If you are not already familiar with Camtasia, it is software that is widely used for creating and recording video tutorials and presentations. 

But, what if you don’t want to make another boring, snooze-fest presentation?

This is where hotspots come in.

Hotspots provide clickable calls-to-action in videos that can make your videos more interactive, engaging, and interesting. You can use hotspots to open the next video in a series, provide a link in your video, or jump to a specific point in the video based on user interests. 

Let’s dive into how to use hotspots in Camtasia. 

Note: The process is essentially the same whether you are using a Windows or Mac computer.

Create a Marker

  1. Hover your mouse over any track and a plus sign (+) icon will appear
  2. Select the plus sign (+) icon to place a marker in that location
  3. Tip: select the marker, then right-click to enter Properties and give the marker a unique name to keep your timeline organized.
  4. Repeat for all desired markers.

Create a Button

  1. Select Annotations in the left toolbar
  2. Select the Callouts tab
  3. Click and drag the button icon onto the desired location in the timeline
  4. After placement, edit the button text as necessary

Adjust Button Settings

After creating a button:

  1. Select Visual Effects in the left toolbar (you may need to select More if Visual Effects does not immediately appear in your left toolbar)
  2. Drag the Interactive Hotspot onto the desired button 
  3. With the button selected, go to the Visual Properties tab in the far right panel of the Camtasia workspace 
  4. Find and adjust the interactive hotspot settings, depending upon how you want your hotspot to work (see Visual Properties, below, for instructions)

Adjust Visual Properties

After selecting your button, go to the Visual Properties tab in the far right panel of the Camtasia workspace to customize your desired settings:

  1. If you mark the checkbox “Pause at End”, when the play head reaches the hotspot, the video will pause. 
    1. Tip: If your video continues playing through the hotspot or pauses too soon or too late, check that your hotspot lasts at least half a second on the timeline. For Pause at End to work properly, the hotspot object on the timeline needs to last for at least half a second or 15 frames; otherwise, video player won’t have sufficient time to register the pause, and your video won’t properly pause at the end of that hotspot. 
  2. Click to Continue is a default setting, where the play head will continue playing from where it stopped once the hotspot is clicked.
  3. If you want your hotspot to link to a webpage, select URL and paste the hyperlink that needs to appear in a new browser window once the hotspot is selected. 
  4. If, instead of opening a new webpage, you want the users to jump to a different place in the video (such as a “choose your own adventure” experience), select Marker and enter the specific time marker on the timeline. This provides choice points for interacting with your video. You may either create new markers or use your current location in the timeline as a new marker. 
  5. Selecting Time will jump the play head to a specific time code in the project when the hotspot is selected. When you select this option enter the chosen time in the field next to “Time.” If you need help finding the correct time code the current time code is listed to the right of the play head.

Publish and Test Your Interactive Video

To test the interactive parts of your video, you must Publish it. 

  1. Save your project 
  2. Export your project as a Local File
  3. Once the Production Wizard Panel opens:
    1. Choose Custom production settings
    2. Select MP4 Smart Player (HTML5) option. (Important: MP4 with Smart Player is required for the interactivity to work.)
    3. Select your Smart Player options, including enabling or disabling the Controller, specifying any Quiz or Video/Audio settings, and selecting the desired Size. 
    4. Select Next
    5. You may change the Video Info, add a Watermark, or embed your video into HTML, if desired. Otherwise, select Next again.
    6. If you have any quizzes in your interactive video, specify your reporting preferences. You may also enable SCORM, if desired.
    7. Select Next.
    8. Specify the filename and select your destination folder.
    9. Select Finish
    10. Wait for Camtasia to finish exporting your file, then play the file and ensure all interactions work as expected.