The Recorder functions like a screen capture utility. When you record a topic, you are taking a series of pictures of the way the screen looks after each step in a task. Each screen image you capture also has an associated action. This action that you perform (mouse click or keyboard action) moves you to the next screen. The screenshot and associated action are called a frame. The recorder can be set up to function in manual recording mode (default) or automatic recording mode. You can change the recording mode in the Recorder category from Tools, Options by selecting the desired mode (Manually or Automatically record screenshots).
Automatic vs. Manual Recording
Use Automatic Recording when you are recording a familiar system process to keep errors to a minimum. In this mode, every action after you press PRINTSCREEN is recorded until the next PRINTSCREEN. Inadvertent actions are recorded and will have to be edited out in the Topic Editor.
Use Manual Recording mode when you are less familiar with the system process you are recording. This mode requires you to press PRINTSCREEN after each action you record, giving you the opportunity to correct mistakes before the recording is saved with the next PRINTSCREEN.
To manually capture a screen, you press the PRINTSCREEN key on your keyboard. Because of the way the Recorder works in manual mode, two PRINTSCREENS are necessary to capture the information for one frame; one for the screenshot and one for the action. When you press PRINTSCREEN at the beginning of the topic, the Recorder captures the first screen and creates a screenshot file. When you then perform an action and press PRINTSCREEN again, the Recorder captures the action you performed and associates it with the first screen to create the first frame, and it also captures the screen as it appears as a result of performing the recorded action and creates a screenshot file.
As you record frames, two display fields in the Recorder help you keep track of what is being recorded. The Next screenshot records field displays the action that you have performed that will be captured the next time you press PRINTSCREEN. The Last recorded event field tells you the action that was captured the last time you pressed PRINTSCREEN.
To automatically capture a screen, you press the PRINTSCREEN key on your keyboard. Because of the way the Recorder works in automatic recording mode, only two PRINTSCREENS are necessary to capture the information for all frames, one to start recording and one to end the recording. When you press PRINTSCREEN at the beginning of the topic, the Recorder captures each screen and its associated action until you press PRINTSCREEN again.
Before you begin recording, the recorder displays instructions for you to press PRINTSCREEN to start recording and press PRINTSCREEN again to stop recording. The recorder is hidden after the first PRINTSCREEN so it is not recorded with the application.
Note: Point events are not recorded when using the automatic recording mode because there is no way to record the action without an event such as a mouse click; for example, when you click on a menu then move your cursor to a menu item that opens a submenu. No action occurs until you click on the submenu item. Use manual recording mode to record this type of situation because you can PRINTSCREEN on the menu item and submenu item to capture without a click.
Automatic recording mode is not supported when re-recording a topic. Re-recording a topic is always a manual process.
You can configure the Recorder to record sound during the screen capture process. The Recorder behavior depends on the configuration of several options in the Record category on the Options dialog box. See Configure the Recorder for Sound for more information.
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