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:
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)
For a full list of supported Camtasia keyboard shortcuts, visit: https://support.techsmith.com/hc/en-us/articles/360058637951-Camtasia-2021-Shortcuts
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.