• Academic Technology

Can You Panopto a Document? And Why Would You?

“Can you use Panopto to record a document?”

It’s a question we hear quite often — although the noun at the end is almost never the same. Rather, more often we hear “Can you Panopto a Word document? A PDF? Another document tool, like Google Docs, OpenOffice Writer, or Notepad? What about a page on a website? Or printed out the doc and just wanted to use a smartphone to capture our edits on paper?”

The good news is, no matter the document, you can use Panopto to record it.

Panopto’s flexible video platform doesn’t limit you to just presentation slides; if you can show it on a screen, Panopto can capture it, index each word that appears along with every word you speak to make it searchable, and instantly upload it to your centralized video library where you can edit, share, and track whether others actually watched it.

Take a look at just how easy it is to Panopto just about any document you like:



Panopto makes it easy to record virtually any document in just 3 clicks. But that feature itself raises an interesting second question:

Why would you want to record a document in the first place?

Well — many reasons. For organizations around the world, recording a document is becoming a modern convenience and a more efficient way to get work done. Here are just some of the benefits organizations are seeking in recording documents:

More Detailed Document Revision
Before video, reviewing a document was a painstaking task of tracked changes (which still isn’t possible for every document format), coupled with bullet after bullet of written feedback. Every single point had to be perfectly articulated — or risk a misunderstanding that requires yet another round of edits.

Even for simple documents that process can easily take hours — for critical documents like executive communications, press releases, marketing collateral, or anything else destined for public or reference use, it’s now common to go through dozens of rounds of edits from multiple stakeholders. All those written reviews add time, complexity, and confusion.

Video document reviews offer an alternative. The reviewer can use Panopto to record the document on their screen, as well as their onboard laptop webcam to capture their spoken feedback. All together, the recording can show what changes were made, specifically where the reviewer had a question or idea, and how the review would like to see a new version modified — with much less of a chance of miscommunication.

Face-to-Face Reviews — Even at a Distance
In a perfect world, every time a member of your team wanted to walk through a document with a colleague, they’d walk over to that person’s desk and have a quick discussion. But in the modern office, that isn’t always possible — telecommuting and time-shifting, not to mention the possibility of global team members working clear on the other side of the world, have made it harder to connect and discuss a document.

Conferencing and instant-messaging technologies have helped to resolve this difficulty, but they offer no help when two individuals can’t find a common window of time for a call. In a world where colleagues may be working weekends, evenings, or 12 time zones away, you need an on-demand video option to allow those communications to happen.

Panopto makes on-demand communications easy — with one-click recording that is instantly uploaded to be shared on your organization’s video library. Your document reviewer can record on their own schedule, share the link, and allow the viewer to see everything when they sit down at their desk in the morning.

Save Walk-Throughs of Important Documents
Some documents demand more than an email summary. Important files like employee reviews, benefits materials, and other critical information are best shared in-person, with a manager or team leader ready to discuss each element for the employee.

Yet as teams grow larger and organizations spread around the globe, it’s often not possible for every manager to meet with every member of their team face-to-face — even for the important documents. Here too, video can be a valuable tool — offering the manager the chance to record themselves as they walk-through the document to ensure the employee understands what’s written.

Many organizations have even begun using video when the participants in these meetings can meet face-to-face. Video can provide an impartial witness to personnel reviews and can be a valuable teaching tool for helping coach managers as they mentor employees and provide feedback and reviews.

Cover Syllabi and Schedules
Across universities and corporate training departments alike, it’s not uncommon for educators to spend 30- or 60-minutes or more at the beginning of a first class just discussing the materials the class will cover. In an academic environment, this can often take up an entire first day’s worth of classes!

Video again provides a better option. With video, educators can record a quick walkthrough of themselves speaking to the course schedule and share it with their students ahead of class. This is an especially helpful system for teachers in a flipped classroom environment — recording and sharing a syllabus ahead of time can be an easy introduction to participating in a flipped classroom for many students new to the concept.

The Panopto video platform makes it easy for your team to share document reviews anytime and anywhere — for an on-demand audience that can watch on their own schedule from anywhere in the world.

Best of all, Panopto’s Smart Search video search technology makes finding your recorded documents a snap. Panopto automatically indexes every word spoken and every word shown on-screen in every video — so even months from now, your team can quickly find and re-watch your review.