At today’s PLT meeting we discussed a number of tools for use with the tablet PCs. In particular we discussed the snipping tool and problem solver, YouCam, writing on PowerPoint presentations and also the functions of the buttons on the tablet.
The Snipping Tool
The snipping tool is fairly straight forward as it only does one thing and that is to take a shot of the screen. Why is it better than hitting function+Prt Sc? Because you can more easily define the area that you want to shoot and then save it straight away in a variety of formats. I also like the way that you can write on you screen shot once you have captured it.
Using the snipping tool:
1. Search for the snipping tool in the search box at the bottom of the Start menu (if you use it often enough it will add itself to the list above the search box).
2. Decide on the area that you want to capture. The following comes from the Windows Homepage:
- Free-form Snip. Draw a free-form shape around an object.
- Rectangular Snip. Drag the cursor around an object to form a rectangle.
- Window Snip. Select a window, such as a browser window or dialog box, that you want to capture.
- Full-screen Snip. Capture the entire screen.
3. Once you have taken the snip and drawn on it ’til your heart’s content, you can choose whether you want to save it as a png(?), gif, jpg(!) or mht.
The Problem Steps Recorder
The Problem Steps Recorder is another Widows 7 device that allows you to capture the steps involved in carrying out a task on your PC. The advantage to using this is that it highlights the fields where you carried out an action and annotates each step automatically. The result is an html document that shows step-by-step the way that you did something.
Finding it can be a bit tricky but if you put ‘problem steps recorder’ into the search box in the Start menu it will come up as ‘Record steps to reproduce a problem’. Once you have opened it it will appear on screen and in your task bar.
1. Click ‘Start record’.
2. Carry out the task that you want to reproduce.
3. Once you have finished the program will automatically save the problem as a zip file for you to extract or share.
Here is a video on how it works from Tekzilla (thanks Titus!).
CyberLink YouCam allows you to take photos and record video from the inbuilt webcam and capture activity on the screen with sound.
To take a photo with your webcam click Snapshot. This will give you a 3 second countdown and then take a photo of whatever the camera is looking at.
To create a video using the webcam click Capture. This will give you a 3 second countdown and then record whatever the camera is looking at. Once you are done, click stop and it will save the video as in WMV format.
To capture the screen click Desktop. This will move YouCam to the bottom right of your screen and start recording once you press capture. Note that you can designate the area you want to capture in the options listed. Once you have finished click the stop button and return to the main screen by clicking ‘Restore’.
YouCam automatically saves your work somewhere and, in order to find it, just right-click on the icon of your file (at the bottom of the screen) and select ‘Locate File on Disk’. You can also configure YouCam to save to a particular location using the settings button pictured below.
Writing on PowerPoint presentations
To annotate a PowerPoint presentation follow these steps:
1. Make sure that, if you want to save the annotations, you save an alternative version before you start.
2. Start the presentation.
3. Press and hold the pen on the screen to open the pen options menu and change the function from pointer to pen.
4. Use the tablet up and down buttons (see below) to scroll through the presentation and the pen to annotate.
At the end of the presentation PowerPoint will ask whether you want to save these annotations.
The Tablet Buttons
There are five buttons on the tablet screen. In order to work out what they all do, have a play. If you are a more methodical type, then you can download the Fujitsu T730 User’s Manual here. The description of these buttons is on p.27.
Please share your uses of the tablets as well as how tos, YouTube videos, blog post, etc. on using tablet pcs in the comments below.