Monday, July 11, 2005

Screen Capture Software

I have been trying out various screen capture software that I hope can be used for software demonstations and tutorials. The first I looked at is Camtasia (http://www.techsmith.com). It is nice for creating software tutorials. Next I looked at Macromedia's Captivate (http://www.macromedia.com/software/robodemo/). It has a lot of avantages and I think I prefer it over Camtasia. Unfortunately it costs about twice what Camtasia costs, but I think it is worth it. I will post a test demo using Captivate to see how it plays with users. It saves files in Shockwave format.

I will probably do the software tutorials inside a VMWare Workstation 5 instance. My screen resolution is 1280x1040 so I need to do the demos within a smaller screen area... probably 1024x768 since this is the smallest common size on laptops as well as most desktops. I can also undo changes easily using VMWare's snapshot and cloning features. VMWare Workstation 5 also has a movie recorder mode where you can capture whatever is going on and save it as an AVI file. Unfortunately, I don't see any option to record audio narration in sync with whatever is happening on the screen. If it worked this way I would probably use it to create the software tutorials.

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