What’s that on your screen?

screenshot of Jing

Whether you're doing serious tech support, or just helping Mom with her email configuration, sometimes the words get in the way of real communication. By the time you walk somebody through three levels of menus and a couple of dialog boxes, it's no wonder why they get totally confused and decide that it may be easier to just give up.

The Jing Project has a handy tool that allows you to share what you see on your machine with other folks. Rather than explaining in text what you're looking at, or explaining a complicated series of steps to complete some task, Jing allows you to capture either a stationary image, like a screen shot, or record a quickie video, showing multi-stepped processes as you see them on your screen. Once you capture the on-screen images, you save them and get a URL that you can then email or IM to your contact. When they access that address, they can look at what you just saw on your screen. Images are saved as .png files and movies are Flash movies (.swf). Aphorisms about pictures and thousands of words come to mind–it's often easier and more direct to demonstrate a process than to describe it.

Jing is in beta, so there may be some glitches along the way. In order to have somewhere to host the images and videos you record, signing up nets you a free Screencast.com trial account with no expiration date (or at least until completion of the Jing Project).

Jing runs on Windows (XP and Vista) and Mac OS X (10.4+).

Download Jing

One Response to “What’s that on your screen?”

  1. cedarwaxwing says:

    Jing is a great application. I love Snagit (made by the creators of Jing), but if I’d known about Jing before I bought Snagit, I might have just used Jing.