Monday, April 5, 2010

DemoMate Enhancements - April 2010

The DemoMate Team is proud to announce that the latest version has been released (Build 1020), introducing a number of new features, and a major new enhancement: “Guided Steps.” Take a look:

DemoMate Tutorial:

Guided Step Tutorial

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Here are all the new and enhanced features in the latest release:

Guided StepsTeach the world how to use your software! By adding Guided Steps to your demos, you can create interactive training sessions that combine both auto-play content with interactive steps where the user clicks the mouse or enters text to move forward.

Guided Labs - At events, you can now use DemoMate to create “Guided Labs,” offering a delightful experience to your customers and prospects, and a cost-effective compliment to traditional “Hands-On Labs.” Because you create these labs in DemoMate, the same content can be instantly available on-site, distributed as a take-away, or hosted online for those unable to attend. We created this “Guided Lab” logo you can use. To download, just click here, or on the logo below.

Guided Support on all DemoMate Players – You can easily deploy Guided Tutorials and Guided Labs to your training and support portals. Guided Steps are supported in all DemoMate Players, including all embeddable Silverlight players, the “Click-to-Run” .EXE player, and the hosted player on DemoMate.com.

Jump Boxes Active in all Tutorial Players – Now you can add user-directed navigation to your Guided Tutorials. Jump Boxes are now supported on all DemoMate Players, including all embeddable Silverlight players, the “Click-to-Run” .EXE player, and the hosted player on DemoMate.com. In addition to in-demo navigation, this enables users to link to external content, such as websites or hosted documents.

Hover States Display in all Tutorial Players – As requested by the community, "hover states" are now supported on all DemoMate Players, including all embeddable Silverlight players, the “Click-to-Run” .EXE player, and the hosted player on DemoMate.com. Just press Play and you will see the difference - providing maximum realism!

Highlight Boxes – As requested by the community, you can now place a Highlight Box (a rectangular red frame) on any step. This can be a great way to call attention to a potion of the screen that is discussed in your presenter script or audio track.

Open Asset Folder – As requested by the community, we’ve added a new right-click context item to the Step Menu that will open the asset folder for that step in Windows Explorer, making it easier to edit demo screenshots when necessary.

Informative Progress Bars – As requested by the community, new Progress Bars appear when packaging demos that include the estimated time remaining.

General Maintenance – Ongoing file-size optimization, performance optimization, refinement of the Control Bar pop-up in all tutorial players, Animated Click Beacon now displays elegantly in all tutorial players. IPL (1017, 1018)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Adding Text Boxes to Your Demo

As part of our most recent release of DemoMate, we introduced text boxes, which allow you to simulate typing into text fields during your product demonstrations. In addition, text boxes will automatically animate typing text in during an auto-play demo, making your online tutorials more realistic.

Click below to learn how to work with text boxes in DemoMate:

DemoMate Tutorial:

Capturing and Creating Text Boxes

Get Microsoft Silverlight

You can add a text box control to a demo step by clicking the Add Text Box button. Clicking this button will place a new text box (shaded orange) on the screenshot for the current step, which can then be dragged and resized to be positioned over the field where you want to simulate typing. You can then type whatever text you want to display directly into the text box field, and even adjust the font type and size. Each step can have a single text box control placed on it.

When you arrive at a step with a text box control while presenting your demo, you’ll be able to simulate typing on your keyboard, while the pre-defined text string types itself in with each key pressed. The actual text you type on your keyboard doesn’t matter, because the text that will be displayed has already been defined in the editor. Pressing SPACE on a step with a text box will automatically complete all the remaining text for that text box. Pressing ENTER on a step with a text box will automatically complete all the remaining text for that text box and automatically advance to the next step in the demo (after the text has finished typing in).

When a demo is displayed in auto-play mode (by clicking Play in the client or when watching a packaged Silverlight version of a demo), the text will automatically type itself in when a demo step with a text box is reached.

A text box control should be placed on a step in the demo where the text field is empty. Depending on what the next step in the demo is, you might then position the Click box to be either directly behind the text box, or on top of a Submit / OK button of some kind.