Stepshot Review

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webfork
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Stepshot Review

#1 Post by webfork » Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:52 pm

Posting this to chit chat as it's neither portable nor freeware...

As discussed in a thread for a similar program Clarify 2, I was recently offered a test subscription for the payware Stepshot. Despite having heard good things about this program for years, held up as the gold standard for as-you-click screen recording and documentation, I've been so far very disappointed.

Interface issues
  • No SHIFT+select for grabbing multiple slides, which is fairly standard with programs like this.
  • Doesn't have much in the way of video export options (Edit: this program has only three output formats: JPEG, PDF, WordPress, and none of them are video.)
  • Editor component wasn't as clean or robust as some freeware tools.
  • The program couldn't recognize fairly standard elements inside a web page. Everything had to be entered in and for some reason you had to replace "Click on "" Unknown" every single frame. I was really surprised by that.
Buggy
  1. Clicking the version number generates a white screen that you can't exit.
  2. Upon exiting the program (the X box in the corner), I was prompted to save, but the file disappeared once I'd restarted the program. Not in the trash, not anywhere. I lost about 30 minutes of work.
I was provided this license for free and I can definitely see a lot of potential so hopefully my system was on the fritz that day. I'll follow-up on this post if that's the case but at the moment, I can't recommend commercial Stepshot over the liteware ActivePresenter.
Last edited by webfork on Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stepshot Review

#2 Post by sophia_stepshot » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:45 am

Hi Webfork,

It’s sad to read that your experience with StepShot Guides has been disappointing so far.
Please allow me to comment on several aspects you covered in your review.

→ Doesn't have much in the way of video export options

The ultimate goal of StepShot Guides is to keep the app simple and easy-to-use. So advanced features such as Video export, Advanced Word export (with customizable Word templates), AI-Powered text recognition, etc. are available in the upgraded PRO version that is currently sent out as a testing build to the early adopters.

→ The program couldn't recognize fairly standard elements inside a web page. Everything had to be entered in and for some reason, you had to replace "Click on "" Unknown" every single frame. I was really surprised by that.

Automated text description based on your steps will be included as a new major feature in the upcoming release of the StepShot Guides version. So please wait for it and hopefully you’ll enjoy the process of creating guides without typing in descriptions on your own.

→ Clicking the version number generates a white screen that you can't exit.

Unfortunately, I cannot reproduce the issue on my end. So it will help a lot if you can perform this procedure from your computer again and if the issue persists, please send us the log file for the investigation to contact@stepshot.net. For accessing the log file, please go to the Help section in the upper menu in-app >> Open Logs Folder.

→ Upon exiting the program (the X box in the corner), I was prompted to save, but the file disappeared once I'd restarted the program. Not in the trash, not anywhere. I lost about 30 minutes of work.

Honestly, it’s strange this situation happened to you. Usually, when the program is closed without the guide being saved, you can access it after restarting the app following the path File (upper left menu) >> Unsaved Files. The title of the guide is automatically set to the date and time when the last changes have been made.

If the guide has been saved before the program is closed, this file can be accessed already on your computer, not in the application.

→ Editor component wasn't as clean or robust as some freeware tools

Could you please explain in more details if possible what editing elements don’t work properly and/or suggest what can be improved?

Thank you for taking the time to test the software. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really upset you haven’t discovered the beauty of using StepShot Guides for now. But I sincerely hope your user experience will improve during your next interactions with the tool. If you’d like to have a short demo by our specialists where you will be shown how the app works in details and will be able to ask questions, please book the time at https://app.hubspot.com/meetings/artem2

Should you have any other questions or inquiries, you can always reach me personally at sophia@stepshot.net.

Looking forward to your reply.

Sincerely,
Sophia

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Re: Stepshot Review

#3 Post by webfork » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:35 pm

sophia_stepshot wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:45 am
Honestly, it’s strange this situation happened to you. Usually, when the program is closed without the guide being saved, you can access it after restarting the app following the path File (upper left menu) >> Unsaved Files. The title of the guide is automatically set to the date and time when the last changes have been made.
Unfortunately, I retested it again this morning with the same outcome. I sent a detailed bug report + screenshots to your provided email address.
sophia_stepshot wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:45 am
advanced features such as Video export, Advanced Word export (with customizable Word templates), AI-Powered text recognition, etc. are available in the upgraded PRO version that is currently sent out as a testing build to the early adopters
Understood, but again I'm comparing the program to ActivePresenter, which certainly has it's flaws and an included watermark, but also has a remarkable number of export formats even in the free version. I rechecked this morning and StepShot's trial version actually has only two: PDF and WordPress. You can save screenshots as images, but it's limited to JPEG (a format I very rarely use in screenshots).
sophia_stepshot wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:45 am
Could you please explain in more details if possible what editing elements don’t work properly and/or suggest what can be improved?
Sure thing:
  • No color modifications for of numbered elements like 1, 2, 3, etc. (it's green, clicking fill colors doesn't do anything ... the problem is that if you take orange screenshots, green looks really ugly).
  • Only one blur option and that has exactly one setting for blurring text.
  • Arrows look somewhat basic.
  • When moving an object on the screen (e.g. the front of an arrow) it moves the entire screen if you're zoomed out. (It looks like the select tool and the pan screen tool are both getting activated).
Screenshot of some of the elements mentioned above for reference: https://i.imgur.com/PmVewyF.png

By way of comparison, PicPick has more options and Greenshot has a somewhat basic but very focused set of tools. ShareX has probably the weakest of the available editor tools, but I use it most often as it's interface is wonderfully lean.
sophia_stepshot wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:45 am
I’m really upset you haven’t discovered the beauty of using StepShot Guides for now. But I sincerely hope your user experience will improve during your next interactions with the tool.
To be clear, I'm not picking on this program due to it's status as a commercial, non-portable program. My rent is getting paid with commercial software work.

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Re: Stepshot Review

#4 Post by sophia_stepshot » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:08 am

webfork wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:35 pm
Unfortunately, I retested it again this morning with the same outcome. I sent a detailed bug report + screenshots to your provided email address.
Thank you for the detailed bug report. Could you please also send to me or our customer success managers (contact@stepshot.net) your log file for troubleshooting purposes?
The path to it can be found in-app by clicking on Help in the upper menu >> Open Logs folder. Or you can access the file by following this path on Windows:
C:\Users\{UserName}\AppData\Roaming\StepShotGuides\Logs
webfork wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:35 pm
Understood, but again I'm comparing the program to ActivePresenter, which certainly has it's flaws and an included watermark, but also has a remarkable number of export formats even in the free version. I rechecked this morning and StepShot's trial version actually has only two: PDF and WordPress. You can save screenshots as images, but it's limited to JPEG (a format I very rarely use in screenshots).
After the official release of StepShot Guides PRO (the upgraded version version of the app), our free trial will enable the user to play with all features of the software, including its PRO functionality. Only after considering which features are mostly used and needed, the person will choose the most suitable subscription plan.

I would be delighted if you were among those who would test the PRO version and comment on how your experience with it was. Apart from regular exporting options, a few more are to be available - Word export with the possibility to customize your templates in Word, Video export with the possibility to record your own voiceover or automatically generate it with the help of AI-powered narration voice, and Content to Folder option.

By the way, thank you on commenting on the image option. I will clarify if that's possible to add other formats besides JPEG (will post an update here).
webfork wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:35 pm
No color modifications for of numbered elements like 1, 2, 3, etc. (it's green, clicking fill colors doesn't do anything ... the problem is that if you take orange screenshots, green looks really ugly).
I can imagine how bad green color looks on orange screenshots! You can try modifying how numbering looks by changing its size, outline, fill and shadow (will attach the screenshot to this post. It doesn't look aesthetical, I was just trying to show different options;)
https://snag.gy/rsREc2.jpg
webfork wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:35 pm
Only one blur option and that has exactly one setting for blurring text.
Arrows look somewhat basic.
That's a fair comment. I will discuss with the team if we can add more options as a feature request.
But also, I will explain the logics behind this. StepShot Guides was meant to be a simple tool offering the most necessary editing toolkit. Blur automatically adapts to the color you have on the screenshot and doesn't distract the person who is following the guide.

I also see your point about the lines. Some adaptations can be made, though. What you can change there now is the outline, color, size and shadow.


As to the rest, I'm sincerely grateful for the honest feedback, your comparisons, and indication which tools we can learn from in some particular moments. That's helpful and inspiring.

I've mentioned in the email that our most important aim is to not allow StepShot Guides to become a legacy software. People like you help us move further and constantly work on enhancing currently existing features, fix what's not working as expected and add more functionality where possible. Personally I believe that this movement and ongoing transformations is what presupposes long-term value for StepShot as a company and its customers as the ones who opt for using the software.

Thank you for all the help!

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Re: Stepshot Review

#5 Post by Midas » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:43 am

Good to see such nice dialogue happening. I expect the results to be on par. As a mere onlooker who hasn't tested Stepshot in any way, I'd like to state that image-wise I would consider the PNG format to be the baseline.

One thing is for sure, more output formats mean more flexibility for the potential user. 8)

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