How to Record a Software Application

At some point, if you are using a piece of software and you know it well, then somebody is going to ask you to “record a demonstration” or “create a tutorial” on how it works. If so, these top tips may save you a lot of time.

  1. Make sure the application you are going to record is in a fit state to be recorded. Is the data in there logical and meaningful? Are there any bugs that need fixing before you can record it? Are there any logos on there that shouldn’t be there?
  2. Make sure you know what it is that you want to show people.
  3. Get to the point, don’t make long and boring recordings that people can’t bear to sit through.
  4. Consider the format(s) you are going to want the final content in.
    1. Video or film (consider tools like Camtasia)
    2. Software simulation (consider multi-author tools v single author tools)
    3. Powerpoint slides (consider taking screenshots and inserting them using snipping tool or SnagIt)
    4. Microsoft Word format (as above)
    5. Top tip: If you want all of the above fomats, consider a tool like TT Knowledge Force
  5. Rehearse the capturing – this will help you to refine the steps that you are going to capture. Often an application will have more than one way of doing something, so capture the shortest method or the one that is the simplest first.
  6. Capture it
  7. Edit the capture, so you add more value to it. Create hints, tips and notes as well as pointing out areas of interest.
  8. Consider translating it into different languages to increase your audience.

Think global, act local!


Good luck with all your recordings, and if you need any help or advice on how to make them better, faster and easier, then please feel free to drop us a line.


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