL

But your reply seems to me, to kind of contradict itself.

Of course, I'm likely misunderstanding things and I'm sure there are a few here that will gleefully chime in to say that's exactly what I'm doing and how dare I... but I digress.

Here's the bit that's sort of confusing. You mention that Camtasia is 5,000 little programs. Now I'm not sure if you meant to be accurate about that or if it was just a number that was randomly extracted from the ether. But either way, wouldn't that mean that each thing it does is a separate piece of code that could be easily deleted or removed without affecting any of the other pieces of code and how they operate? And by extension, isn't that kind of the beauty of this OOP you mention?

The mention of features being added but not bloating the application seems illogical to me. In my brain my logic says that any new feature MUST have one or more new pieces of code added in order to make the feature work. And by extension, any new code that is added will invariably "bloat" the application, no? (Note that I understand the term "bloat" is one considered to be negative, in that it implies unnecessary expansion of storage space and overall inefficiency.)

Cheers... Rick :)
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Ed Covney

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Long ago bloat meant slow - that was procedural programming languages, like COBOL.
Today ALL compilers are Object Oriented. Add a function you're adding to the total size of the program but you don't slow anything down. Here's an example (PME) of what I mean by, in this case 830 tiny programs: https://www.screencast.com/t/gUC0HNIv

EXE files today are indexed, that is they perform fnc1, the program goes to exactly where fnc1 exists and executes it and doesn't bother itself with any other parts of the program. 
Camtasia's "rendering" is likely a "control" program: Does thing 1, then 2, then 3, then 4, etc. - All the little things needed to complete a render.

Open a huge text file in note pad and try to go to the last page. Now open it in Wordpad Notepad++ and go to the last page (instantly because the pages are indexed - MS calls in pagination.)
(Edited)
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Ed Covney

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I should have added that bloat-ware can exist in OOP. For example had I used 12 nearly identical routines, 10 lines each, to change the colors the xlsm file would be unnecessarily larger. That I believe is the modern definition of bloat. 

I could add another dozen colors w/o affecting anything currently there.  
(Edited)
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rg

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While interesting, this discussion is way off target (and I say this with some understanding as a guy who spent a decade creating training for a major computer company -- and even had to master COBOL, Fortran, PASCAL, etc.).
Here is the point:
If every feature requested by every user is implemented, the resulting program acquires size on the drive (even if not in running memory) and the additional menus, sub-menus, etc. expand into a more confusing and unnecessarily complicated interface.  Every call to a new feature can potentially impede throughput depending on the complexity.  And yet many requests from users for specific new features are tasks that can be easily accomplished by allowing macro implementation.
Example:
I have a medical client with unique requirements for references; to meet their need, I have inserted macros into Word to enable quickly changing highlights, shading and font colors.  I did not send a new feature request to Microsoft because I couldn't stand the laughter that would ensue.
(Edited)
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Ed Covney

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rg - You asked for personalized macros, right? How will the macros be recorded? stored? I can record and create macros in Excel but they exit in a whole different world called the VBA layer.  Excel can call VBA defined functions and VBA  can call "application" layer (Excel) formulas and functions. 

In other words, how as a programmer, would you make that happen? (You see this as a tiny little request, I see it as something that could easily double or triple the complexity.) Can you convince me I'm wrong.

"I have a medical client with unique requirements  . . ." You also have office with a macro layer already built in. That's the part you're asking TS to do, and it is BIG.
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rg

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The macro is a separate instruction string that is not constantly running in the background; any specific macro runs only when the program makes a call to that predefined string of instructions.  This is different from adding a permanent change to the UI.

It is true that adding macro capability is not a trivial request, but the addition is much less complicated (and contributes less weight to the UI) than adding a specific submenu and button to change the background shade color to green.  My point is that many requests I see are at the level where a macro would serve better.  And I do not agree that it would "triple the complexity."  Many programs offer this capability.

Returning to my example:  It would be a major change to Word if I ask Microsoft to enable, say, a specific shade of green to pre-selected text; but Word enables my macro (in which I apply my selected color to the text).  I did not change Word; I made a separate set of instructions that operate only when called.  This is appropriate because not all users need that particular function (in fact, even I need it only for one client's projects); but other users have their own individual needs — and Microsoft would not change Word to suit every personal request.  I see many requests for new features which are highly individualized and/or are due to user inexperience with Camtasia.
(Edited)
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Joe Morgan

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Photoshop lets you record actions, these actions have to met certain criteria. And won't work cart blanch on all images.
My understanding of a Macro? If you can type it out, you can turn it into a macro. Or something along that line.
Its nothing more than scripted commands triggered automatically is it not?

Anyway, I don't use many Actions in Photoshop. But when I do, they can save you a ton of time.
Case in point.
Take the car in this image.I could take it from this...............



To this in about 10 seconds....................



Theres a lot going on in this new image. New layers, warp, borders, etc.
Unless I created this effect often, I would expect to spend 10 minutes or so creating it from scratch.

When Photoshop applies an action. It pretty much applies whatever it can via keyboard shortcuts/actions.
When its time to add the drop shadow for instance, the action pauses. You select parameters or go with what you've got and hit save.
Actions are resumed until the end, or until you need to make another choice. So I wouldn't necessarily define actions as macros.
I think apply a similar technology to videos would require some form of granular control during the process. Or you may find yourself hitting undo a lot.
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rg

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If you are repeating the same series steps every time, a macro saves time.  If you want differences (e.g. different warp or shadow, in your example) then of course a macro would not work.
When I record audio narration at my desk, I find that I always need the same post-recording treatment to normalize, apply light Eq, reduce the same air duct noise via Accusonus ERA4.  Within Audacity I can run those steps in the same sequence and apply the same parameters every time.
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Joe Morgan

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Agreed,
I feel that video has baked in variables by default.Thats all I was trying to say.

I run my audio through Adobe Audition. My narrations are cleaned up 100% through a macro/editing process. Its called favorites. One click and I'm done.

Theres 5 or 6 processes applied so fast I can't keep up with the action.
I've been running the script for several years now.
I can't remember the actual recipe "Whats in the script" these days.