The video recording software Camtasia is often used to record instructional or promotional videos. The online videos offer limited controls only, and do often lack options to download the videos to a local computer system for offline viewing.
Offline viewing has several advantages, most noticeably the option to watch the video multiple times without downloading it every time it is viewed, or the ability to move the video to devices without Internet access.
If you search for ways how to download Camtasia videos you come up with lots of websites promoting commercial software for that purpose. There are a few free programs that can download Camtasia videos, but this article is concentrating on manually downloading the videos.
Please note that the manual approach requires making some url modifications and looking at source codes. This may not appeal to anyone.
The following tip is for those users, and users who just want to get that damn video straight away. Web browsers store files in their cache, and Camtasia videos are no exception of the rule. This means that the video that you have been watching is in the browser cache.
How do you find the browser cache?
This method works best if you clear the cache prior to playing the video, as it makes it a lot easier to locate the Camtasia video in the cache.
Start playing the video on the website, and switch to your cache. Sort the cache by size, and drag and drop large files (usually larger than 1 Megabyte, often more) into the browser window to see if they are the video. If you have cleared the cache you are likely to end up with one large file on your cache. If the video plays in the browser congratulations, you just found the local copy of the Camtasia video.
The screenshot above is a snapshot of the Google Chrome cache. The Camtasia video is the third file from the top, with a size of 4313 Kilobytes.
You can now copy the video to another location. Please note that the video is usually in swf format, which means that many video players will have difficulties playing that video.
Using the source code:
Right-click on the video page and select to view the source of the page. Press Ctr-f, and enter the term swf. The source code usually contains one instance, often using the default name flash_controller.swf. All you need to do to download the Camtasia video is to remove _controller from the file name, and append the remaining name to the url / replace index file with it. Say you are watching the video on example.com. To view the video directly in the web browser you would open the url example.com/flash.swf.
This displays the Camtasia video directly in the web browser. To download it use the Save As option in your web browser. This will save the video to the local computer system.
This method works well in most cases. I have yet to encounter one where it is not possible to download the Camtasia video either by looking at the cache or the source code.
Have you tried downloading Camtasia videos in the past? How did you do it? If you know of a free software to download those videos let me know in the comments.
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