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#1 msteele  Icon User is offline

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Looking to code software that creates tutorials based on UI clicks

Posted 21 October 2013 - 07:37 AM

First of all, my expertise is in Microsoft Office - the only experience I have with programming is VBA within Microsoft Office.

I am constantly answering peoples questions regarding Microsoft Office and quite often it requires sending them in text format a chain of clicks they need to follow to achieve what they want - for example, to set change page Orientation, I would send them this:

Click on the Page Layout tab > Click the Orientation button > Click on Landscape.

I have used Adobe Captivate to create video tutorials and Captivate actually automatically inserts these captions in the video - for example, when I click the Page Layout tab, it automatically inserts a caption that says Click Page Layout. They are not perfect and you do need to do a bit of editing afterwards, but it saves a lot of time.

I want to build a program what will record my clicks (like Adobe Captivate does) and the output would be a string of text with the UI items I clicked, in the order I clicked them. That way I can quickly do the excersise myself in Excel, with the recorder running in the backgroud and then copy and paste the results into my email and then edit it as needed.

The question I have is - can someone point me in the right direction - what programming language could be used to achieve this, and also any pointers within that language - methods I could use etc. I would like to learn the language and then attempt to build it myself.

Many thanks!

Matthew

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Replies To: Looking to code software that creates tutorials based on UI clicks

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Looking to code software that creates tutorials based on UI clicks

Posted 21 October 2013 - 07:55 AM

The truth me told - you really wouldn't. It's hard enough to deal with programs outside of your app's sandbox, but even more so trying to pick out what the UI element name from inside another application.

Maybe look into the .NET Automation set and see if you can tweak that for your needs.

http://www.codeproje...tomation-Framew
http://msdn.microsof...y/ms747327.aspx
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#3 msteele  Icon User is offline

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Re: Looking to code software that creates tutorials based on UI clicks

Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:27 AM

Thanks a lot modi123_1, for your reply. What about another approach - can you create an invisible overlay with preset clickable areas that I could match up with the commands on the Excel program and capture the clicks that way? There would have to be a couple of overlays to simulate the tabs in Excel - but could that be done? It would have to let clicks through to Excel, but register the clicks - if the whole area was set up like battleship game squares you could set the intersections to specific commands in Excel - like B3 is the Save Button, for example.
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Looking to code software that creates tutorials based on UI clicks

Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:33 AM

Quote

can you create an invisible overlay with preset clickable areas that I could match up with the commands on the Excel program and capture the clicks that way?

Sure.. in theory anything is possible and, say, making an invisible desktop form in .NET isn't bad..
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#5 msteele  Icon User is offline

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Re: Looking to code software that creates tutorials based on UI clicks

Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:35 AM

Thanks a lot - I've bumped your reply as helpful - appreciate that. I'll look into .net, and study up the invisible desktop forms!

Many thanks - Matthew.
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