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Chronicle: Capture, Exploration, and Playback of Document Workflow Histories

ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology

Chronicle: Capture, Exploration, and Playback of Document Workflow Histories (3:30 min.)

Video title (x:xx min.)


We describe Chronicle, a new system that allows users to explore document workflow histories. Chronicle captures the entire video history of a graphical document, and provides links between the content and the relevant areas of the history. Users can indicate specific content of interest, and see the workflows, tools, and settings needed to reproduce the associated results, or to better understand how it was constructed to allow for informed modification. Thus, by storing the rich information regarding the documents history workflow, Chronicle makes any working document a potentially powerful learning tool. We outline some of the challenges surrounding the development of such a system, and then describe our implementation within an image editing application. A qualitative user study produced extremely encouraging results, as users unanimously found the system both useful and easy to use.Update: Chronicle has now been released and is available as Autodesk Screencast for download. Please visit the official Screencast Website for more information.

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Related Projects

Software Learning

The Learning project aims to investigate advanced techniques for assisting users in learning complicated applications. We are interested in a range of investigations from the scientific study of the human learning process to prototyping novel interaction techniques for improving the general learning mechanisms that can be applied to all applications.


The Chronicle Research Project is exploring a new type of system that will allow users to easily share and learn from software workflows. The Chronicle system records the timing and details of workflow information – the mouse clicks and typing, the tool and settings being used, along with a continuous screen capture. We associate all of this captured information with the application’s data file – so every document can also have an automatically generated “making of” video.


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