Using the ScreenSteps desktop editor

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The ScreenSteps desktop editor is a word processor for creating documentation. It's simple, yet very powerful. You can create basic FAQs, straight-forward checklists, or complex workflows.

This article will walk you through the basics of using the Desktop editor. But before you begin, make sure you've already downloaded the desktop editor and set it up.

What kind of article would you like to create?

Step 1 - Write a great title

Create a new article in the Admin area
Make your title specific

For "how-to" articles, make your title:

  • Action oriented
  • Specific

In this example, I'm not creating an article titled "Facebook" or "Learn about Facebook." I'm creating an action-oriented article focused on a specific task.

Step 2 - Grab your screenshots

For these types of articles, we recommend grabbing a screenshot of each main action a user takes on the screen. This prevents confusion as users follow your steps in the article.

Open the desktop editor

Click on the Edit on Desktop button.

Take screenshots of each step

Step 3 - Add your headings and paragraph text

Write Headings that are action-oriented. Use verbs like "click" or "navigate" or "fill out." If you have additional details to add, include that information as Paragraph text.

In ScreenSteps, you add blocks when you need to add content. When you need a heading, you add a Heading content block. Simply hover your mouse in the main window and a gray dot will appear > hover your mouse over the gray dot and click on the + icon.

Select the type of content you want to add. In the example below, I am selecting a heading.

What the article looks like with headings and paragraph text

Step 4 - Add your annotations

Select your annotation

To include an annotation on your image:

  1. Click the image (to select it)
  2. Select the annotation you want to use
Draw on the image

Step 5 - Publish and view your article

Click Save & Publish
Click Go To Published Article
View article in published site

Step 1 - Write a great title

Only accounts on the Guide plan and above have access to checklists.

1. Click TOC
2. Click Manual
3. Click Chapter
4. Click Create New Article
Write your title > select Checklist > Create Article

To create a checklist article:

  1. Write the title
  2. Select Checklist
  3. Click Create Article

Step 2 - Write your main action items

Click Edit on Desktop
Add Checklist item content blocks
What it looks like when you're done

Step 3 - Add your detailed notes under each checklist item

Underneath each checklist item you can add more content. Include paragraph text, headings, screenshots, embedded videos, tables, etc.

Example of what it looks like

Step 4 - Include inline links to more detailed articles

One of the powerful features in ScreenSteps is the ability to include inline links. Here's an example of an inline link. When you click on it, the linked to article appears as a modal. This allows you to link out to more detailed information without feeling lost in browser windows popping up.

  1. Navigate to the article you want to link to and click Link
  2. Select inline
  3. Click Link

Step 5 - Publish and view your article

Click Save & Publish
Click Publish
Click Go To Published Article
Use this URL to share published article
Example of what article looks like

What else will you create?

If you are new to writing documentation and building a knowledge management system, we recommend writing a lot of "how-to" articles and a lot of "checklist" articles because those are the easiest to write AND they are the most helpful.

You can immediately start using those articles to respond to support emails or perform tasks around the office. If somebody asks, "How do I merge accounts?" You can send them the article titled, "How to merge accounts." Or if somebody asks, "What's the process for submitting travel expenses?" You can send them the checklist titled, "Submit Travel Expenses."

But don't stop there! Now that you know the basics of adding content blocks and taking screenshots, you can come up with your own variations of articles. For more ideas on what types of articles to create (and how to create them), check out these courses:

Congratulations, you are done!


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