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ScreenFlow Interface

One of the reasons that I like to use Screenflow is the simple, uncluttered user interface. ScreenFlow has three major sections to the editing window interface, which are the Canvas, Timeline and Properties Panes.

The Canvas pane displays the preview playback of your project and determines the viewing area. You will want to set the Canvas properties, which are the frame size of the finished project and the background color. Below the Canvas is the Toolbar which contains, from left to right, the Canvas control, Playback control, Timecode display and Audio meters.

As with most video editing software, the Timeline pane is the place where you will be working with the elements (audio, clips and images) of your project. This is where you will place the elements in the order that they should appear and apply effects to the elements. Each element in your project is placed on a separate track (layer). That is to say, a copy of the original is on the Timeline and the original stays in the Media Library. Making changes to the copy on the Timeline does not alter the original. Unless non opaque, elements on one layer will obscure any layers beneath. Because the originals for all media stay in the Media Library, you can add more than one copy of the same element onto the Timeline. Besides video clips, you can also use still images in the .tiff, .gif, .jpg and .png formats.

The Properties pane contains most of the controls for adding effects to the elements on the Timeline. Selecting one of the Properties tabs at the top will display the corresponding controls, including Video, Audio, Screen Recording, Callout, Annotations and Text properties. The last tab will open the Media Library where all the media for your project is displayed.

Each effect applied to an element is called an Action and is represented by a semi-opaque rectangle overlaying the element on the Timeline. The duration of the effect is represented by the length of the rectangle and can be adjusted by dragging the edge of the Action rectangle.

Your project is saved as a ScreenFlow document (.screenflow) which contains all the information for the project. Once finished, you can export your project as a standard video file. You have your choice of several export presets with the default being .mp4. You can also publish directly to a video sharing site, such as Vimeo or YouTubeTM.

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