There’s a few videos in this playlist of tutorials where I share inspiration and some of the techniques that go into photographs like this one https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDyGxBV4IS7dnfD7UYfg-ytAY3Gq0mgHn
Clarifying the workflow
I’ve spent a fair bit of time when working at North Lanarkshire and back in school in creating howto instructions for software or computer tasks. Generally this involves organizing a bunch of screenshots and text on a page. I usually use Pages (or sometime comiclife) occasionally Word. I’ve though of myself as quite competent in grabbing screenshots (cmd-shift-4 on a mac, spacebar toggles rect/window capture), switching to pages (cmd-tab repeat tab until pages is selected and let go), and pasting the image in (cmd-v) before command tabbing back to where ever the screenshots are coming from.
Recently I’ve been making a few help sheets for glow blogs and on a whim remembered Clarify. I’d tested it but not been impressed for reasons I can’t recall. I got the application through a macheist software bundle a while back. Given I’ve quite a lot of screen-shooting to do I though I’d give it another go. I was quite please to find that I qualified for a free update to Clarify 2 My first impressions of the application have been overturned.
Clarify 2 is great for making documents that consist of a series of screenshots and text. The great advantage the application has from a more manual approach is workflow.
- You launch the application
- Switch to the application you want to explain
- Work through the process taking screenshots (cmd-shift-2) as you go.
- The screenshots are placed in a clarify document. Clarify stays in the background.
- After taking all of the screenshots you can switch to clarify.
- Work through the sections, adding titles, descriptions and annotating the images with the built in tools.
- Export to word, pdf, html.
You can copy and paste as rtf or publish to WordPress, dropbox or clarify-it.com (the latter is a free beta at the moment).
As you work through the clarify document you can resize the screenshots, annotate them and combine them. The defaults are sensible and the annotation tools are both simple and powerful.
The exports can be further enhanced with templates, but I’ve not tried that yet. The publishing to wordpress has worked well in a couple of tests.
To round up, clarify seems to save time buy improving the workflow, decreasing the amount of tinkering and adjusting to be done and exporting to several useful formats. The application costs £18.70 for mac or windows and there is a Mac/Windows Cross-Platform License at £24.94. Well worth the money in my opinion.
Stuck with ICT
I’ve been reading some of the wordpress course over at swict.com :||: the place for help when you’re Stuck With ICT. Swict is a project by Andrew Brown.
If you want to get started blogging with wordpress this is a great place to start, especially if you are a busy teacher. All of the 18 lessons are available as pdf files and Adobe Captivate videos. The videos are between 40 seconds ans 3 minutes each, bite size for easy consumption!
Andrew has a great voice for listening too and the tutorials could not be clearer or easier to follow. As well as wordpress the growing collection covers Adobe Captivate 2 (Andrew eats his own dogfood), PowerPoint and Macromedia Breeze Presenter 5 Course all in the same style.