Using Auto Screen Shot Tools ~ Are They Helpful?

Subject: Using Auto Screen Shot Tools ~ Are They Helpful?
From: Jill Gallagher <jill -dot- gallagher -at- outlook -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2015 16:04:43 -0700

Today a project manager (and an IT guy) approached me, all excited about a Microsoft auto screen shot tool she just learned about that will really be beneficial to me and revolutionize my job as a technical writer (who knew?) She wanted me to drop what I was doing and look into it with them immediately at my desk. I did rebuff them, as I was deep in an editing project and I was annoyed, I admit. I'll look into it next week, I told them.
I've never used an automated screen shot tool (static screens, not video) and I don't see the value of "whipping" through an unfamiliar software process in order to quickly create a bevy of numerically named screen shots in a folder. I would still need to revisit each one, rename it, edit it (cropping, etc. as needed), plunk it into my document, and write a draft of the steps associated with it.
My current process is to navigate through the software, digesting the material as the "user," while stopping to create each screen shot using Snippit (that's what we have here). This method allows me to name and save the screen shot and insert it into my document on the fly. I find it especially helpful if I'm learning the software as I go, which is usually the case for technical writers. That's part of our job. In addition, part of my job is to evaluate the user interface and find bugs. My turtle process suits me better than that of the hare. It's more thoughtful and thorough it seems.
Also, can auto screen shot tools capture dropdown menus?
Jill GallagherTechnical Writer/Editor/Manual Screen Shot Creator
Adobe TCS 5: Get the Best of both worlds: modern publishing and best in class XML \ DITA authoring |


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