[Libs-Or] Tech-Talk: SOFTWARE – Using the Microsoft Steps Recorder

Darci Hanning darci.hanning at state.or.us
Wed Apr 1 14:27:49 PDT 2020

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·     Apr 02: Creating VIDEOS, Easy Techniques
·     Apr 08: EXCEL A Few Advanced Techniques
·     Apr 15: Be a TECH HERO #1 (Office Tips)
·     Apr 29: Creating VIDEO on the Run

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 This Week's Topic: SOFTWARE

1. VIDEO & ARTICLE ... Using the Microsoft Steps Recorder
2. COMMUNICATING ... Be especially nice
3. LEADERSHIP ... Leading well rests on how well you communicate


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SOFTWARE – Using the Microsoft Steps Recorder


Have you ever had a problem with your computer that you couldn't explain?

The "Steps Recorder" feature may help.

If you're working remotely, you could end up needing IT support. Sometimes the tech needs to know how you got into the situation. You can instantly document the progression.

Other times you may be told, "Just go here, and here, and here ... " and you're lost! You can't take notes that fast. You can't remember all the places you clicked to get to where you need to be. The "Steps Recorder" feature could save the day.

Perhaps you routinely dig deep into a website. For example, it is time to renew our business registration with the government online. It's called SAM and it has many, many steps. I always get stuck somewhere going from page to page trying to make sense of the links. So, because their instructions are vague, I end up needing to call support for help every year. It means long wait times on the phone. The "Steps Recorder" feature could take this pain away.

You may not know that this software is already on your computer. You can document the steps you take ... automatically. With a tool called Microsoft Steps Recorder, just turn it on and it will log both the text instructions of where you have clicked and add screenshot images.

If you have Windows 10, 8 or 7, this software is already installed on your computer. (In Windows 7 it is called Problems Steps Recorder.)

When you activate it, the Steps Recorder "records" screenshots and the step-by-step instructions of the actions you're taking on your computer. It's not a video or screen capture tool, but it takes pictures of what's on the screen (where your cursor is) where you click and it gives a text description of the process.

It's fun, try it! When you see how it works, you'll tuck that tool in your list of resources to use when you need it.

There are many uses for the Microsoft Steps Recorder. Yes, it was first designed to reproduce (or troubleshoot) a problem that you want to share with your IT department -- so that they can diagnose it. However, you can also:

1. Create a "how to" document that outlines steps to a long or complicated process for use with staff in your organization.

2. Generate a step-by-step guide to show someone how to fill out online forms.

3. Use it to create a series of screenshots to be used in a document or presentation.

Don't be confused by the name ... it's a Windows program (not Microsoft Office) so you can record anything, anywhere on your computer.

Adjust the Settings

Before you make your first recording, you may want to adjust the settings so that your output captures what you want.

There are a few ways to open the Steps Recorder.

In Windows 10, go to the Start button (Windows icon) in the lower left of your screen. Scroll through the alphabetized list of programs and find Windows Accessories then Steps Recorder. In Windows 7 or 8.1, go to Accessories and then Problem Steps Recorder.

Or... type "step recorder' in the Windows search box and select the app from the list.

[open steps recorder]

[open steps recorder]

·     A small rectangular box will open on our desktop.


To make Settings changes, click the down arrow to the right of the Help button, and select Settings.

There are three Settings you can adjust. The first two you most likely will leave as the default, but the third setting is important. NOTE: Any settings you adjust are not permanent. Each time you open and close the program they default back.

1.  Output File location. Set a default location and file name, instead of being prompted for each recording individually.
2.  Enable screen capture. Change the setting from Yes to No if you don't want to capture screen shots.
3.  Number of recent screen captures to store. This is important. The default is set to 25 screen shots, so if your process is long, increase this number.

[settings changes]

Use the Steps Recorder

Open the Steps Recorder per the above instructions (if not open already).

·     Select Start Record.

[start record]

·     Begin the process you want to record on your computer.

·     Use the Pause option to stop recording and then click Resume Record when ready.

·     BONUS! Here is a very helpful option. As you record, there may be the need to add some notes to the process. For example, because it will not record text that you type (such as a username or password), and in some cases, you may want this included. Just click the Add Comment option, move your mouse to select the part of the screen that you want to comment on, type your comment in the box, and then select OK.

[add comments]

·     When you're finished, click Stop Record.

·     The Steps Recorder window will open where you can review the details. Click Save in the toolbar and you'll be prompted to name the .zip file and choose a location to save it (unless you specified this in the Settings).

[save file]

·     The output is a zipped .mht file. This just means that when you open it, it will launch a Microsoft Edge browser window (because it is a Microsoft program).

·     Choose to save the file in this format, or copy the file and save it to a Word document (or other file type). To copy, first use Ctr + A to select All of the text, then right-click and choose Copy, and finally got to your Word doc and right-click and choose Paste.


Communications: Talking
Frustrated? Be especially nice. Choose your words.

When times get tough, it's easy to slip into poor communications. We may be irritable, testy or abrupt.

These are the times when a few good communication techniques would come in handy so that we don't make the situation worse.

Here are three of the very best phrases you can use to keep the interactions with the folks around you positive and productive. You will gain more insight and cooperation.

·     https://www.tech-talk.com/tell-me-about-that<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001DDvJfZ267Wr10EgjI0bLkFqefbicFzWspx6mUVcCBa6doxAHwAyILyAgnO4oCSX08qQW2CfJMj1AQtEhYLP3qyWDrFKf7dCFhAW5vAZmYDwPPkPQNtXLxbvmNaM8FAowN0-Ecf8J-4qPsMjDnXwLIbMAVWiETLQYWbW7etNNmnvV1Dgte9uKVuT3bETPqYUFg2DzRBZmD-yfda15f80b_w==&c=K5DaeZtOX3qj81rtzQs5QAqxvhzQ27tnSJqDqPHaDfFWDvUtL2_lww==&ch=ZCRyvwcULSG0qhwnYC7QveY3UjxlzD0NKVrar9IlqEIBI2XH_XK3Pg==>
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Each of the links above goes to an article on that topic in the Tech-Talk Database.


The secret to being a good leader

You'd like to be an excellent leader, wouldn't you? Whether you're a team supervisor, a director or an individual contributor, everyone has endless opportunities for leadership. Students in classrooms, teachers in schools ... all can exercise leadership.

And no, you don't have to go to management training to lead ... and do it well.

The primary mechanism or skill that you need ... and you have it whether you use it well or not ... is the ability to communicate with respect.

That means respect for other people's ideas, respect of other people's position, respect for other human beings.

If you have that basic belief (that everyone, regardless of stature) deserves your respect, then you tend to communicate more effectively. The words you choose in frustrating times can make all the difference.

Find stellar phrases and techniques in the Tech-Talk database and see how many you are using on a regular basis. (Click on Search, then Search by Topic: Comm: Say It)


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