1. Technology

Wink Tutorial and Presentation Creator

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

By

The Bottom Line

Wink is a free tool for creating animated tutorials and software demonstrations. Wink lets you capture screen shots of your software, add instructional text callouts and navigational buttons, and export your tutorials to Flash, HTML, PDF, or stand-alone executable files. By using templates you can create a standard look for all your Wink tutorials.

Pros

  • Free for personal and business use--no ads, nags, or spyware in the program or the output files.
  • Wink-generated Flash files will play in Flash player version 3 and higher.
  • Detailed 32-page user guide in PDF format and an active support forum.

Cons

  • No 'undo' feature. (Tip: Use 'save project as...' before making major changes in your project.)
  • A few quirks and bugs in this 1.0 version. (Version 1.5 is expected soon.)
  • No audio support. (Expected in 2.0.)

Description

  • Wink is a free tool for creating animated tutorial movies from a series of screen captures.
  • Manually capture frames for your movie using the pause hotkey, or use timed captures.
  • Add instructional text boxes, navigation buttons, and page titles to your demo movies.
  • Choose from a variety of text boxes and callouts, or create your own in the callout editor.
  • Modify the cursor position in each frame. Customize cursor appearance using the cursor editor.
  • Standardize the appearance of your movies by using page templates and custom backgrounds.
  • Wink renders your project as Shockwave Flash file, embedded in an HTML page.
  • Also outputs to stand-alone EXE, PDF, HTML and several image formats.
  • Besides captured screens, you can import images in BMP/JPG/PNG/TIFF/TGA/PCX formats.
  • Free for business or personal use. For Windows only. (Linux version expected soon.)

Guide Review - Wink Tutorial and Presentation Creator

Wink is a useful, free tool for creating software tutorials and demonstrations. Rather than recording all screen activity into a movie file, Wink lets you manually control the capture process by pressing the pause key every time you want to capture a frame. This makes your presentations smaller, and easier to annotate.

After capturing screens for your project, they are loaded into Wink where you can add callouts for explanatory text. Wink comes with several simple callout styles, or you can create your own in the callout editor. Wink separates the cursor from your screen shots so it can be repositioned or hidden in each frame of your tutorial. The cursor can also be changed to any of the standard cursors on your system, or you can use the cursor editor to customize it further.

You can include forward and back buttons in your presentations to give viewers control over the playback speed, or have each frame advance according to the time you set. Through the use of GoTo buttons, you can enable your viewers to jump to specific points in your tutorial. Using templates, you can save various properties from your project (font, callout style, button positions, etc.) and then apply them to every frame in your project. With a background image you can add a logo or text that will be visible through every frame of the presentation.

Even though it's free, Wink offers everything most users would need to create simple animated tutorials and software demonstrations.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.