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Thread: Keystroke overlay display for screencasting?

  1. #1
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    Keystroke overlay display for screencasting?

    I'm evaluating tools for screencasting on Linux (Gentoo ~x86 and Ubuntu 8.10/9.04, specifically).

    One of the things I'd like to integrate is a transparent overlay display of keystrokes in human-readable form, to demonstrate keyboard navigation and shortcuts.

    Any suggestions on a FOSS tool to do this for Linux? I'd like to use something standalone, available even when not screencasting.

    Update: I saw:
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NotifyOSD
    https://edge.launchpad.net/notify-osd

    which seems like it would be a useful mechanism for keystroke display. However, notify-osd is probably too new to have a utility ready for this specific purpose. It's also important to have positioning capability of the keystroke overlay for less-than-full-screen captures.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Keystroke overlay display for screencasting?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffk View Post
    One of the things I'd like to integrate is a transparent overlay display of keystrokes in human-readable form, to demonstrate keyboard navigation and shortcuts.
    Why don't you just write into a txt document, turn the opacity down to %30, set the window to "always on top" and move as you please?
    What makes a great open source contributor is not primarily the brilliance of their ideas or importance of their bug, but rather their willingness to see it through to success.

  3. #3
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    Re: Keystroke overlay display for screencasting?

    My description wasn't very clear. I'm looking for a FOSS tool to replicate the fancy (e.g. Mac screencasts) on-screen display of the keystrokes used while interacting with the program being demonstrated.
    Code:
    C-x k <return>   ( each line ... fades out ...)
    C-x 0 C-x b <right> <return> 
    <S-iso-lefttab> <tab> M-> 
    <tab> <down> <tab> M-e M-e M-e M-e
    It's usually a semi-transparent overlay in a fixed-position on the screen.

    Emacs has a way to show this in a buffer, but I would like to do the same for demonstrating browser-base and other GUI apps.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Re: Keystroke overlay display for screencasting?

    Well I've managed to stumble across a differnt notification system (other than the ubuntu-specific and yet to be released notify-OSD). I don't know if it has a tool like what you're looking for, but...

    Mumbles - http://www.mumbles-project.org/

    Possibly take that and combine it with something like keyboardcast: https://launchpad.net/keyboardcast or Xmacro: http://xmacro.sourceforge.net/ to get your desired results?
    What makes a great open source contributor is not primarily the brilliance of their ideas or importance of their bug, but rather their willingness to see it through to success.

  5. #5
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    Re: Keystroke overlay display for screencasting?

    Thanks for the tip, Mumbles looks like something I would like to build upon, I'll investigate.

    The new notify-osd looks great, but I think the conventions they are wisely placing upon its notifications will make its formatting less than optimal for keystroke-echoing during screencasts.

    In the parallel thread on Gentoo, a reply and I found python-xlib, which makes sane keystroke event watching possible. The challenge would be to group and expire the keystrokes in such a way that they resemble input intent, such as emacs chords, etc.

    http://python-xlib.sourceforge.net/

    I'm sure I've seen this feature on the best-produced screencasts, strange that I can pin down its colloquial name from commercial (i.e. Mac) packages.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Re: Keystroke overlay display for screencasting?

    Hey, I just found a near perfect solution!

    Go to http://screencasters.heathenx.org/bl...tatus-monitor/ and download the archive.

    Run it with sudo python key-status-hx

    and you get a perfect small onscreen widget thing that shows keys and mouse button presses. You can remove the window decoration in Kubuntu by right clicking the window titlebar and choosing Advanced _> no border. I imagine Gnome / XFCE is similar.

    Happy screencasting!
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    can be beaten at their own game by free and open source software.
    Here's how. (Extra credit)

  7. #7
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    Re: Keystroke overlay display for screencasting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubuntiac View Post
    Hey, I just found a near perfect solution!

    Go to http://screencasters.heathenx.org/bl...tatus-monitor/ and download the archive.

    Run it with sudo python key-status-hx

    and you get a perfect small onscreen widget thing that shows keys and mouse button presses. You can remove the window decoration in Kubuntu by right clicking the window titlebar and choosing Advanced _> no border. I imagine Gnome / XFCE is similar.

    Happy screencasting!
    I come across this thread when I am searching to do the same thing. This script looks interesting, but it depends on HAL, which are no longer used in newer version of X.

  8. #8
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    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: Keystroke overlay display for screencasting?

    Just found this which seems great and supports the windows meta key!

    http://code.google.com/p/key-mon/

    Luciano
    Luciano

  9. #9

    Re: Keystroke overlay display for screencasting?

    screenkey is great and compatible with current Ubuntu release

  10. #10
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    Lubuntu

    Re: Keystroke overlay display for screencasting?

    screenkey is compatible, if by "comatible" you mean buggy and abandoned. I can't get the preferences dialog to show

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