Why won't the Jump to URL hotspot work in my Video?

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Kelly Mullins, TechSmith Employee & Helper

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Posted 6 years ago

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Kelly Mullins, TechSmith Employee & Helper

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If your Camtasia Studio project has a hotspot in it that should take the viewer to a web page but you can't seem to get it to work - the actual URL being used might be the problem.

URLs are funny things... they oftentimes have a lot of gobblygook in them that Camtasia Studio, Screencast.com, and other application or web servers just don't like.

For example, look at the "body" of a typical URL copied from a web browser (I removed the beginning so it wouldn't show up as a link in this post):
/gp/product/142311339X/ref=s9_al_bw_t?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=right-blog-0&pf_rd_r=0977QNHBQXFCPHCER3Y6&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1283867022&pf_rd_i=549028

Attempting to use this URL in Camtasia Studio, or an email, Word document, etc. is a disaster waiting to happen. TechSmith products and many other applications out there don't like the way this URL is formatted and don't like the use of the special characters like &, ?, =, etc. Also, URLs like this can be seen as a security risk so operating systems or browsers block them.

So.. to make this URL usable, there is www.tinyurl.com. You just go to this page, paste your original URL into the provided field, click the button, and out comes a clean and usable URL.

Tinyurl.com took the example URL (176 funky characters) and turned it into this very short and usable URL (26 characters):
http://tinyurl.com/2d94cd6

So.. whenever you want to use a Jump to URL hotspot in a Camtasia Studio video, pass it through the tinyURL blender and use that one instead.

Happy Screencasting!
Kelly
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digitalteacher.john

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GREAT TIP. I have used Tiny URL but never in my vids. Great idea.
Thanks muchly
johnD
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Nicole

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What if the url is simple and it's still not working? I've tested this with two different callouts: 1. Shape with text 2. Transparent Hotspot
In the Flash Hotspot Properties screen, [Pause at end of callout] is marked and [Jump to URL] is marked with the url typed in. The movie was produced with customer production settings > MP4/FLV/SWF - Flash outputs. When I review the shockwave flash object (filename_controller), clicking on my hotspot does nothing. Any direction I can go from here?
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kayakman, Champion

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When producing flash videos w/hotspots, be sure to embed in HTML and use the html file that results to launch the video.

Hotspots will generally not work when viewed off a local machine [security], but should work when the files are uploaded and viewed off a web site.

I use hotspots all the time; they work great.

Make sure that the callouts are at least 1 second long for stop at end jump to URLs to work properly.

Also, produce to 15 frames/second.

I currently primarily produce to overlay controller [MP4], and all hotspots types work just fine.

What version of CS are you producing with?
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Mike Curtis, Employee

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Nicole, are you trying it on your local machine? For the hotspot to work, you'll need to send the video to Screencast.com or host the entire folder containing the video and the files it references on a server you have access to. At about the 0:50 mark of this video you can see more about moving files to a server. http://www.techsmith.com/learn/camtas...
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Nicole

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I was trying it on my local machine! Our project, a collaboration of training videos for our software company, is nearing production for our customers. They will be hosted on our website, but I am working on a "Getting Started" video where they will need to link to our webpage to view the training videos.Internally, we discussed giving new customers a cd as the "Getting Started" introduction. I was trying to link some of the videos from the cd to avoid 'extra steps'. I will need to reconsider my approach.

Many thanks for your assistance!
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Kelly Mullins, TechSmith Employee & Helper

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Hi Nicole,
This is a lot of information coming at you but I'm going to chime in anyway (maybe it's re-chime!).

There is an application in the Camtasia Studio suite called MenuMaker. It is an easy-to-use companion program that allows you to create a custom interface for videos that will go on a CD. So.. you make the front end with the wizard, add your videos which become links, and write the file to CD.

When your customers put the CD in the tray, it auto launches with the front end you created and they can click on each of the video links. The videos automatically play in the Camtasia Player so no other installation is necessary.

The nice thing about MenuMake is.. you can add other supplemental materials as well.. PDFs, images, electronic business cards, etc.

You can find MenuMaker in the Start Menu > Camtasia Studio 7 > Applications > MenuMaker.

Try it out.. you'll love it and look like a pro!
You can also download more templates from the TechSmith website.

Hope this helps.
Kelly
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Nicole

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Thanks a million, Kelly. Your re-chime was a re-minder! I came across this months ago and forgot about it. Gives me more direction.......
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Darius Whelan

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I can't get a callout with jump to URL hotspot to work, even when viewed on a website.
I will now re-produce the project without the callout, so I just wasted an hour of my time.
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Mike Curtis, Employee

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One idea is to contact support (http://support.techsmith.com) and perhaps you can get them your zipped project so they can look at it and see exactly what's going on. Alternatively, I suppose you could make a video of what's going on and the community might be able to help troubleshoot.
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kayakman, Champion

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Darius, did you produce to a flash format that is embedded in HTML? Did you upload all the produced files [including the config.xml]? Are you targeting the html on the web site to play the video?
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Kelly Mullins, TechSmith Employee & Helper

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Hi Darius,
I'm sorry you are having this issue. I know how frustrating it is to not be able to achieve the desired results when the software is not working as expected.

We have seen times when hotspots are very picky and will work/not work due to some mysterious situation. As MIke has mentioned, it would be very helpful if you would send us your exported zipped project that includes the hotspot you were attempting to use so we can look at it. We might even be able to fix it for you and send it back to you.

In the meantime, we might be able to help you troubleshoot further is you can tell us:
* What production settings you are using?
* Where is the hotspot located in the video?
* How long is the hotspot callout?
* Where are you uploading the video to?
* Is the link you are using to a secure sight that requires a login on the viewers side?

Also, maybe you can try this quick bit of troubleshooting to see if you can get to the bottom of this:

1. Add the hotspot to your video. Use the playhead to select an area on the timeline a few seconds before the hotspot and drag the selection to include the hotspot itself and a few seconds past it or to the end of the timeline if it is at the end of the video.

2. RIght-click the selection and choose Produce Selection As. Use the Custom Production settings and select the Overlay controller. Do not select any Search or TOC options.

3. Continue with the Production Wizard and choose to view the video when it is done producing.

4. The video will appear in a Browser window. Play the video. Even though it needs to be on the Web for the hotspot to actually work, you should still be able to see the video stop at the correct place (if you have pause at end of hotspot option selected) AND you should be able to hover your cursor over the hotspot and see that something is there that could be clicked on (the cursor turns into a hand).

Now, if you can see that the hotspot is in the actual video, try uploading this mini video to the Web to see if it will work.

If it is not in the video, you can try to use other controller options like No Controller or ExpressShow to see if you can get a working hotspot.

Again, I'm sorry you are having this trouble.

Kelly
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Val English

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Hi Kelly we too have the same problem and we are getting very frustrated what we have done is answered the questions you asked see below

* What production settings you are using? ANS Camtasia production settings Controller = expressshow also tried overlay theme = black file format FLV mp4
* Where is the hotspot located in the video? ANS Tried in caption section tried in video area centre, to the left etc
* How long is the hotspot callout? ANS 5 seconds
* Where are you uploading the video to? ANS Just following instructions in the production wizard only allows you to choose our PC however at the end of the load up Firefox opens but nothing appears
* Is the link you are using to a secure sight that requires a login on the viewer’s side? ANS No

Any support would be appreciated
Many thanks
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Nicole

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Hotspots with a URL won't work when playing them from a file on your pc (ex. c:\videos). I usually test them on screencast.com before we put them on our website.
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Val English

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Hi Nicole thank you so much for your reply yes we have heard this but not a clue how to do this as in the produce and share you only have 3 options share to screencast.com youtube or produce and share. The produce and share was the manual suggested route but once we had uploaded the file we ended up with a blank screen in firefox and of course upload to our pc so when you say I usually test them on screencast.com before we put them on our website sorry if I am being a bit slow thanks
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Nicole

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Hi Val....When I produce mine, I do the following:
1. [Produce and Share] > [Custom Production Settings] > [MP4/FLV/SWF].
2. On the {Video Options} screen, I mark the [Embed video into HTML] field.
This creates a MP4, SWF, and HTML file. The SWF and the HTML file are dependent upon the MP4 file (I can't play the HTML file on our website unless the MP4 is also uploaded).
3. To test my URL hotspots, I upload the MP4 file on screencast.com.
Hope this helps. I've learned all this the hard way!!
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mathew.lowry

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I'm still struggling with this. I haven't had any answer to my preceding question.

Nicole says the options she provides above result in "a MP4, SWF, and HTML file". When I do it, I get a FLV, SWF and HTML file. When I upload the FLV to screencast, the hotspots don't work.

Any thoughts?
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Mike Spink, TechSmith Support

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You'll want to produce to MP4 instead of FLV. You can change that option here. http://screencast.com/t/F1jtrGdd
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mathew.lowry

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Yep, tried that. Uploaded the result to screencast, like someone here said. The hotspots don't work.

See for yourself: http://www.screencast.com/t/q12iXpGtfN
Helpful tip: the first hotspot - "The post's here (new window)", in red - shows up at 2:11.
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Kelly Mullins, TechSmith Employee & Helper

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Hi Val,
You said this in your post:

"at the end of the load up Firefox opens but nothing appears"

While it is true your hotspot will not work on your local machine, you should still be able to see that there is a hotspot there when you mouse over the area. So.. the cursor should turn to a hand when it encounters the area where the hotspot should be.

If you move the cursor over your hotspot area when the video appears in the browser window after production, what happens?

If you do not see the cursor change, this means the hotspot is not being incorporated into the video. If it does change, then the hotspot is there and you will need to upload it to the web to see if it is working correctly.

Kelly
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David M. Converse

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A couple of other points of interest-

MenuMaker CDs only work on a Windows PC, so if you have Mac or Linux users it will not work.

If you have your own webpages, it is much more reliable to simply put a text link in the HTML page. This will work regardless of browser version, plugin support, and video format.
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Kristy Fifelski

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My hotspot works when I play it in tandem with the video & html file, but how can I upload it to YouTube and have the hotspot work?
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Mike Curtis, Employee

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When you upload a video to YouTube the video is re-encoded. One side effect of this is that it gets rid of any interactivity. YouTube has their own hotspot system you might be interested in trying. This might be a good place to start: http://www.google.com/support/youtube...

You could also upload your video to Screencast.com direct from Camtasia Studio and the hotspots, table of contents and search will work.
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Richard Rosen

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Very good to know. We were planning all our videos for YouTube so we'll deal with it accordingly.
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James May

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Are there known issues with using hotspots (jump to URL in new window) and chapters?

Here's my issue. I recorded my screen while watching an Adobe Connect meeting/Webinar. The Presenter in that meeting went over a .PPT and I captured the audio from the meeting as well as the video. While editing in the Camtasia timeline, I added markers for each "Slide change". To enhance the clarity of each slide, I saved the PPT so it would created a JPG for each slide. I then imported the jpg slides into Camtasia and synched each one to a marker. So essentially, the jpg slides from the PPT are overlaid on top of the video.

The PPT has links and files embedded into it. To replicate that experience, I hosted all of the files in the presentation on a server and added invisible hotspots over file icons, or URL links to the Camtasia slides that required them.

After producing the presentation with a Table of Contents, I host it on our webserver. When I play the hosted presentation, I notice that the hotspots are very picky. I can click onto a chapter in the table of contents and be dropped on the appropriate slide. If it has a hotspot, it will work only if it's the first or second click. If I click around to various chapters and then try to click on a hotspot, I notice that the hotspot from a previous slide appears (mousing over the video shows the finger popping up in an area where a hotspot from a previous slide appears. Clicking on it takes me to the previous slide's hotspot.) It's as if the hotspots and slides that get out of synch after you jump around to a couple of different chapters.

I've checked and rechecked my timeline and hotspots and I'm certain I have everything setup properly. The issue occurs after I publish the video and host it on our server.

What production settings you are using? Custom Production Setting, Classic and Overlay controllers. Chapters and No Chapters

Where is the hotspot located in the video? Invisible hotspots are used over various Icons and Links that appear on my slides.

How long is the hotspot callout? Range from 4 seconds to 6 minutes

Where are you uploading the video to? My company has storage space on an Edgecast media server. http://www.edgecast.com/services/

(My presentation has some sensitive corporate information so I don't want to publically post a link to it. I can zip the .camproj and email it to your support department if necessary.)

Is the link you are using to a secure sight that requires a login on the viewer’s side? No
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Mike Spink, TechSmith Support

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I think it would be best to get the project from you and we can take a look at it.

You can submit a case here.

http://techsmith.custhelp.com/app/ask

Thanks!
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Rick Stone

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Hi folks

I know this thread is a bit long in the tooth. Apologies if I'm covering ground that has already been covered. I did skim the replies but don't recall seeing any mention of this.

If I'm understanding correctly, these hotspots only work when the output is Flash based, correct? And if this is the case, the reason is likely because of something known as the "Flash Security Sandbox". The Adobe Flash Player or Plug In (depending on your browser) is likely blocking the action because it sees it as a security risk.

What you need to do is to add the local folder where your output is being played from to the list of "Trusted Locations" for Flash. Once you do this, the links should work.

I have a tutorial on this at the following link:
http://www.robowizard.com/RoboWizard/...

Cheers... Rick :)
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Argus VIdicon

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Creating the project folder goes well for me. Sending to screencast option works well to, except the behavior of the clicked link. What I really want is to host the whole operation on my own site. I guess I don't know how to do that, and would love to. However as it works well letting it be placed on screencast the problem is the clicked link #1 leaves the video and page on screencast witch is not so good, and most of all the embed code when placed on my site has the click-able link (a browser page) loading inside the video player window. If I can't learn how to host the whole operation on my own site, then at least I'd like to get the action to open a new tab or browser page.
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kayakman, Champion

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If you put hotspots in your project, produce as MP4 flash embedded in html [using a custom production with the Production Wizard], and upload all the files in the Wizard's output folder, to your web site, hotspots should work just fine.

Simply call the uploaded html file; the video should play; the hotspot code is in the uploaded config.xml file.

If you have your own web site, I assume you use an FTP application [like WS_FTP?]. You can also upload using the FTP functions in Camtasia Studio.

If you upload the produced video file set folder, then call the html's URL, everything should play and work fine.
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I have an interactive hotspot working on my video using the HTML and other files. Is there a way to keep the visitor on the same page and not open a new window when they click on the link?
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James May

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I gave up on my elaborate project, because Camtasia/Techsmith could never get the hotspots and callouts to work in my project. They kept telling me to recreate it, so I did, but could still never get the hotspots to work using the options available in the software. It was a lot of: "if you use this, you can't use mp4" and "if you do this, you shouldn't use this template. " Blah blah blah. Sounds like they didn't know how to fix some bugs...
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commerce

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I am having the same problem.  I would like to link videos in a series, and also give viewers the capability to jump to different points in a video.  This works fine when I view on the local machine, but absolutely does not work when I upload to either Vimeo or Youtube. Instead, when I attempt to click on the hotspot, the video just pauses and then restarts when I click on it again.  This is just the basic functionality of any video that is uploaded to either site, and it seems to over-ride the hotspots.  This is very frustrating and I have wasted countless hours trying different settings.  Is there anything I can do to make this feature work? 

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