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