Astronomy and Cosmology - Slide-based Presentations

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Learning Objectives

  • How to create screenshots (image files) and screencasts (video recordings) of a computer screen
  • How to add/embed image and video files into a slide-based presentation

Includes an overview of the different methods available depending on what application and/or operating system one is using.

How to Take Screenshots

Mac OS X: Screenshot

  • To take a picture of the entire screen: Press command+shift+3
  • To select an area/portion of the screen: Press command+shift+4, produces a crosshair, then draw a box around the area you would like a screenshot of.
  • To select a single window: Use command+shift+4 then press the spacebar - after the crosshair turns into a camera icon, click on the window you would like a screenshot of.

NOTE: Mac’s default location for saving screenshot files is the Desktop.

Windows: Screenshot

Stellarium: Screenshot (Mac or Windows)

  • To save what is on the screen, press command+s.
  • Screenshots are taken in .png format, and have filenames like: stellarium-000.png, stellariuim-001.png (which can be edited)
  • Stellarium saves screenshots in different directories depending on your system type. For example, on a Mac, screenshots may save to your default Pictures folder.

How to Record a Screencast (Make a Video Recording of the Computer Screen)

Using QuickTime (Mac or Windows)

Quicktime is a built-in application in Mac OS X and is available as a free download for Windows users.

  1. Go to File, select New Screen Recording
  2. If you would like to include an audio component, select a microphone from the record window by clicking on the small arrow at right for a list of options
  3. Click the red button to start recording video.
  4. You can stop the recording using either of these methods (and depending on what version you are using):
    • click the stop button in the Mac menu bar, upper right
    • press command+control+escape at same time
    • click the stop button in the record window

NOTE: On Mac, the video file will save to the default Movies folder.

How to Insert/Embed a Media File into Your Presentation


Add Screenshot/Image File
  • Drag-and-drop to place an image in a slide
  • From the Slides menu, click on Insert > select Image... and choose Upload to browse files on your computer or Your albums if you use Google Photos
Add/Embed Video:

From the Slides menu, click on Insert > select Video...

  • Use Video search to locate a video on YouTube and embed it into the slide (be mindful of copyright/use permissions)
  • Upload your own video to YouTube, then at Google Slides, use the URL tab to enter the URL for your video


Insert Screenshot/Image File: use either of the following methods
  • Drag-and-drop to place an image/screenshot file in a slide
  • Click on Insert in the Slides menu and select Image: choose an image/screenshot to upload or drag an image into the upload window
Insert Screencast/Video File: use either of the following methods
  • Drag-and-drop to place video file in a slide. TIP: If needed, adjust size from a corner to keep video in proportion.
  • From the Home menu, click on Media and select either Movie Browser or Movie from File to browse for a file on your computer.

Additional Resources

Celestia/Snapshots and Movies

Stellarium Wiki


Taking screenshots in Mac OS X

The Complete Guide to Mac OS X Screenshots

How to record quick, easy screencast videos with Mac OS X

Embed media into PowerPoint (Mac): Add a movie to a slide

Insert or link to a video that is stored on my PC

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