Writing a tutorial on how to use a software or web script can be difficult. People understand instructions better if there are visual cues to follow – and there lies the difficulty, how to get screen captures to use for the illustration.
Recently, a group sought my help for their website. They wanted to have a better way to run their site without having to spend much for the services. I installed WordPress for them. Although I think Serendipity is the better blog script, most people I know find WordPress easier and better to use.
I decided to write a tutorial for the group on how to maximize the use of their new WordPress-powered site. I wanted to include screen captures to illustrate the steps to take in managing a site, editing entries or posting articles. The prospect of hitting the Print Screen button and then pasting the captured data into a graphics editing software every time I want to illustrate something seemed daunting – I’d have to take more than a dozen screen captures manually.
Luckily, I remembered copying into my del.icio.us account a bookmark for a free tutorial software. I logged into my account and found the link to Wink. I downloaded Wink and 20 minutes after I installed it, I already finished my visual, step-by-step tutorial on how to manage a WordPress-powered site (check out the image below note: I blurred the website name to protect the privacy of the group I’m helping.)
Wink simplifies the writing of graphical tutorials on the use of a software or script. You can choose whether you manually control when the software takes a screen capture or you can let it take successive screen captures. You can also choose whether to export the tutorial into an .exe, shockwave, HTML or PDF file.