Monday, December 12, 2011

Handy tools for trainers

Remember these?
Find a great screen capture utility
SnagIt is my personal favorite. It's an easy-to-use program to capture images and has a built-in editor feature. I use SnagIt to blur out sensitive information that I don't want appearing in my training materials, to highlight areas of the screen and to make my screen shots look professional. I think that including screen shots makes training materials and job aids more esthetically pleasing and easier to understand.

Educate yourself on Microsoft Office tips and tricks
If you're using MS Office as your suite of programs, obviously. Take a look at Microsoft's website to learn shortcuts, tips and tricks. Microsoft offers thousands of free templates to use: Some are good, some aren't. But if you can find some that you like, it's worth the time spent. Some of my go-to templates include calendars and banners.

Learn how to use keyboard shortcuts
Save time when creating documentation by learning commonly-used keyboard shortcuts. Make it a point to use them and you'll find that you'll save yourself numerous mouse clicks. My personal favorite keyboard shortcuts are:
- Ctrl-A: Select all- when you don't want to scroll through pages and pages to select the entire document.
- Ctrl-C: Copy- to select the text that you'd like to copy or cut.
- Ctrl-V: Paste- to insert the text that you've copied.
- Ctrl-Z: Undo- if only life had an "undo" key!
- Holding down Shift key while clicking through a list: Selects everything on the list
- Holding down Ctrl key while clicking through a list: Selects specific items on the list (pick and choose)

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