TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
RE: Using Auto Screen Shot Tools ~ Are They Helpful?
Subject:RE: Using Auto Screen Shot Tools ~ Are They Helpful? From:"Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com> To:"techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "Jill Gallagher" <jill -dot- gallagher -at- outlook -dot- com> Date:Mon, 13 Apr 2015 22:20:57 +0000
Probably easy to say this from afar, but I would have at least tried to humor them and mirror their excitement, maybe give it a try, unless you were so deep into that editing project that pulling yourself out of it would have forced you to have to come in over the weekend when you wouldn't have had to do that otherwise.
Sometimes deadlines are just so pressing that interruptions like these are understandably trying and stressful. But you also want to show that you're willing to try new things. Folks in those roles appreciate someone who's flexible and interested in new technology.
But I know the feeling. Especially when you have a system that works so well for you, and the "new" system will likely be more of a setback if the folks on the other side don't really understand what you have to go through day to day.
Still, if you give that capture tool a chance, you might be able to adapt it in ways that actually create more efficiency for you. It just might take you a few days to get to that point. But it could turn your current process upside down in a good way, and ultimately save you lots of time.
You might want to consider investigating that tool when you have more time. But if you don't, I'll completely understand. (I might have done the same thing in your situation.)
It's just an alternate view also partly because everybody's telling you to stick to your guns. It's fine to stick with what works but on the flip side, don't cheat yourself out of something that could make your job better -- or add to your toolbox of skills.
PS - I notice your original post includes "Are They Helpful?" in the subject, so presumably you're open to the idea of looking into them.
On Friday, April 10, 2015 4:05 PM, Jill Gallagher wrote:
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 | http://adobe.ly/scpwfT