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Use Clarify app to speed up documentation tasks

Brandon Carroll comments on the usefulness of the Clarify documentation tool, which is a downloadable app from the Mac App Store.

Clarify is an application that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store. The application is 29.99USD and can potentially save you hours of work in documenting pretty much anything.

Starting a project

The Application interface is initially pretty basic. When you create a new document you are presented with simple options to add text or capture images.

Working with a project (click to enlarge images)

As you add add text you can see the ability to add a title for the step as well as a camera icon to take a picture or photo icon to add an image that you already have. Once the image has been added to the step, it appears below the step. When you click the Camera icon on the top left it creates another screenshot and automatically adds it as the next step. From here you can continue to take screenshots as you work through your process. Return to Clarify later on to fill in the instructions for each screenshot. To speed things up even more you can use the shortcut Shift+CTRL+2 to take a new screenshot. Again, it's added to the existing clarify document automatically as the next step.

Annotating on an image in the project

As you return to the project that now has all of your images in it, you can click through each image on the far left and add the instructions. You can also use the tool bar to add annotations to the image for further clarifications.

Share your project

When you are ready to share, simply convert to a pdf.

My Take

I think overall it's a pretty handy tool. There are, however, a few issues with it that were a little annoying. The first issue is that there is no clear way to change the font size for annotation text on an image. The second issue is that the application hangs a bit when you add arrows to call-out information in an image. Aside from that, I have made use of this application several times since purchasing it and feel that I have got my money's worth out of the application. Of course there could be some additional enhancements like the ability to export the project to HTML for use on a blog, or the ability to change the format of the resulting PDF. The coloring on it seems to be a static blue without much customization. It would also be nice to have an ability to brand the PDF that is exported with a company logo or even watermark the PDF before sharing it. Still, for 29.99, it's worth it if you just want fast documentation.

About

Brandon Carroll, CCIE #23837, is an IT Director, Blogger, Podcaster, and Mac Enthusiast. Brandon has nearly 15 years in the networking industry consulting for large and small enterprise and service provider networks.

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