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Continue the Conversation- Camtasia 9 vs Camtasia 18

We had a great conversation today for our first eLearning Open Mic! Tons of eLearning professionals gathered to chat, praise, and yes, occasionally vent, about Camtasia. At eLearning Brothers, we’ve been longtime users of Camtasia, but we were curious to see what everyone else thought too, especially with the recent update from Camtasia 9 to Camtasia 18.


Hot topics throughout the conversation were:

  • The proliferation of eLearning tools & struggle to choose
  • Creating interactive simulations
  • Cross-compatibility between platforms (Mac & PC)
  • Is 18 really faster???

Let’s dive into these topics a little bit. Don’t forget to share your feedback in the comments section!

First, what’s the biggest difference between Camtasia 9 and Camtasia 18? The most obvious difference is that huge jump in numbers. TechSmith is moving more toward the standard of releasing updates annually and naming the releases after the year, so it’s easier to keep track of. Other big differences include that you can manage libraries much better and Camtasia 18 includes new themes that you can use in annotations.


Too Many Tools?

Jennifer was the first brave soul to take the mic in today’s eLearning Open Mic session and we’d like to give her a virtual round of applause for that! She shared that as an instructional designer today, it’s so hard to know what tool to use because there are so many and there’s just so much feature overlap! “We’re becoming a tool of our tools!” she exclaimed. I feel ya, Jennifer. Other participants echoed her statements.

We also talked about the struggle to choose between one tool that does most of what we need fairly well, or having to use multiple different tools that each do one thing well. This really energized the participants! Yvette shared that she prefers to have tools that do what they do very well.

“To me, we use both of these tools [Camtasia and Snagit] as well, but we see these as more complementary tools than competing tools. We utilize SnagIt for imagery but then transfer that over to Camtasia to do instructional with closed captioning, intros, transitions, etc,” said Joshua.

“I think most of us in the eLearning development sphere, spend more of our time doing a certain type of development, probably not due to any limitation of our own skill set or desire, but probably preference or primary need in whatever setting we are working in. Therefore, I don’t see quite as much value for a swiss army knife tool since few of us are spending most of our time doing ‘all of the things,'” shared Jerome.


Creating Interactive Simulations

Everyone agreed that you can do some cool things with Camtasia 9 and branching and hotspots, but wanted to know if Camtasia 18 brought any new features to the table that would allow you to create more detailed software simulations. No one participating had any experience creating anything super detailed with Camtasia 18, but we’d love to hear about if you’ve tried it!



Camtasia has long touted that you can pass projects back and forth between Camtasia Mac users and Camtasia PC users, but as we learned in today’s session, Camtasia 9 users haven’t had great success with that feature. However, it sounds like Camtasia 18 has ironed out some of the kinks there! Melissa, who does instructional support helping teachers with their projects in an open-platform school, says that the ability to cross-collaborate across platforms is so helpful. Gerome mentioned that if cross-compatibility were truly that much better in 18, that alone would make a strong business case for upgrading.


Is Camtasia 18 that much faster when it comes to exporting?

This is a sore spot for our in-house video expert, Andrew Townsend, who just doesn’t feel like exporting got any faster when he upgraded. However, Camtasia 18 had some strong defenders at the Open Mic, including one who said Camtasia 18 doesn’t slow down his computer as much when he’s trying to work on other things while simultaneously processing videos.


So, which is better? Well, we had opinions on both sides of the fence!

“After using both I am not sure the 100 bucks was worth it but the themes were nice to have added,” commented Ken.

“I think it’s all in your paradigm. I can pay $1k+ for Captivate or get 99.9% of what I need for a hundred bucks.. easy decision,” said Joshua.

“A few iterations ago, the company was still using the old UI, the version was overpacked with functions, and was quite buggy… When they went to the new UI, it was such a (stable) improvement that it was well worth upgrading. Since then I upgraded once more, but from what I saw of the upgrade, it wasn’t worth to do it annually… I predict that users will start leap-frogging versions, upgrading every two or three years instead of annually,” shared Michael.


A few open questions we ran out of time for, in case anyone else who wants to jump in… Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Has Camtasia 18 given you any new recording and editing techniques that you can use for marketing? – Zanel

(You could check out this webinar of Andrew live-editing a video showing his process!)

I’m curious how many people record audio and video separately in Camtasia -Will

Does Camtasia 18 support exporting ‘libraries’ between Mac OS and Windows? – Randell


Enjoyed this discussion? You might find our recorded webinars helpful. Also, check out our calendar to see when the next webinar or Open Mic is!


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