Re: Tools for producing a Tutorial

Subject: Re: Tools for producing a Tutorial
From: Craig Haiss <craighaiss -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2010 07:01:50 -0700 (PDT)

Hi, Chris!

For an inexpensive solution, you could try combining your video or PowerPoint slides with JavaScript quiz elements. For each section of the tutorial, embed the video for that section into an HTML page along with the JavaScript quiz code containing questions related to the video. The user must answer the questions before moving on to the next section.

You can find free JavaScript quiz code through Google; there are a lot of options, so just pick the code that's easiest for you to work with.

You can accomplish a lot with JavaScript and HTML, including slicing GUI screenshots into separate images and rebuilding them as interactive components with JavaScript event handlers (onClick, etc.), basically faking the interactivity in your software. It takes more work than something like Captivate, but the only cost is your time.

Good luck!

Craig Haiss

--- On Wed, 6/9/10, Chris Gooch <chris -dot- gooch -at- rocketmail -dot- com> wrote:

> From: Chris Gooch <chris -dot- gooch -at- rocketmail -dot- com>
> Subject: Tools for producing a Tutorial
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Date: Wednesday, June 9, 2010, 5:11 AM
> Hi,
> I'm currently working on a short technical writing contract
> for a
> start-up company. We've already got some very brief 'quick
> start'
> pages done just in Word, plus some context help, and
> tooltips
> done as XML as part of the software itself. The client
> thinks that
> some tutorials on using certain aspects of the software
> would be
> a useful thing to provide next, but wer're not sure exactly
> how to
> produce these. Options range from a simple document, or a
> presentation style, to a video showing a task being done
> with the
> software (with or without voice over).
> My question is, do people have any recommendations for
> tools
> to use to produce such a thing?
> We have a free tool called CamStudio to record the software
> in action
> which allows you to add a voice over but we're not sure we
> want to go
> down the route of just providing videos on the web site. We
> also have
> SnagIt for annotated screen captures to add to a more
> traditional type
> document, but we thought something more dynamic than that
> would
> be best.
> Adobe Captivate (which used to be called RoboDemo back in
> the day
> I think) looks like it might be useful, but it's not cheap.
> So we thought
> another option might be to use Powerpoint to produce an
> animated
> presentation, but perhaps this would be second best and I
> should
> recommend them to invest in Captivate (although I have no
> experience
> of it myself).
> Any suggestions? As I say the client is a start up and they
> don't want
> to spend a lot of money on software if it's not going to be
> used much;
> on the other hand my contract is pretty short so it will be
> worth them
> paying for tools that enable a good job to be done in a
> short time (they
> will need to be able to update whatever I produce
> themselves after my
> contract finishes too).
> cheers,
> Chris.
> Christopher Gooch
> Technical Author and Software Developer
> Sheffield, UK.


Gain access to everything you need to create and publish documentation,
manuals, and other information through multiple channels. Choose
authoring (and import) as well as virtually any output you may need.

- Use this space to communicate with TECHWR-L readers -
- Contact admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com for more information -

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:

Tools for producing a Tutorial: From: Chris Gooch

Previous by Author: RE: Training - who gets it? How useful?
Next by Author: Seeking tool recommendations
Previous by Thread: RE: Tools for producing a Tutorial
Next by Thread: Re: Tools for producing a Tutorial

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads