Ideas while travelling on the way….

Archive for May, 2012

StepShot review

The Giveawayl of the Day (GOTD) for May 28, 2012 was for StepShot.  I had not heard of this utility designed to may visual tutorials from screen captures. It is built on the old proverb: a picture is worth a thousand words.

After starting the program, the user can elect to take a single snapshot, or to record a shot each time the mouse is clicked.  For a quick test, I decided to document how to use the new in-line detail feature of pre-released Freeplane. 1.2  For my initial experience I chose to turn on recording for each mouse click.  This took some getting used to and I ended up capturing more shots than I needed.  Unneeded shot are easy to delete, by simply clicking on the delete icon.  After eliminating unnecessary shots, I added a few text boxes and arrows.

Here is he first screen showing the captured files:

StepShot image 1

Notice the added text and arrow in red.  The cursor is also highlighted in yellow which is very handy in demos.

The next shot shows the first screen of the export dialog which allows the editing of several settings on the first page of the saved demo.

The second screen allows the choice or several formats:

The full demo can be found here: Freeplane In-line Demo created with StepShot

Verdict: This utility is quite different from other screen capture programs I have used, particularly Jing and SnagIt.  The idea of taking a shot very time a mouse button is pressed ensures that little is missed from a demo.  On the other hand, only rudimentary editing of screen shots is available within StepShot itself.  It does seemlessly open a graphic editor (default is MSPaint) if further editing is needed.

During my first attempt I chose to includedthe entire screen.  Unfortunately this included included the “Stop Recording” button.  This is unfortunate, but can be overcome by just taking snap shots of the active window.  As long as the “Stop Recording” button is outside the active window, all is good.

As can be seen from the above screen shot, several formats are available when exporting the demo.  All in all, a good start for creating visual demonstrations.

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