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ScreenSteps 2.5 takes screen-based documentation a step forward


ScreenSteps, the invaluable tool (mentioned here many a time) for writing software documentation quickly and easily, has updated to version 2.5. Among the new features is improved annotation capabilities, including a text tool and keyboard shortcuts for speedy duplication and repositioning of annotations.

You can set a status on lessons to remind yourself what's ready to publish, and what needs a little more work. Lesson steps can be more easily manipulated and reordered in the lesson inspector. Also, compiling lessons into full manuals is significantly easier, including the ability to quickly filter which lessons are included at the time of export.

I use ScreenSteps extensively in training clients on the websites I work on. It's not expected of me in most circumstances, but a PDF instruction booklet or an HTML export embedded in the content manager does wonders for reducing support calls. If you write any kind of screen-based documentation and haven't taken a look at ScreenSteps, it would be worth its price in the time it could save you. The best part of the system is that you can easily re-use and update manuals without much hassle, allowing a skeleton manual to be quickly turned into a custom manual for a client, or making it easy to add a step you didn't think of until you were in the middle of a training session.

You can try out ScreenSteps for free, and pick up one of two versions if you dig it: Pro for $59.95US, or Standard (lacking export of full manuals and support for MindTouch Deki and Confluence export) for $39.95US. There's a full feature comparison on the Blue Mango site.

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