2 min read

Reusing your Existing Videos

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One of the greatest challenges of making software videos is updates. Every time there is a new release of your software you have to re-record some or all of your videos to bring them up to date. If you have well-written video scripts that follow a template, Videate can automagically make videos. If not, Videate now allows you to reuse the audio transcripts of your existing videos to quickly make new videos of your latest release. 

We announced last month the availability of the Videate Chrome Extension, a browser plug-in that enables you to tag the text in your existing audio transcripts and turn them into Videate compatible scripts. This means you can generate sustainable, maintainable videos for the future, even if the instructions were written or recorded by different people. And once you have your automated video production machine running, you can incrementally reengineer the words in the new scripts and bring them to a better place.

Let’s examine an example. From our experience, the word “click” is used fairly consistently to mean click on a specific element in your user interface. But words like “Go to, ”Navigate to,” or “Select” are frequently also used to mean click on a specific element. With written text, it may be acceptable to the reader to interpret the words on their own. With video, it’s important to know what action words you use that also mean click. Using the Videate Chrome Extension, you can quickly match words in your existing transcripts with common actions.

With some audio transcripts, the text can be a bit messy, meaning that punctuation and breaks are often not correct or clear. It’s pretty easy to quickly split the text into meaningful blocks in Google docs or Word. And then upload the doc into Videate and preview the video. If you find a comma somewhere where there should be a period, the audio will likely sound like a run-on sentence. Just fix your doc, re-upload to Videate and listen again.

Occasionally, there are words that get transcribed into your audio transcripts incorrectly. These are often abbreviations, informal expressions, or product names. A recent example was the use of the letters “recs” in a transcript which meant “reconciliations.” Recs is not understood by all text-to-speech engines so some assume it is an abbreviation and pronounce the letters individually. While this may be true in some situations, in this case the customer wanted “recs” to sound like “rex” or “wrecks.” 

With Videate these can be handled automatically. Abbreviations can take a set of letters and pronounce them individually. Phonemes will specify the exact pronunciation you want to use for a word. This is important because you want the closed captions in your new video to show the letters “RECS” (which is what the software displays) but pronounce them using the phoneme “reks.” Want to learn how to make phonemes? Here’s a handy tool to help you construct them.

Your mother always told you to choose your words carefully. When it comes to automating software video production, this is also very good advice. When you are guiding a user on how to perform various tasks, using a consistent set of action words improves the learner experience and knowledge transfer. It also simplifies the translation process if you want to make videos in multiple languages. Automating software video production just got even easier. And you don’t need to be a video expert to do it.

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