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How Online Presentations Work

Using Screen Capture Software for Online Presentations
Screen capture software offers simple editing tools to make online presentations more effective.
Screen capture software offers simple editing tools to make online presentations more effective.
Image courtesy of TechSmith

Closely related to the video capture software previously mentioned is screen capture software. Screen capture software captures video and movements from one's computer screen, such as mouse and cursor movements and window cycles.

This can be especially helpful in online presentations about computer software. Screen captures can actually show the movements -- the click-and-drags, pull-down menus and results -- as someone operates the software being demonstrated. It can show a desktop's layout and facilitate discussion of the software's various features as it's demonstrated as part of the online presentation.­

Typical screen capture software is easy to use, with popular features such as toolbars and convenient, intuitive editing features. Most allow the user to send copies of their screen captures to others via e-mail. They provide the means to capture the authentic menus, colors, text fonts, mouse movements and other live elements from a computer screen.

Simplicity is key. For example, a screen capture program called !Quick Screen Capture captures any part of a computer screen using up to 10 methods. It automatically saves captured images in popular formats such as BMB, JPG and GIF and claims a powerful image editing function. Another such program called SnagIt approaches the task in three easy steps: capture, edit and share. It, too, features region capture, used for capturing certain parts of the computer screen only and allows users to make short tutorial videos to share with others.

The editing feature is critical in any such program, because it allows the author to insert text comments on top of the various screen movements, adding a layer of instruction to the simple demonstration the screen capture provides on its own. Editing functions allow the presenter to cut through the action and highlight specifically what he is trying to demonstrate while preserving the authentic feel provided by the screen capture software.

Online presentations are the natural extension of communications in the digital age. Available programs make it easy for everyone to illustrate and communicate their ideas and information. The programs make such presentations easily portable and increasingly easy to access online, where they can reach either wider general audiences or exclusive targeted ones. Presentation authors are limited only by their imagination and the time they have available to hone their messages.

For more information about online presentations and related topics, check out the links on the next page.