One of my favorite blogging tools – okay, tool I use for teaching, writing, and research – is Jing by Techsmith. It’s a must-have tool for bloggers and blogging.
Jing is free. It allows capturing still images (screenshots), basic video, and animation, and allows you to share them on the web or save them to your computer for further work or posterity.
Jing features the ability to capture screenshots of WordPress, example websites, and all the browser and software tasks associated with teaching, presentations, research, artwork, and so much more.
This is the tool to show people how you do what you do with the web and blogging. It is essential for teachers teaching software and web technology. Don’t just tell them how to do it, show them. It is fabulous for screen tutorials or capturing a short PowerPoint presentation to share.Download and install Jing. Once installed and started, a small ball of yellow sunshine will sit along the edge of your computer monitor. You can move it anywhere you wish along the edges if it gets in your way. The yellow half circle might be annoying at first, but you will soon ignore it or lose it among your other colorful screens.
- To take a screenshot or video, move your mouse over the yellow ball and it will expand to give you three choices: Capture, History, or More (Settings and other features). Click the + symbol to capture.
- Draw a box around whatever you wish to capture.
- After removing your finger from the left mouse button, you may click and drag the orange border bars to adjust the captured image space. Note the space size numbers change as you make adjustments.
- When ready, click Capture Image, Capture Video, Redo, or Cancel. The Escape key will also cancel.
Here are your Jing circle choices.
- Capture Image: The Capture Image feature includes highlighting, boxes, and adding text to the image. It is a little tricky as you have to select which feature you wish to add, then select the color, repeating this every time you make a change. When ready, choose to save, share via Screencast, or copy if you will be pasting the image into your graphic program or PowerPoint or similar slide show that accepts copy and paste images and graphics.
- Capture Video: The Capture Video feature begins by exploring your audio and microphone setup for voice over while recording, then gives you a very short countdown before the screen capturing begins. Once complete, you may share the video via Screencast, or save it to your computer for another usage or editing.
- History: Jing saves a collection of the most recent screen captures just in case you need to revisit them.
- Redo: Need to start over, Jing makes it quick and easy with the Redo feature.
Jing videos are limited to five minutes and are in SWF format. There are many free online video converters to convert from SWF to MP4 or other formats if you need. YouTube no longer accepts SWF formats, so you will need to convert the video format before uploading, though many video editing programs accept SWF formats. You may wish to edit the video to add more features, voice overs, captions, etc., in your video editing software.
Within a few seconds or minutes, you have screenshots or screen capture videos to add to your posts, enriching the content you share on the web.
Screencast videos maybe saved to Techsmith’s popular Screencast.com site for sharing and limited storage.
Jing is free and fabulous, and often enough for most bloggers. If you wish to take screen capture still and video further, I highly recommend Techsmith’s Snagit and Camtasia Studio, exceptional and affordable tools that will prove invaluable for serious bloggers and online teachers. Both of these record in various formats, which avoids video conversions if necessary.
TechSmith has been offering Jing free for many years, and I’ve been using it for most of them, along with Snagit and Camtasia. Add Jing to your blogging toolbox.