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Screen Capture Tools

How to use screen capture tools

A screen capture is the act of copying what is currently displayed on a screen to a document or to a printer. The screen capture produces an image file that can be pasted into a document or into a software programme that allows for cropping and image manipulation. Screen capture software might also provide animation so that a sequence of movements on the screen can be captured as a video clip.

Screen capture - still images

Print Screen key

The basic method to capture the screen is to use the Print Screen button on a computer keyboard.

  1. Press down the Print Screen button on the keyboard.

  2. Open a new document.

  3. Click on Edit > Paste.

The screen you were viewing when the Print Screen button was pressed will be displayed as an image. If you need to capture a floating window, hold down the ALT key on the keyboard at the same time as the Print Screen key.

In-page imageSnippy

There are plenty of Screen Capture softwares to choose from – some free or for a one-off small fee.  Snippy is one of the most popular and can be easily downloaded. It is ready to use within a few seconds. Once downloaded you will notice a scissors icon on the taskbar at the bottom of your Window’s Desktop.
Follow these steps:

  1. Left click onto the scissors icon.

  2. Click and drag around the object you want to capture.In-page image

  3. Open a document or photo imaging software and click on paste.

  4. To obtain a straight-edged capture hold down the Shift key while dragging around the object.

  5. Try to change the outer edge colour of the captured image. Right click onto the scissors and change the settings – the colour and stroke width.

More info: Why not go to the RSC Northwest eBook library. Select Authoring Tools e-Books > Using Snippy for screen capture. You will see more advanced options for using Snippy. 

Screen capture - moving images

Camstudio

In-page imageCamStudio software allows you to capture any movements on screen and record the capture as an animation.  In addition, the free software has the function for voice narration therefore supporting the visual display by offering verbal description. The animation can be saved as an .avi or a .swf file format.

How to create a CamStudio animation.

The following instructions will explain how to produce a short animation showing how to open the Calculator tool and create a simple sum.

  1. Open CamStudio software. The CamStudio control panel opens.

  2. There are three options to define the area you want to capture:
    1. Region: Capture a selected area on screen.
    2. Fixed: Capture a fixed-size region
    3. Full screen: Capture entire Desktop.
  1. Click beside Full screen.

  2. Become familiar with the routine you will record. Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Calculator.

  3. In-page imageClick on the Record button and repeat the procedure to find the calculator and carry out a simple sum by clicking onto numbers and pressing the equals symbol.

  4. In-page imageReturn to the CamStudio control panel and click on the Stop button. A ‘Save AVI file’ dialogue In-page imagebox opens.Browse to find the E-Guides  USB memory stick. Name the file  calculator.avi (remove the existing asterix) and click on Save.

  5. In-page imageThe file is created and then opens. You will note a small Player toolbar at the top of the screen. Click on Play (the first button) to view your animation.

Now you have tried a CamStudio capture why not create another one? A narration can be added to the screen capture – see below for the instructions.

How to add a narration to a screen capture using CamStudio.

The following instructions will explain how to produce a short animation and an accompanying narration showing how to enter a keyword into the Google search.

  1. Go to Google.

  2. Open CamStudio software and the CamStudio control panel opens.

  3. Go to Options > Record audio from microphone. Ensure a recording headset is attached to the computer.

  4. Become familiar with the routine you will record. Go to the internet browser window and type ‘what to see in Oxford’ (or type in your own village, town or city) in the Google search box. Select the pages from the UK option in the browser. Press Enter on the keyboard. When you record you will explain your actions as you type the text, click with the mouse and use the keyboard.

  5. In-page imageClick on the Record button and repeat the procedure to add a keyword in Google and see the results of the search.

  6. In-page imageReturn to the CamStudio control panel and click on the Stop button. A ‘Save AVI file’ dialogue box opens. Browse to find the E-Guides USB memory stick. Name the file google.avi (remove the existing asterix) and click on Save.

  7. The file is created and then opens. You will notice a small Player toolbar at the top of the screen. Click on Play (the first button) to view and hear your animation.

Wink

In-page imageAnother free software application is called Wink. Wink is a screen-capture program that allows you to make presentations and tutorials about using software programs. A Wink presenter can also add comments and verbal explanation throughout a Wink presentation.

You might want to start by watching a short Wink tutorial explaining how to create a Wink project. Wink can also incorporate on-screen text boxes and arrows.

The following instructions will explain how to produce a short video tutorial showing how to enter a simple calculation in an Excel spreadsheet.

  1. Open Wink. (Start > All Programs > DeBugMode or click on the Desktop shortcut for Wink.)

  2. Start a New Project. Go to File > New. A ‘New Project Wizard’ dialogue box opens. Use the Default settings within this Wizard.

  3. In-page imageConfirm OK and Step 2 of the Project Wizard dialogue box opens. Note the HotKey instructions to take a screen shot and to stop/start the capture.

  4. Alt + Pause is the best option so that every mouse click or keystroke is captured.

  5. Click on Minimize to Tray.

  6. Open Excel. (File > All Programs > Excel) and start with a blank spreadsheet.

  7. In-page imagePress Alt + Pause on the keyboard to start capturing the screen. Carry out the following procedure:

    1. Enter numbers in cells B3: B8

    2. Click onto cell B9.      

    3. Click on to the Autosum icon on the Standard toolbar.

    4. Click on the green tick along the Formula toolbar to confirm the calculation.

    5. Move your mouse and click on cell B9 to indicate the total sum.
  1. Press Alt + Pause to stop the recording.

  2. Wink makes thumbnail images of each captured screen. Note the number of thumbnails at the bottom of the Wink screen. 

Tip IconTo add text boxes, captions and arrows watch the Wink tutorials.

  1. In-page imageTo launch your Wink presentation as an animation, click on the Render icon on the toolbar.  Alternatively, go to Project > Render. The time taken to carry out the rendering of the animation might be lengthy, depending on the number of slides, sound narration or captions.

  2. Click on Project > Settings. Browse to find the E-Guide USB memory stick to save the animation. Leave other settings in place and confirm OK.

  3. Find the .swf animation file on your E-Guides USB memory stick and double-click to start the animation.

Suggestions for use

The following examples have been created using Wink.

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Further resources:

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