Tag Archives: scribd

Tutorials on Tutorials (How to Do Screencasts and Screenshots)

This is the third installment in my “Silly e-mails from My Mom” series. Please be sure to check out the other two!

Let me start things off right away by saying that this is going to be one epic blog post.

My mom’s e-mail for today’s post isn’t really all that silly, but it’s still silly. On a scale from 1-10, it’s ridiculous.

This is what my mom wrote (for prior context we’d been discussing an idea I have for a site that will help folks like my Grandma understand the internet):

How about a tutorial for how to do a screencast?

Or, how do you do an email that looks like a web page? Do you make a web page and attach it to your email?

Ot, let’s say I want to send grandma an email or pdf on how to do something on the Mac. I’d like to get good screenshots to include. Do you just use command ^ shift 4? How do you capture the menu?

A sensible person would probably write multiple blog posts to tackle these questions, but I’m gonna try to slam them into one!

1) Well, you can’t really do a screencast of a screencast because the browser and computer get confused (as do I). Maybe you can, but it’s a bit too meta for my taste. Screenshots would be a bit of a mess too. So here’s a quick rundown:

Go to a screencasting site: I like Screenr because it’s pretty straightforward. Please note for Screenr that you will need a Twitter account in order to use it. I also find that it works better with Firefox than with Chrome.

Watch the screenr tutorial video: It’s located on the right side of their homepage. It’s better than anything I’ll be able to come up with right now (That was a pretty lazy answer wasn’t it? Well, I should be sleeping).

2) Screenshots are pretty easy to do. Mom, if your experience with Skitch is anything to go by, it seems like you already know how to do this pretty well. You are correct, all you need to do is type “Command, shift, 4” for a little target style cursor to appear. I did a quick screencast on how to do it, which you’ll find below. Please note that the cursor shows up as the regular arrow in the screencast but will look different on your actual screen. The title should also read “screenshots,” not “screencasts.” I’m tired, so there.

Other Tips:You may wish to resize your screenshot or edit it a bit. You could use Skitch or upload it to Picnik. To learn more about using Picnik, check out a screencast I did a while ago.

3)The easiest way to deal with PDFs, other than adding them as attachments to your e-mails, is by using the nifty new site Scribd. Guess what? I also did a screencast a while back on how to upload a PDF to Scribd and embed it into a WordPress blog post The only difference in this instance, is instead of embedding the PDF into a blog post, you can select the “share” option and e-mail a link to it to anyone. Then the PDF will pop up on its own page and your recipient won’t have to download it unless he or she wants to save it. If you haven’t already taken the time to explore Scribd a bit, I’d recommend you do so. It’s pretty sweet.

That’s all for now folks!

And, of course, you can view some other screencasts I’ve done over at the BlinkTag Inc blog!