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Written by Marco Conti Sunday, 23 November 2008 21:18
Wink is an amazing little Open Source program to create tutorials, video presentation, screnshots (and more) not widely known but certainly worthy of inclusion in anyone's list.
Wink is a great alternative to more expensive (and harder to use) products such as Camtasia Studio and Adobe Robohelp, yet for quick tutorials beats both those well known products in cost (it's free) and ease of use.
If you need to create feature rich tutorials and presentation for web or screen view, you need to give Wink a try.
You download wink from debugmode.com, the creators' website, and install it very easily in Windows or Linux. After installation you are presented with a blank screen and you can start setting up your tutorials right away.
One of Wink's great features is the choice it gives for your tutorials. You can have pure video capture, "burst" capture, screenshot mode all with audio capture or overdub later on. Screen shot mode is the most effective for plain tutorials but since you can mix and match the video and screenshot modes in the same presentation it allows you to create files as small as possible without compromising quality.
Video Mode records every action on screen in video. This creates the largest files but give the most accurate rendition of each step.
Burst Mode instead allows you to record video only when needed via a keystroke.
Screenshot mode instead is a single screenshot at a time.
After capturing the presentation, Wink allows you to edit it and insert your own audio commentary, custom boxes with text and edit or delete unnecessary "frames".
At capture time you can choose among several standard screen sizes or input your own. Once the tutorial is done, you have a choice to export it in Flash, .AVI or PDF. The final size is quite small and the Flash version works very nicely on any website. It even creates an HTML page you can upload for stand alone viewing.
If Wink has a shortcoming, is the dated look of it's interface elements. Buttons, boxes, etc. all look like they were designed back in 1995.
Another issue, they have been working on for some time is audio quality in Flash. Honestly too poor for a professional presentation, but hopefully they'll be able to solve that problem soon. Other than that, it is a very solid application that will help a great deal if you are a tutorial maker or an educator. It's simple enough for the occasional user to learn.
Rating 4 stars out of 5
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