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  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Recording Simulations of word (XP)

    I thought I already posted a message like this, but I don't see it. I am wondering if you know how to change the appearance of Word so that the toolbar buttons and other things don't change in appearance as you mouse over them. I'm recording a simulation in which our user needs to guess the answer so I need it to NOT be clear to the user what I clicked when I developed the sim.
    Any ideas?
    Thanks much!!

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Thanked 30 Times in 30 Posts

    Re: Recording Simulations of word (XP)

    You can click in an empty part of the Windows task bar, this will make Word lose the focus, If you then move the mouse over the Word window, no tooltips will be shown, and toolbar buttons won't change shape. But as soon as you click in the Word window, it'll get the focus again, restoring normal behavior, so this may not be what you want. I don't think there is a way to do what you want while keeping Word as the active application.

    > I thought I already posted a message like this
    Yes, you did - you posted the same question in the Word forum and in the General MS Office Suite forum. Both are now in the Word forum.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Thanked 271 Times in 248 Posts

    Re: Recording Simulations of word (XP)

    The problem lies in the use of the screen grabbing software you are using. Can it selectively mask areas of the screen? Can you add masking to frames after the capturing task has been completed.

    Can you crop the area of the screen capture to exclude the view of the toolbars that you don't want the user to see or do you want them to see toolbars during the initial steps but not after a certain point. Perhaps you can capture the tasks twice, once with the toolbars visible so the user can see the steps you are initially using, once with the toolbars excluded so the user cant see the critical step you want them to supply. Then splice the two sequences together at the critical point. This task may rely on the use of video editing software outside the capability of your screen capture software.

    Are you recording the cursor in your simulation?

    It is unlikely that you will find the answer to these questions in a Word forum. One possible Word-based solution would be to create a macro to perform the step you don't want the user to see. Assign this macro to a keyboard combination. Then during the simulation, instead of doing something the user can see, press the keyboard combination and ask the user what you just did.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Thanked 94 Times in 90 Posts

    Re: Recording Simulations of word (XP)

    I think there are several different things going on here:

    (1) ScreenTips that you can turn off under Tools>Options..., View tab
    (2) Invoking functions without actually clicking buttons
    (3) Mousing over buttons and having them maintain their "static" appearance

    For #2, many of the commands executed by menus and toolbar buttons also can be executed using macros. In some case, you just can't help communicate to the user. For example, the B button is depressed when the insertion point entered bold text. But in other cases, you could create a macro and assign a keyboard shortcut to it as a way to effect the command.

    For #3, you might be able to manually re-create the main toolbars as custom toolbars by copying the button faces to new controls that don't do anything in particular. The trick is to make the "active" and "static" images identical. (While I think this is possible in theory, I haven't tried it.)

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