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How to convert your slideshow into a video

In this blog I’m switching over to another excellent product from the Techsmith guys – Camtasia. Specifically we’ll use the PowerPoint add-in to record a presentation and turn it into a video.

Not only will you get a full HD video, but you can also record your audio and webcam at the same time, and create automatic closed captions from your slide notes.

Just a quick note here that the add-in is not available for Mac users.

Watch the video

Step 1: Preparation

First, prepare your slideshow and add your caption text to the notes area, then click the Add-Ins tab on the ribbon.

Before you start to record, it’s worth checking out some of the options that you might want to include or change.

You can toggle the audio and camera options on and off with a click.

For more customisation options, click the Recording options button.

Now most of these you can probably leave on their default settings, but there are a couple of things that you may want to adjust:

It’s a good idea to start recording paused so you have time to gather everything you need and if you’re recording audio, you may want to adjust your recording levels before you start.

I’d also recommend you opt to Edit in Camtasia when finished. This will allow you to preview your video and tweak it where necessary before you produce the final version.

(I'd also recommend it if you're using slide notes as captions. These may required some tweaking if your notes are lengthy).

You can also choose what you want to do once the presentation is finished. I usually stop recording at this point.

Stop recording prompts

Now if you’ve selected to record audio, I’d recommend you don’t use the built-in microphone but use an external one. You can then select it from the drop-down here.

Similarly, if you’ve selected to record from your camera, you can click the Camera setup button to set a few more options such as which camera to use if you have more than one device.

Finally, make a note of the keyboard shortcuts for pausing and stopping the video – you’ll find these useful later.

Once you’ve set all your options, click OK.

Step 2: Recording

To begin recording, click the Record button. The slideshow will launch in full screen mode. Remember we opted to pause the recording before we start, so you’ll see a window pop up on screen:

When you’re ready to go, click the red button.

Work your way through the presentation using the left mouse button or the right arrow key on the keyboard. Remember you can pause your recording at any time by using the shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+F9 When you reach the end, you’ll be prompted to save your recording. Choose a location and file name, then click Save.

You may see an additional prompt on screen at this point:

We want to edit our recording, so just click OK.

After a few seconds, Camtasia will launch automatically, and you’ll see your recording appear in the media bin.

Now we’ll drag our recording onto the timeline so we can preview it.

You’ll be prompted to include your slide notes as captions at this point – we’ll choose Yes.

You’ll see the presentation video (1) appears on a separate track to the captions (2). You can preview the video with the captions (3) by clicking the play button (4).

Now a word of warning at this point: If your slides notes are quite wordy and you’ve opted to turn them into captions, you’ll find that some of the text may not display. This is because you can only display a maximum of 3 lines of text per caption.

Click the More button here and select Captions.

This will open the Captions panel, and you’ll see on slide 1 here the text that’s dimmed out will not be displayed in the video.

You can fix this quite easily by clicking Split. (You may need to do this several times if you have a large amount of text).

Once you’re happy with the video click the Export button at the top right. There are a whole host of locations to export to, just select the one you need.

So that’s our finished video. We’ll be exploring Camtasia in more depth in our upcoming blogs.

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