Re: Tools for producing a Tutorial

Subject: Re: Tools for producing a Tutorial
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Chris Gooch <chris -dot- gooch -at- rocketmail -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2010 10:35:13 -0400

Adobe Captivate would be my tool of choice. It's pricey but robust,
has a strong user community for Q&A, and the product evangelist (RJ
Jacquez) is always willing to help steer you to information when all
other avenues are exhausted. He also posts many tutorials using
Captivate for all sorts of Adobe products, so you can see them in
action and get ideas for your own. You can find his posts with links
to tutorials here:

I'm not an Adobe fanboy, as evidenced by many of my tweets as of late
as I struggle with custom hacks in FM9 and RH8, but overall I've found
RJ to be a top-notch evangelist and a huge help in steering me to
solutions. That is worth the price, IMO.

On Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 5:11 AM, Chris Gooch <chris -dot- gooch -at- rocketmail -dot- com> wrote:
> 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).

Bill Swallow

Twitter: @techcommdood

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Tools for producing a Tutorial: From: Chris Gooch

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