Monday, March 21, 2016

Creating Hard Copies of Poems and Songs to Send Home

Animated Step-by-Step Poems and Songs frequently include several ‘static, non-animated versions’ of the poems/songs that are designed to complement the upfront animated version. This allows teachers to re-read or re-sing a song with a natural cadence (unencumbered by the frequent pauses necessary for inserting animations) and presents the poem or song in a form that is easy to send home as hard copy.

When you purchase an Animated Step-by-Step, it downloads as a Microsoft PowerPoint Show file (.pps), meaning you cannot edit it in this format …and … meaning you cannot print out the ‘static poem/song’ in the traditional way. But if you ‘think outside the box’ there always seems to be a ‘work around’.   

If you are using an iPad you can take a screen shot of the page by holding down the power and home button simultaneously until you hear the 'camera click'. You then go to your picture icon, find the image and either print it from your iPad or email it so you can print it from your laptop or desktop computer. 

If you are using your laptop/desk computer you can take a screen shot of the page (different process for Mac vs. Windows). Depending upon the text size, this may be fuzzy at screenshot resolution (72 dpi). 

SnapZ Pro by Ambrosia Software Inc. is a commercial alternative to the screen shot capability built into your computer   I love this software. I can honestly say I probably use SnapZ Pro as much as I use PowerPoint which is almost daily. It allows you to use a keyboard command (i.e., Shift-Command-5) to take screen shots of various sizes (10% - 400%) and quality (best, high, normal, low) relative to the original. It also allows you to do video screen captures (frame rate 1 – 30) at various sizes (10% to 400% of original size).  It is truly a great investment for $69. You can download a free trial to check it out for 15 days.

As you can see from the following image, captured with SnapZ Pro at 100% page size, best quality), the text remains clear compared to the regular Mac 72 dpi screen shots. Given a choice of which one I would want to send home to support my literacy program, I would definitely prefer the image captured with SnapZ Pro.

Occasionally there is a 'duh' moment. After offering up all these screen shot options, another perhaps simpler option is to convert your .pps to .ppt file then simply go to print and choose to print out select pages. Often the simplest solution is the best solution!

'til the next post ... (new posts every Monday!)

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©2016 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist

Special Educator