Thursday, October 2, 2008

Simple screenshots or screencasts with Preview and Jing

I get a lot of computer-related questions from friends and family, and it makes you innovative because few things are more tedious than trying to explain where a certain feature is hidden in the menus or explaining a configuration over the phone or typing in instant messaging. I've already written about how I provide remote support from wherever I am, but sometime what you need is just a little picture, some comments or maybe a tiny video.

The last couple of months I've been enjoying the very simple but functional free software Jing. It makes both screenshots and records screencasts (with or without commentary), can insert basic annotations into screenshots but most importantly it provides a simple connection to online storage service, it's only a matter of clicking "upload" and you'll have the link in clipboard. However, Jing is a bit too basic, and a friend showed me that the regular Mac OS X Preview application is already very capable to make annotated screenshots.

I decided to make a simple screencast (using Jing) of how you use Preview to grab a screenshot (in this case say that I want to bug report that I've got a strange file which shouldn't be there) and add the annotation tools to the toolbar (click here to go to the screencast):

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