Author:Dalrymple, Deanne

Camtasia, CD-ROM, 2006, TechSmith Corporation, $299.

For a demo of this product, use the "Product Preview/Demo" link to the left of the review.

Primary use: Rapid e-learning

Pricing: Very low

Rating: High

Training Media Review asked a panel of training and education professionals to rate the authoring tools they have used regularly. This review summarizes the comments of the nine panelists who have used Camtasia.

Best uses

According to our reviewers, Camtasia is an excellent application for developing software demonstrations in video format for both web and CD-ROM delivery. Camtasia's fairly simple learning curve was noted by many reviewers, as was its capability to rapidly create content, add voiceover narration, and convert recordings to multiple formats, including Flash.

One reviewer summarized: "Camtasia is best used for producing brief demonstrations of software through its motion screen-capture and voiceover capabilities." Another said: "Excellent for quick production of software demonstrations or anything else you want to record from a PC and play back. Converts recordings to most popular formats including Flash."

The top two uses of Camtasia listed by our reviewers were:

* Creating software demonstrations

* Recording PowerPoint presentations with an added audio overlay

One panelist uses Camtasia for "creating animated, narrated software tutorials; screenshots; documentation and illustration of step-by-step procedures."

Limits and drawbacks

Although Camtasia is a great tool for creating demonstrations (show me), reviewers agree that it is not the best tool to use if you are looking to create interactivity in a practice environment (let me try). As one reviewer put it, Camtasia isn't the right choice for "highly interactive content that would be better produced as a simulation. Although Camtasia has the ability to create 'simulation type' content, it is better suited for more 'passive' than 'active' learning."

Other comments indicated that Camtasia would not...

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