On the internet you stumble quite often upon screencasts which try to explain software tools or guide you through applications. The most popular site are probably ShowMeDo, who offer screencasts about FOSS software, Screencasters at heathenx.org who do videos on Inkscape or e.g. Ubuntu Screencasts with screencasts on Ubuntu linux.
When you watch such a video and the Author follows his usual work flow you’ve got a little problem. Imagine you want to learn how you delete all files inside a directory. The author hits “Ctrl+A” and after that “Del” and all the files are gone. When you see this inside a video, you magically see the files disappear, but not how! You can solve this problem with the little tool Key Status Monitor…
Key Status Monitor is a GTK+ application which shows which keys or mouse buttons are currently pressed. This way it’s very easy to give the user all the information he needs, even when you don’t add sound to your video.
You don’t have to install Key Status Monitor to run the tool. Just download the current version, extract the archive and start the included “key-status” script. On Ubuntu it should run out-of-the-box…
If you want to save space, you can add the option “-d” bzw. “–no-decorations”, so that Key Status Monitor doesn’t use window decorations.
sudo ./key-status --no-decorations
To give you a small demonstation of Key Status Monitor I made a little screencast. If you don’t use Flash on your computer, you can use this link to get to a .ogv version of this video.
One small issue. I noticed that Key Status Monitor works fine on my desktop system, but it can’t find the mouse on my notebook. So it might not work on your system.