This app creates step-by-step instructions for everything you do on your computer

Screenshot: scribe

Many of us have played the role of leader when it comes to helping others with technology. There are professional scenarios, such as B. walking an intern through company software, and personal situations like explaining Google Docs to your tech-savvy friends and family. Sure, if it’s a one-time call, you can take their calls, but for repetitive tasks, a visual guide works best. You don’t have to hire a how-to author for the task or spend a lot of time on PowerPoint. If you already know the steps, all you need is a tool like Scribe.

Scribe watches you complete a task on your computer, and then automatically creates a visual step-by-step guide for that task that you can share with others. The Chrome extension works much like a video or walkthrough recorder like Loom, but the result includes text prompts, screenshots, and even annotations indicating where someone needs to click. You used to have to build these things entirely by hand. Now a program can do it for you.

Scribe is designed for teams and businesses, but their free plan is very generous. You can record, edit and share any guide freely on the web. (To record a desktop app, you’ll need to subscribe to their hefty Pro plan.) Before you begin, you’ll need to create an account, and yes, you’ll need to give the browser permission to record what’s going on on your screen.

Scribe overview

If you’re ok with this, click the Scribe icon in your browser’s extension bar, then click the red record button on the floating bar. Now click through the steps you want to record. When you’re done, you can click the Finish Recording button on the control bar to stop recording.

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This action will open the guide in a new tab, with the title, screenshots and steps ready. You can now edit the whole thing however you like, complete with a meaningful title and description. Scribe’s steps can also seem overly simple at times, so editing them with additional details can help. You can even add more steps by bringing in your own images if you want, but these things are just optional. When you’re done, click the copy link button and share the guide with everyone who will benefit.

Scribe’s free plan only lets you record steps in your browser, so it’s best for troubleshooting web apps. If you want to record an app from your computer or smartphone, you’ll need to upgrade to the Pro plan, which starts at $29/month. (The Pro plan also lets you edit images to blur sensitive information, add branding, and more.)