A Pleasant Software Surprise

Graphics automatically re-size when you use a Snagit Profile to finish a capture.

I love it when software surprises me in a pleasant way.

The graphics in a storyboard are critical. I had a client once who objected to a clip art character, saying it was “too chesty.” More recently, I used a male character wearing a tie and a different client told me to remove the tie. “We have a casual work environment here.”

These are the things you need to know before you create a video or elearning product!

With a recent IT system, I wrote a storyboard using a preliminary version of the software. When the “final” configured software was ready, I had to replace almost every graphic in the entire storyboard. (That’s what happens when you’re brought in too early.)

But I realized some efficiencies during that rework. Here’s what I did:

I set up the system I was documenting, in a window, on the left side of my screen.

I set up my Word document — the storyboard — on the right.

I used Snagit to capture graphics, but you can use whatever screen capture tool you have. When I take a screenshot, the Snagit image editor opens and I put that window on the left as well. It’s important I’m able to see the Word document on the right so I can quickly check my cursor placement.

I like Word on the right and my content and Snagit on the left.

Storyboard on one side, content and screen capture tool on the other.

Here’s the trick. In your screen capture tool, set up a profile so that the image outputs to Word. (I usually open it in the editor first so I can add a stamp, highlight or callout, but if you don’t edit your images, have it go directly to Word.)

So the workflow looks like this:

In the storyboard, place your cursor where you want the image to appear. Then switch to your content system: in my case it was the IT system, but it could be PowerPoint or whatever system you’re creating the storyboard for. (Use Alt+Tab.)

In the content system, take your screenshot. (Tip 1: Create a keyboard shortcut that activates the screen capture. Tip 2: Zoom-in! Don’t be afraid to capture just the button, or field. Maybe include a tiny bit more for context, but zoom-in.) The editor automatically opens.

In the editor, edit the screenshot. I like the “hand-cursor” stamp for buttons. Make the shot look the way you want.

Cursor is shown in the next cell below the previous graphic.

Place your cursor in the storyboard where you want the graphic inserted.

Then, with one click, send that screenshot to Word.

Shows the Finish Profile button in Snagit.

Add stamps, highlights, callouts in the Editor, then use the one-click Finish.

I’ve always known that Snagit can do this but I didn’t actually put it into use until this project when I had to replace so many images. And the beauty of it only then made itself known.

I use tables in Word for my storyboards: graphics on the left, narration on the right.

If I manually copy the screenshot from Snagit Editor and paste it into Word, it rarely fits the table cell and I have to re-size the graphic. (For some reason, my Word macros don’t work. I did try that option.)

If I set up that “output to Word” profile in Snagit and let Snagit put that screenshot into Word, it fits, every time. It’s like magic. I didn’t expect it to do that. Getting an image into Word without this trick is not that time consuming (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V), but having to re-size the graphics was getting very tedious!

A perfectly sized graphic in a Word table.

When Snagit inserts a graphic into Word, it magically gets re-sized!

I just love it when software surprises me in a good way!

Disclaimer: I haven’t been able to get this to work on my Mac, just my Windows 7 laptop.

How has software surprised you lately — in a good way?

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