Now that we have our dedicated recording account let's go ahead and customize the settings on this account so that our learners are able to focus on the content that we are teaching inside of Camtasia Studio rather than on a fancy desktop pattern or any of the other distractions that may be on screen. So to begin let's go ahead and right- click on our desktop and select Personalize from the dropdown menu. The first thing we want to set is our theme and let's go ahead and scroll down in the list of themes until you get down to the basic and high contrast themes.
We'll go ahead and select the Windows 7 Basic. The theme will reset and now we'll have a much cleaner theme to work with. The next theme we want to set is our desktop background. We want to have a nice smooth even color. So go ahead and click on desktop background and then in the picture location click the dropdown menu and select Solid Colors. A solid color is really nice your screencast, because not only does it reduce the distractions to the user but it improves your life if you need to go in and you need to edit your files, you don't have a complicated background that may make some of the editing techniques a little more difficult.
For the solid color I like to choose this nice dark blue that's here at the end of the first row. It gives a nice rich feel to my screen and this blue is very identifiable as a common blue that's found on many Windows systems. We'll go ahead and click the Save Changes button at the bottom to accept our background color. Next, click on Sounds and in the window that appears click the dropdown menu for Sound Scheme and scroll down until you find No Sounds. Select No Sounds this way we won't have any distracting sounds being produced by our operating system and that way again our users are able to focus on our content.
We'll go ahead and click the Apply button and click OK to accept those changes. The next thing we want to customize is we want to clean up some of these icons here in our desktop. We can do that by clicking on the link that says change desktop icons. We'll uncheck the box next to Computer and User's Files if that's appropriate for your specific type of recording. For the type of recording that I do I don't like to see my Computer or my User's Files on my desktop. We can then go ahead and click the Apply button and all those additional icons disappear.
We'll go ahead and click OK to close that window our theme is now set to have a nice clean look to it. We can go ahead and close this window and now let's turn our attention to the task bar. A couple of things that we want to clean up on the taskbar. The first of which is to go ahead and get rid of these icons that are here on the left-hand side our taskbar. We can do that by simply right-clicking on each of the icons and selecting Unpin this program from the taskbar. By unpinning each of the programs from the taskbar again our users will be able to focus on the specific application that we're working with while we're working on it and not trying to figure out what additional icons we may have on our recording setup.
The same is true for over here on the right-hand side. Let's go ahead and right-click on the right edge of our taskbar and we'll select Properties over here and now we'll get rid of our system icons. We'll simply click the dropdown menu for each of these items and turn them off. For an item like the clock it can be really distracting to a user to constantly be looking to see what time a recording was made or if you've edited multiple files together, you may end up with some inconsistencies in the time and date that the files were recorded.
We'll go ahead and turn all of these items off by selecting the dropdown menu and choosing Off for each item. Once you've selected that for all of them go ahead click OK and that will get rid of all those items. Next, let's go ahead and hiding On on our taskbar so even the taskbar is out of the way and our users are focusing on our content. We can do this by right-clicking on our taskbar itself and selecting properties. Now we can check the box that says Auto-hide the taskbar. That way the taskbar will automatically disappear.
Another thing that can be distracting is to have notifications constantly popping up. We can turn off notifications by going to the Notifications area and selecting the Customize button. Here we can click the dropdown menu for each of the behaviors and make sure to Hide icons and notifications. We'll do that for each of our items as well then we'll click OK so that all of those items are turned off as well. We'll click the Apply button and then click OK and we'll notice that our taskbar neatly hides out of our way.
There is another type of notification that we may need to get rid of and those we access from the Start menu and Control Panels, then make sure you're in the Icon view, and select Action Center. From the Action Center you want to look and see if you have any items in Security or Maintenance that may have an item underneath of it that says, Turn off messages about a particular topic, in this case Windows backup. I'll go ahead and click that button and now any maintenance warnings that would've popped up will automatically not appear and disrupt a recording.
Now that that's set we can go ahead and close our window. Now we had our Start window open just a second ago, we notice that there were lots of items here in our Start menu, we can go ahead and clean these up as well by simply right-clicking on each item that's not necessary and select Remove from this list, go through each of these items and get rid of all the items that are not necessary for the particular recording that you're going to be making that way users don't have to get distracted by what applications you may have or may have been recently using on your particular machine.
And as you launch applications that you are going to be teaching those will be the ones that will appear right there inside of your Start menu making it easier for you while you're doing your recording to be able to access the applications that you want to use. Another thing to keep in mind while you're doing your recordings is to keep an eye on your recycle bin. If you ever end up with any items inside of your recycle bin it's a good idea between recordings to go ahead and right-click on your Recycle Bin and select the option for Empty Recycle Bin.
That way there is not some distracting trash that sitting there inside of your recycle bin. There is one more thing to look at and that is to make sure that our screen resolution is set to the right resolution. We can access this by right-clicking on our desktop and selecting Screen resolution. In the Resolution dropdown menu you may have a lot of different options for different screen resolutions that are available to you for your particular system. For most of the screen recordings that you're going to do a good resolution to choose is going to be either 1280 x 720 or 1024 x 768.
Both of these two settings are very common screen sizes and the content on screen will not be so small that it won't be visible in your final screen recording, but it also won't be so large that you won't have enough room within your application in order to work with all of your files. You may need to choose a different resolution depending on the specific content that you're recording or for your specific audience. These are just some really good rules of thumb to go by. For this recording I'm going to go ahead and leave mine set to 1280 x 720.
If you've made a change go ahead and click Apply and then click OK to accept that change. Now if you're following along with the exercise files you may want to go ahead and copy your exercise files down onto the desktop of this account so that you have access to them while you're working through the training so you don't have to jump back over to your primary account. Alright. Our Recording account is now set up and properly configured. Over time as you install additional programs you may need to constantly monitor what items reappear inside of your Windows taskbar or in your system tray and it's a good idea to periodically go through and check over all your settings in this account before you begin recording.
But in general you should have a nice clean account to do all of your recordings from now.
Follow along as Chris creates an elearning project from start to finish with Camtasia Studio's tools. Discover how to add animation, PowerPoint slideshows, quizzes, and other effects that boost the interactivity and visual interest of your screencasts. The final chapter shows how to incorporate your Camtasia projects into an overall teaching strategy.
- Creating and configuring a recording account
- Choosing and connecting a microphone
- Installing Camtasia Studio
- Choosing the area of the screen you want to record
- Managing mouse movements
- Handling mistakes
- Editing audio and video in Camtasia
- Adding animation and zoom-and-pan or picture-in-picture effects
- Using the PowerPoint add-in
- Adding closed captioning
- Creating interactive quizzes
- Exporting and publishing movies