How to close timeline gaps using Ripple Delete in ScreenFlow and Camtasia

I stumbled upon the problem below.  It was shared in this tweet asking how to close gaps in the ScreenFlow timeline.


Ripple Delete / Ripple Insert In the Big 3 Screencast Editors

The feature we're looking for here is called "ripple delete."  The trick is to quickly close those gaps without:

  • having to perform a "select all" or multiple-clip-select (because that's a pain in the ass when you're in the middle of a long, complex project with many clips and multiple tracks)
  • and while keeping all clips on all tracks to the right of the gap in sync with each other as the gap closes (because audio that doesn't sync with video doesn't make for compelling tutorials)

And, while we're at it, let's go ahead and address the sibling of ripple delete -- ripple insert.  That may become helpful when you want to add new media clips into the middle of a ScreenFlow or Camtasia screencasting project.

Each of the "Big 3" screencasting editors handles ripple delete/ripple insert differently

ScreenFlow, Camtasia Ripple Delete Cheat Sheet

(Click to enlarge.)

In the video below, I'll walk ya through how to close/insert those gaps quickly in each of the big 3 screencast editors:  ScreenFlow, Camtasia Studio (for Windows) and Camtasia For Mac.  Meanwhile, I've also made the cheat sheet on the right available for you to download.  (Click it to enlarge.  Then, right-click and "save as...")

Below are the video timecodes so you can fast forward to the parts that interest you the most

  • 0:00 to 4:00 - Ripple Delete / Ripple Insert: ScreenFlow
  • 4:00 - Ripple Delete / Ripple Insert: Camtasia Studio
  • 7:28 - Ripple Delete / Ripple Insert: Camtasia For Mac

Did this help?  Let me know!

Ready to learn the Screencasting Wizard's secrets?Learn to teach online. Go beyond PowerPoint: learn to screencast using Camtasia Studio for Windows, Camtasia for Macintosh, or ScreenFlow for Macintosh. Watch the free previews now and read the topics list on our 5-star rated screencasting courses. Click here to learn more.

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About Mel

Mel is the online training architect and screencasting wizard at Kareo, one of Forbes' 2013 list of 100 Most Promising Companies in America. He's also the creator of Digital-Know-How, a training website devoted to developing learners' skills for screencasting and web video course development. Mel is also the chief blogger of; Mel's personal blog. The comments and opinions you read here are Mel's and not associated with any other company.
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One Response to How to close timeline gaps using Ripple Delete in ScreenFlow and Camtasia

  1. Graeme says:

    Hi Mel,

    Thanks for making this. I don’t think you answered her question though. From the photo, I believe she wanted to know “is there a close all gaps” command.

    I suspect that, because I have that same problem. I make simple videos, with just audio and video. So there’s only two elements in my timeline, and they’ll always be the same length – any cut will be to both.

    I make about 100 edits per video, getting rid of coughs, errors, pauses, etc. My current workflow looks like this:

    1. Make starting cut
    2. Make ending cut
    3. Select cut sections
    4. Press delete
    5. Click the gap in the audio timeline
    6. Cmd + click the gap in the video timeline
    7. Press delete again

    I’d like to do this:

    1. Make starting cut
    2. Make ending cut
    3. Select cut sections
    4. Press delete + a hotkey to delete the clip AND close the gap

    Or alternatively, step 5: Select the entire timeline and click “close all gaps”

    For the type of video I make (and I suspect it’s a common one), there would be no sync issues, and this would reduce editing time by 30-50%. Do you know if this is possible in either Screenflow or Camtasia for Mac?

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