Recording an Interface Window

VisualCommander's Record capability allows you to create a movie of an Interface window. This page describes how this feature works and the various options available to you.


Recording is controlled by a Visual Commander floating panel. Using this panel, you can choose to include the cursor or not, whether to include sound, and the select the type of video encoding. It offers controls that start and stop the movie, or that can cancel recording. An additional control inserts chapter markers. When recording ends, the video is compressed, and you can then select where to store the movie file.

Record an Interface Window

Fig. 1 - Movie Control Window.

Once a recording has started, the target window cannot be moved or resized, so size and place the window as your first step. Then, select Record Window ... from the Options menu—this results in the Movie Control panel appearing as shown in Figure 1.

Next, choose whether to include sound, the type of video encoding, and whether to include the cursor by pressing the i button to expose the Settings sheet (Figure 2). Audio options include None and whatever audio inputs supported by your particular computer. Video options include RLE, which compresses fairly quickly but playable only on a Macintosh. The H.264 encoding results in a movie playable on many platforms—however, it takes much longer to compress than RLE. Settings persist, so you only need to revisit them when you want to make a change.

Fig. 2 - Movie Settings.

As you can see in Figure 1, the control panel has three round buttons in it: Cancel, Record, and Chapter Mark. It also has a display where you can see the elapsed time in hours and minutes, the selected Audio option, the number of chapters, and the input audio level (if using audio). When using audio, adjust your voice to keep the level in the middle of the range for best fidelity. To start recording, press the Record button, and the elapsed time starts increasing.

Fig. 3 - Video Compressing.

While recording, you can modify or set objects within the Interface window as desired. If you want to mark a particular time, press the Chapter Mark button (Apple's QuickTime Player shows chapters in a popup menu). Chapters are numbered beginning with 1, so the first chapter you create will be marked 2.

If you want to cancel an active recording, press the Cancel button.

When you want to end the recording, press the Record button again. Immediately, an indicator appears displaying compression progress (see Figure 3). [Currently this phase cannot be cancelled.] Once the encoding finishes, you are presented with a sheet that lets you choose where to save the movie file. Movies get a predetermined name using the Interface name and the current time—this can be changed later using the Finder.

After a recording and saving a movie, you can either leave the movie control window open so as to record additional movies, or close it by clicking the top left Close button.

Closing Comments