246: Screenflow 8: New Freehand Annotation Tool

Draw Freehand Shapes in Screenflow

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The Freehand Annotation Tool

Introduce you to the new Freehand Annotation Tool in Screenflow 8.

The freehand annotation tool allows you to draw custom shapes, illustrations, and hand-drawn graphical elements.

The screencasting software I use to record all of my screencast tutorials. Screenflow 8 was released 8/1/18.

For Free Trial or To Buy or Upgrade Use My Affiliate Link if you want:

Upgrade Price: $39
To buy new: $129

What Are Annotations?

Annotations in Screenflow = Shape Tools.

I use Annotations in Screenflow to mark up tutorials and point things out that I am referencing. For example, I use the Line Tool to make arrows and I use the Circle Annotation Tool all the time to circle things in my videos. Annotations are great for people watching a video without sound or if they are watching a small device it just leads their eye to what you are talking about.

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  1. Line Tool (change end-points to make arrows)
  2. Solid Rectangle/Square Tool (Color-filled)
  3. Outlined Rectangle/Square Tool (No color fill. Stroke only)
  4. Circle Tool
  5. Freehand Tool (New)

How to Use The New Freehand Annotation Tool

Note: Annotation Tools are located in the Inspector Panel above the timeline on the right side (see image below)

Tip: Scroll through all the tools in the Inspector Panel using Cmd + 1, Cmd +2, Cmd + 3….

Annotations are the 7th tool in the panel, so you guessed it: Cmd + 7

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Inspector Panel: Annotation Tools (Cmd + 7)
  1. Click on Pencil Icon or Keyboard Shortcut (Cmd +7)
  2. Click on the + Button to Add Annotation Track on Timeline
  3. Cursor turns to cross-hair.
  4. Draw Custom Shapes on Canvas (Things I draw: arrows, boxes, circles…)

Tip: When drawing freehand shapes, use one fluid motion and do not lift finger off mouse or tablet pan. I use a Wacom tablet, so the brush motion is very easy and natural for me. When you first start drawing (especially with a mouse, do not stop or lift cursor off canvas until the drawing is complete. Each time you stop and start, Screenflow will create a new shape and group it with the others. It gets messy and harder to transform shapes and change parameters like colors. The goal is to create one shape.

Tip #2: For each shape you create, click the ‘+’ to add annotation so all of your shapes are on their own layers. This gives you more control over the individual shape layers.

  1. Click on the Annotation Track in the Timeline and there will be a Transform Box around your shape (look at example below on left). When in this transform box state:
    -Change Scale
    -Add Video Motion
  2. Click Inside the Transform Box & the lines disappear and you will only see squares around the edges (right side of example below). Now you can change color, thickness, opacity and add shadow. You can also scale if you hold your cursor to the corners and wait until it changes to double arrow.
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Left: Transform Box….Right Side: Edit Shape


Anything you need help with, you can contact me anytime:

Watch the Video Tutorial:

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Can I Help You?

I create content and help people figure things out.

I make podcasts and videos that teach people how to make better content.

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My name is Mike Murphy, I’m a one man band and podcaster.
Learn. Create. Move Forward.
@mikeunplugged on Twitter or Instagram

Written by

Podcaster, Tutorial Maker & Problem Solver. I Help People Figure Things Out. Email: mike@mikemurphy.co Podcaster Support & Content Creator @Simplecast.

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