If you need to edit and produce screencasts, or capture and share PowerPoint presentations and webcam footage, TechSmith Camtasia Studio 7 is the best software we’ve seen for the job.

Existing Camtasia users will know that creating and editing projects is absurdly simple. Improvements in TechSmith Camtasia Studio 7 include a revamped and improved user interface. This is now a Windows 7-like shiny number, with a tabbed horizontal taskbar that offers easy access to all of Camtasia's many editing features.

A useful addition to TechSmith Camtasia Studio 7 is cursor effects. This feature gives you the opportunity to edit out the cursor from your screen capture footage, or edit its appearance. This is easy to use and potentially very valuable, if you are making a video tutorial, for instance. Camtasia Studio can capture keyboard strokes during recordings, too - keystroke combinations can be displayed as text captions.

One feature new to TechSmith Camtasia Studio 7 that we really like is Libraries. This easy-to-use function starts from the premise that certain elements will be consistent throughout your projects. These may include introductions, background music, titles, watermarks, logos and transitions.

Libraries allows you to group together these elements so that rolling them out consistently across each project is a cinch – very useful in the business marketing environments that Camtasia will most likely call home. It also lets you bookmark any frequently used elements to call up quickly when required.

So TechSmith Camtasia Studio 7 is, in essence, a full-blown video editor for footage captured on your PC. It also makes uploading to YouTube a single click affair; but is such functionality worth the £220 asking price?

We're not totally enamoured of Camtasia's basic, built-in titles editor. You can make captions and subtitles, but you can't export them as text files. And there's no support for closing credits or rollovers. This is less than impressive for a premium product such as TechSmith Camtasia Studio 7.

In the credit column, Techsmith provides excellent online video guides and tutorials to help you get the most out of Camtasia Studio 7.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

TechSmith Camtasia Studio 7: Specs

  • Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
  • Microsoft DirectX 9 or later version
  • 1.5GHz, single-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 500MB hard-disk space
  • 1024x768 or greater screen resolution
  • Camtasia Studio Add-in for PowerPoint requires PowerPoint 2003 or 2007
  • output for the Apple iPod/iPod Touch/iPhone format requires Apple QuickTime 7.2 or later
  • dedicated Windows-compatible sound card, microphone and speakers (Recommended)
  • camera video recording requires a USB webcam – digital video (DV) cameras are not supported
  • YouTube upload requires Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or later
  • Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
  • Microsoft DirectX 9 or later version
  • 1.5GHz, single-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 500MB hard-disk space
  • 1024x768 or greater screen resolution
  • Camtasia Studio Add-in for PowerPoint requires PowerPoint 2003 or 2007
  • output for the Apple iPod/iPod Touch/iPhone format requires Apple QuickTime 7.2 or later
  • dedicated Windows-compatible sound card, microphone and speakers (Recommended)
  • camera video recording requires a USB webcam – digital video (DV) cameras are not supported
  • YouTube upload requires Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or later

OUR VERDICT

An easy-to-use bargain to those who require its functionality, and an expensive burden to those who don't: TechSmith Camtasia Studio 7 is the best software of its type. Whether that makes it worth £220 to you and your business depends on your screencast-editing needs. If you regularly produce branded video software tutorials, Camtasia is a must.

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