Create your own custom Flash tutorials for free

First published on September 28, 2007

Short of sitting next to someone while they’re at the computer, videos are the next best thing at showing people how to run a program or interact with a website. After all, you can’t always make it to grandma’s or to the international users of your product. Wink for Windows or Linux is a free, simple yet powerful program that helps you create Flash tutorials.

With Wink’s minimal learning curve, it was a cinch to create a Flash tutorial showing how to use my Family Feud Flash game generator :D

What Wink does is follow your actions on the screen and capture screenshots. Therefore, all you have to do is go about whatever you are trying to demonstrate and Wink will follow along! You can configure it to take a new screenshot every few seconds or on every new mouse or keyboard action. I found it really useful that it made a new screenshot whenever I used the scroll wheel on the mouse.

Wink will capture a new frame whenever you make a mouse or keyboard action

Since you often want to record a video that is smaller than your screen size, you can specify the exact dimensions of the video and Wink will put borders around the area of your screen that it will focus on.

Wink provides a frame so you know where the video is recording

Once you are finished recording, you can edit the video frame by frame to adjust the amount of time for each frame to play, to add instructional text boxes, and to correct errors. For example, in my tutorial I had to do a lot of typing and of course made a few typos. However, I didn’t have to stop the recording while I pressed backspace and corrected my typos. I just deleted the frames that showed me typing the wrong letter and poof — no one would ever know that I typed “f, a, m, l, backspace, i, l, y”.

You can edit frame by frame

Once you are done editing the frames, Wink will generate the Flash file for you, smoothing out everything like the mouse movements. See the tutorial that I created with the free Wink.


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