ScreenSteps: Simple documentation

Part of my job is helping my colleagues do what they need to do on their computers and online. They ask, “Judi, how do I…?” and I tell them. To make finding this info easier, I started building wiki pages for documenting how we at C3 do what we do. I took screenshots with Skitch, recorded movies with Jing. Took forever.

The problem is that things change. And when they do I’d have to redo/update the documentation. And it was cumbersome to organize and build. I had a few of the basics saved, but I’m not sure all my colleagues even know where to look.

Then this week, I found ScreenSteps. This application makes building step-by-step tutorials so incredibly easy. Rather than rehash what it does, here’s their overview movie which explains it:

http://www.viddler.com/player/881afb86/

You can export your lesson/manuals to HTML, Word or PDF and customize the template. After playing with all the options, I ultimately decided to export the files to HTML, upload online via FTP and serve in a Salesforce custom web tab aptly named “How Do I?” They have a hosted version, but at a minimum of $20/month it’s more than I want to spend now compared to a one-time software license purchase.

I can even send lessons to Posterous or other blogs, as explained in this post. I considered making a private Posterous or blog for the docs, but I think I’m going to stick to HTML where the template is easier to edit, and I can more easily organize content and embed in Salesforce.

ScreenSteps is $80 (no Nonprofit discount, I’m afraid) but here’s a link that includes a code for 25% off. There’s a Mac and PC version.

Update from comments: ScreenSteps Standard is only $40 and will let you export HTML, PDF, clipboard and upload to WordPress, TypePad, Movable Type and Joomla. You usually only need Pro if you are going to be exporting full manuals or uploading to a MindTouch or Confluence wiki.

No affiliation or kickback to me, this is just a really handy tool for those of us that have to show how techie things are done visually.

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2 thoughts on “ScreenSteps: Simple documentation

  1. screensteps says:

    Thanks for the nice words about ScreenSteps. Just and FYI – ScreenSteps Standard is only $40 and will let you export HTML, PDF, clipboard and upload to WordPress, TypePad, Movable Type and Joomla. You usually only need Pro if you are going to be exporting full manuals or uploading to a MindTouch or Confluence wiki.

  2. Judi Sohn says:

    I’m sorry, I should have mentioned that and I’ve edited my post. Thanks for the comment! For myself, I was interested in the ability to export manuals so I never considered the cheaper standard version.

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