Integrating movies into documentation (Erika Yanovich)

Subject: Integrating movies into documentation (Erika Yanovich)
From: "Blount, Patricia A" <Patricia -dot- Blount -at- ca -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 2010 08:55:22 -0500


I've just started using video for product information and have to say,
love it.

We're doing very brief task demonstrations. Our original plan was to
document a procedure, then place a Show Me link beneath it that animated
it. Both text and video would appear in the Help.

We've since strayed from that path. Instead, we're posting the video
demos directly to YouTube and linking to the YouTube Channel from
directly inside the GUI.

Here's how we're doing video:

1. With screen capture software (Captivate, Hypersnap, Camtasia, etc.),
record the task to be demonstrated.
2. Edit the recorded output with text callouts that explain the reason
why a selection was made, and the results of every click. ("Choose x if
you want to do A, choose y if you want to do B...")
3. Adjust timings appropriately.
4. Regarding voice-over narration. I have done it. As others have
already pointed out, the workplace is not conducive to this effort. I do
it from home using a standard headset/mic. I haven't been making huge
Hollywood productions out of these videos, adding opening fanfare, etc.
But I have used the voiceover to explain concepts not immediately
evident from the GUI alone.

For narration, I write a full script and print it out with italics
marking points I want to emphasize and bold marking the ones I want to
"punch". I practice reading the script until I can do it without
stumbling over words. I have to substitute certain words. I am a native
New Yorker and hiding my accent is difficult with a word like "explore".
It tends to come out as "explaw". Another term that required extensive
practice was the product name "D2D". It sounded like a stutter: "dee da

Practicing the script helped me eliminate verb-age, you know... the
verbal garbage that comes out of us in conversation. All the you knows,
ums, sighs, lip smacking, lip popping, and so on.

Once I felt confident, I recorded the narration from home, where there
are no air conditioning hums, people walking by, conference rooms to be
kicked out of, and so on. It's good enough - certainly not great, but
effective for the purpose of conveying product use.

Visit Tom Johnson at I'd Rather Be Writing. He just did a webinar on

Feel free to contact me offlist if you'd like to discuss further.

Patty B.

Patricia A. Blount
Technical Writer
Recovery Management and Data Modeling
Tel: +1-631-342-3528
Mobile: +1-631-678-3437
Patricia -dot- Blount -at- ca -dot- com
CA, Inc.
1 CA Plaza
Islandia, NY, 11749


Are you looking for one documentation tool that does it all? Author,
build, test, and publish your Help files with just one easy-to-use tool.
Try the latest Doc-To-Help 2009 v3 risk-free for 30-days at:

Explore CAREER options and paths related to Technical Writing,
learn to create SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS documents, and
get tips on FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATION best practices. Free at:

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:


Previous by Author: Re: Mixing metaphors?
Next by Author: Re: Mixing metaphors?
Previous by Thread: Re: CHM on other platforms; was: re: RoboHelp: Ready to do I do that?
Next by Thread: RE: Integrating movies into documentation (Erika Yanovich)

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

Sponsored Ads