Author:Darymple, Deanne
Position:Product/service evaluation

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

Thirty-three training and education professionals rated the authoring tools they have used regularly to create instructional content. This review summarizes the comments of the panelists who have used this product and presents their overall average rating. The 24 products the panel evaluated are included in the TMR Report on Leading Authoring Tools, edited by Katica Roy and Deanne Darymple.

For a detailed review of Camtasia by Lorraine Vachon, click here.

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. The ease of learning Camtasia 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...

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