Silver Microsoft Surface Dial on a dark grey desk next to a grey Microsoft ergonomic keyboard

Using the Microsoft Surface Dial to edit videos in Camtasia

One of the best purchases I ever made was the Microsoft Surface Dial – it pays for itself every time I need to edit videos on my Windows computer in Camtasia Studio. The Surface Dial is a handy interface device for Windows even without the on-screen capability you get with devices like the Surface Studio.

Here’s how I configure it and what the editing experience looks like.

Applies to: Windows 10, Windows 11, Camtasia 2021 and earlier

Disclaimer: Though I’m employed by Microsoft, Surface devices is not my department. I’m receiving no revenue from this post or links and the Surface Dial was self-funded.

Configure your Microsoft Surface Dial

In essence, we are programming the Surface Dial to execute Camtasia’s keyboard shortcuts.
1. Open the Settings app and search for Wheel Settings:

The wheel settings pane in Windows 11
The wheel settings pane in Windows 11

2. Now I’m going to add this as a Custom tool by clicking the + icon in the Choose your default tools row. You could add this as an App tool instead and select the Camtasia studio app, but I found that a little more unreliable in Windows 11.

3. In the Custom tool settings, I configure:

Rotate right: None + .      (This moves the playhead forward in the timeline)

Rotate left: None + ,        (This moves the playhead back in the timeline)

Click shortcut: Ctrl + X        (This cuts out the selected video segment and moves other elements to the right to snap into the gap)

Camtasia keyboard shortcuts period, comma and control X in wheel settings

For a full list of supported Camtasia keyboard shortcuts, visit:

And that’s all there is to it!

How to edit videos in Camtasia with the Surface Dial

Editing videos is a two-handed process for me, that doesn’t generally involve the keyboard (unless I’m adding text callouts).

I use the Surface Dial in my left hand and the mouse in my right hand, to move the playhead green & red bumpers and then to press down on the Surface Dial and remove the selected media.

To see it in action, you can skip to 1:30 in this video:

I hope this encourages you to try out this device if you edit videos in Windows. I wouldn’t be without it now.





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