Trying Tango for Short Web-Based Training Tutorials

I learned about the free Chrome extension “Tango” from Beth Jennings’s post to ALL-SIS which included a sample tutorial she made. I was intrigued by the idea that I could show someone how to do something without creating 1,000 “snips” with the Windows Snipping Tool or making another 3-10 minute video of myself using the internet. Tango’s homepage promises I can document what I’m doing instantly and after a year of online teaching under my belt, I am painfully aware of how long it takes to create and edit screen capture images and video.

So in the pursuit of science, I decided to take the lead by documenting my first tango with Tango.

Getting Started

From the start, Tango seems to be a business-oriented product. That is not a bad thing of course, but I was a little disoriented when I went to pick a role. “Training” seems the most appropriate and really isn’t a stretch—law librarians in all settings often train people how to do legal research.

Dropdown menu with business-related roles as options. Text reading “You’re Almost Ready to Tango, Katelyn” is displayed across the top.
I can hardly contain my excitement

The initial dashboard has a simple, bright, ultra-modern look and is preloaded with two tutorials- How To Pin the Chrome Extension and How to Capture Workflows. I am going to go ahead and start off with these because (1) I am totally new, and (2) they are in the format of the types of capture I am seeking to create with this product.

Just from the tutorial I can see the utility of Tango—instead of a lengthy video capturing cursor movement on screen, the Tango recordings take what they describe as a ‘highlight reel’ of your actions in a particular Chrome tab. This makes the visual aspect of the tutorial much more attractive to people who don’t have much time (like lawyers and law students) and people with a short attention span (myself, and surely others.)

To use Tango, you need to pin the extension so that you can access it quickly when you are on the page you want to record. The tutorial on how to record shows the controls so you know what to expect when the recording starts.

Image of controller for Tango extension
The anticipation continues to build

The best thing in my opinion, by far, is the ability of Tango to highlight wherever you click with a rectangle. In the absence of something like Camtasia (or numerous other helpful but costly screen capture programs), it can be difficult to call attention to your clicks. Tango adds the highlights as you are capture, making it much faster to convey your actions.

Up to this point, I am writing this based on the tutorial—so let’s see how this works out in practice.

Recording My First Workflow

I was curious about how Tango would work with a commercial legal research platform, so I selected Westlaw and decided to make a quick tutorial on how one could access Government Accountability Office Board of Contract Appeals opinions. To start, I opened Westlaw and logged in. At the homepage, I clicked on the Tango extension that I had pinned.

Tango icon pinned to top of web browser
This is where the pin lives

A small window pops down and there is just one button that says “capture workflow.” Once you click on it the capture begins and Tango takes a small screen shot of each of your clicks and typing activities.

Pop up window with the word “Tango” at the top and a button over the words “Capture Workflow” followed by a short text advertisement for the pro version

Once you begin to capture the workflow, you can see the ‘highlight’ shape (an orange rectangle) on screen wherever you rest your cursor on text or images with hyperlinks. The snapshot for your tutorial is only taken when you click or type text.

After pressing capture, all I had to do was navigate to the GAOBCA opinions page and each step was automatically captured. Toward the end of the process, I clicked where it said “Ten Most Recent” so that a screen shot would be taken, then I clicked in the search bar and ran a search. I ended the process by clicking on the green check mark in the bottom left corner of the page. If you hover your cursor over the checkmark, the controller shows up and provides the option to pause or discard the workflow. You may also change the controller to be on the right-hand side of the screen. There is a blur feature on the controller for premium users which allows you to blur out sensitive information on screen.

I did not time myself exactly, but the process from start to finish of just the capture was only a second longer than it took me to navigate to the desired page. At this point I was happy at how little it took to gather the images for the tutorial. Once the capture is complete, you get to edit your steps and provide accompanying information.

As a quick side note, out of curiosity I tried to see if I could make a tutorial on how to use Tango to capture Westlaw, but it wasn’t possible because clicking the icon again simply paused the recording.

Editing My First Workflow

The automatic title for whatever you record is “Workflow with [website you started on].” The first step is a direct link to whatever webpage you started on—you don’t have to add it at all, but you might want to change the title. Tango automatically pulled Westlaw’s logo to associate it with the steps in the guide (pictured below).

table of contents side-bar for tutorial
Looking sharp!

To edit the automatically generated headings, you simply click on them and can change them immediately. A couple of the steps didn’t need to be changed at all because Tango automatically identifies your actions and the text that you click on. For example, the step pictured in the below image was 100% Tango:

The third pane in the editing page of Tango titled “Click on Administrative Decisions and Guidance”

I had to edit the heading for last two because I wanted to indicate that the person using the tutorial could browse the “ten most recent” list or search within the content area. The automatic headings simply stated exactly what I had done. This was the most work I had to do during the editing process.

One other thing that made the editing process easy was working within each pane where the captures were organized. You can click next to your captures to add a description or modify the link that Tango adds to each picture (automatically!) If you hover over the image you can zoom in and out, adjust how much appears in the frame, and add alt text to enhance accessibility. The editing is done to each step, so those that were automatically generated and perfect could be left alone completely unless you wanted to zoom in or move the focus of the image.

Editing pane of Tango with a red circle around the button for creating alt text
Adding alt text to images is easy

The Final Product and Thoughts

My final product is here:

The tutorial may be shared by link or you can invite someone else to view it via email. Users may also download the guide as a PDF or copy the HTML code to put elsewhere. I copied the HTML into Microsoft word and was stunned when I could see all of my highlighted images and could edit the accompanying text. Each step became a heading that could be minimized in the document to create more of an outline. I would prefer this format because the PDF download has a cover and end page branded with Tango. Copying into Microsoft word allowed me to soften Tango’s brand presence because it’s only mentioned a few times without logos. With the pro version you can add your own logo to the PDF downloads which would also mitigate the distraction.

I am probably going to use this at least a few times for tutorials on how to do simple tasks, and I am curious about how it will work out with more complex research tasks. Overall, Tango is definitely going into my virtual tool box because it’s user friendly and would cut down the time it takes to prepare visual aids. I also suspect that it will capture attention differently, and I always try to deliver information in a variety of formats.

What makes a “good” vendor?

Deciding the criteria for a “good” vendor is a personalized and complicated question to answer. The needs and priorities of libraries vary tremendously even in the (relatively!) small world of law libraries. While the exact importance of factors may vary, I suggest that these are items we should be reviewing when we review vendors:

  • Product. Does the product fill a need? Does this item (print subscription, database, service) fill the need that still exists? Are there other alternatives? Changes in library staff, leadership, law school program changes, technology, and the marketplace make it useful to re-examine a product’s need in your library.
  • Cost. Sometimes cost will be an absolute number while other times it is best expressed as cost per use.
  • Usage. Is this item used by most of the first year class? By an entire upper-level writing course? By a single faculty member for scholarship? Although these questions may appear to be framed as “good” to “bad”, maybe that resource is key to that single faculty member’s scholarship. How much weight to place on this factor will vary depending on budgetary needs, however even low-use items may be of great importance to key members of the law school community.
  • Vendor commitment to equity and social justice. How committed is the vendor to diversity, equity, and inclusion? Is this surface-level commitment via social media or are there concrete steps taken by the company? See earlier posts on this blogs for some great examples of vendor action in this area.
  • Customer service. What happens when things go wrong? Flexibility can also fall into this category

Finding a balance between these factors can be tricky. What about a great product with poor customer service? An expensive product with low usage? There are many tricky questions we could ponder. However, this small blog post is simply a reminder against not examining any factors and thinking the scariest phrase in all of collection development: “we’ve always done it this way”.

CRIV/BBNA Semiannual Call Minutes (December 2019)

Thursday, December 17, 2019, 11:00 am Eastern

Participants: Joe Breda (President, Bloomberg Law); Mike Bernier (Director, Knowledge Services and Library Relations; Bloomberg Law); Vani Ungapen (Executive Director; American Association of Law Libraries (AALL)), R. Martin Witt (Chair, AALL Committee on Relations with Information Vendors (CRIV)); Karen Selden (AALL Board Liaison to CRIV)

New Bloomberg Law Products, Policies, and Issues of Interest

  • Corporate and litigation Practical Guidance tools continue to be expanded. New suites include:
    • Initiating & Defending Litigation
    • Litigation Finance
      • Both go live on December 18, 2019
      • Both fully integrate with existing tools on Bloomberg Law (e.g., Points of Law; Docket Key; SmartCode)
    • Law X.0 podcasts
      • Available on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.
        • Focused on the future of the practice of law
      • Workflow enhancements
        • Revamped alerts management system
        • Simplified printing process, including bulk printing and downloading multiple files from a results list.

Upcoming Bloomberg Law Products, Policies, and Issues of Interest

  • Big product release of 2020 Q1 will include
    • Brief Analyzer
      • To be released to all Bloomberg Law customers
      • Will allow users to upload a brief and get related legal materials from Bloomberg Law

Requests for Assistance (RFA)

RFA #1 – Restrictions on Docket Use (Academic Law)

R. Martin Witt:

Background – There were a number of Requests for Assistance in which AALL members reported having Bloomberg Law users who were told that their Bloomberg Law accounts were prohibited from executing any further Dockets Transactions. These users received a letter from Bloomberg Law’s legal counsel saying they had been identified as having an excessive amount of docket transactions. Some AALL members also indicated that they had users also were told they were banned “for life.” Historically, AALL members have Bloomberg Law have often recommended Bloomberg Law as a resource for access dockets, precisely because there was not a preset limit on the transactions that could be completed.

Joe Breda:

In general, Bloomberg Law offers pretty much unlimited/unmetered dockets access to every single law school seat. There is, however, an external variable cost associated with the transactions, which is borne by Bloomberg Law. Docket usage is increasing at a non-linear rate, and – rather than severely limit docket access across the board in the law school market – Bloomberg Law identified 23 individual users whose usage was several orders of magnitude above “normal” usage and contacted them, referring to a Bloomberg Law’s general provision allowing access to be restricted.

Those 23 users are not forbidden from accessing Bloomberg Law; they are also not forbidden from accessing dockets on Bloomberg Law. The restriction applies only to the ability to incur costs via docket requests and docket alerts. Those 23 users could only perform actions that would generate costs if they agreed to cover the costs of those actions.

Agreements to cover the costs of docket requests have been discussed with two of the 23 users, but a billing mechanism is still being worked out by Bloomberg Law.

Mike Bernier:

Bloomberg Law will be meeting with a group of Law Library Directors at AALS, to gather feedback and perhaps work to establish thresholds that could be used moving forward. The purpose is not to reduce the use of dockets for general legal research, but instead to curb the excessive use of dockets above what is reasonably expected.

Joe Breda:

Again, the vast majority of law school users (students and faculty) – 99.8% of academic users –were completely unaffected.

R. Martin Witt:

Were any of the 23 users running scripts or were they all manually gathering/using dockets?

Joe Breda:

That’s less of a relevant question in this instance, because even if done manually the fees incurred were extremely high. This is particularly true with docket tracks because, once set up, they can generate substantial fees without any further human action required.

R. Martin Witt:

To recap, there is no strict limit right now, but setting a threshold will be discussed at AALS. Other aspects CRIV would recommend be included in those AALS discussions are 1) the possibility of some warning, prior to restricting docket functionality for users; 2) perhaps a suspension period prior to a permanent restriction of certain docket actions; 3) whether the permanent restriction will remain for all 23 users already identified.

Joe Breda:

Bloomberg Law is totally willing to return full functionality to any of the 23 users under either of two circumstances: 1) they discontinue whatever actions were driving disproportionate fee generation or 2) they reach at least an informal agreement to bear the financial burden for the excessive activities.

R. Martin Witt:

Finally, the letter from General Counsel indicated that “efforts to circumvent the prohibition” would lead to suspension and/or termination of the Bloomberg Law agreement. What would constitute efforts to circumvent? Would, for instance, a Reference Librarian requesting an item that the faculty member with restricted access could not request be an effort at circumvention?

Joe Breda:

Absolutely not, that activity by a Reference Librarian would be fine. The efforts at circumventing that are not permitted would be things like transferring all the existing alerts that caused an account to be restricted to another account that had not been restricted.

A summary of the AALS meetings will also be provided to CRIV to be appended to these minutes or share shortly thereafter. If Law Librarians would like to share their thoughts on this, please contact Mike Bernier (

Post-Call Addendum

Bloomberg Law reported constructive conversations at AALS regarding law school docket use and are making some refinements to a policy based on feedback at that meeting and will communicate further.

RFA #2 – ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct

Joe Breda:

As has been expressed multiple times over recent years, Bloomberg Law sees its future as two things: 1) completely digital; and 2) an integrated platform. At this point, this was essentially the final print resource produced by Bloomberg Law. After extended discussions with the leadership at the ABA, everyone agrees the future is digital and the time has come to make that move with respect to this product. An entirely new slice of Bloomberg Law was built out, which will allow for a better more current product that the print could offer.

R. Martin Witt:

ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct has current archives in PDF, with citable pagination. Will that be maintained?

Mike Bernier:

Yes, the archive will be maintained.

R. Martin Witt:

Will new updates be similarly paginated?

Mike Bernier:

We have been reworking this resource from page-based pagination to paragraph-based pagination, which will hopefully make the transition easier since updates after the end of the year will not have fixed pagination. Even when print goes away, we will have a means of consistent citation.

R. Martin Witt:

OK, thank you. Moving to consistent paragraph formatting should hopefully alleviate some concerns over citations. With respect to access, there seems to be some similarity to the concern over access – primarily for court/public Law Libraries, or those open to the public – that we discussed in connection with the Tax Management Portfolios (TMPs) last year. For the TMPs, you were open to the idea of kiosk access based on IP address rather than simply by specific machine address. Could there be something similar – either a slice or kiosk-based access to the new professional responsibility platform – available to those libraries who are open to the public and have financial constraints that make providing public access to the complete Bloomberg Law platform untenable?

Joe Breda:

There is no current kiosk-based configuration for that particular slice. A challenge with IP authentication is that it becomes difficult to price appropriately. We are, however, willing to discuss the possibility and will follow-up with CRIV and the libraries impacted.

R. Martin Witt:

I’m not sure there’d be a consensus, given all the different circumstances Law Libraries face. For some Law Libraries though, especially those that make a concerted effort to serve the public and attorneys who are unlikely to have access to the full Bloomberg Law, this is a resource that is of great importance. It isn’t a niche practice area; it’s something that every practicing attorney should be able to stay informed on. IP-recognition would likely be preferred, for ease of administration, but even a kiosk-based configuration (single terminal) with just the professional responsibility slice available could be a good compromise.

Post-Call Addendum

Bloomberg Law responded to concerns that law school and court libraries were unable to make the ABA/Bloomberg Law Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct available to patrons after print ceased. As a result of issues raised by CRIV, law schools and courts may now purchase an IP-authenticated electronic version of just the ABA/Bloomberg Law Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct at a price significantly less than a full Bloomberg Law Patron Access terminal. Librarians should contact their Bloomberg Law Relationship Partner for more information.

RFA #3 – Itemized invoices, including of electronic subscriptions

R. Martin Witt:

An AALL member subscribes to multiple electronic products from Bloomberg Law and needs itemized invoices in order to properly allocate costs from Bloomberg Law to appropriate practice groups. Is there anything that can be done for this subset of firms that needs to allocate costs of individual electronic products?

Mike Bernier:

The default is to bill as one lump sum. Requests for itemized bills can generally be accommodated on an individual basis, since it is a manual process. If the request has been made to the billing contact and the response is not satisfactory, users should contact Mike Bernier ( directly for a cost-per-subscription breakdown (with some limitations if bundling makes such a breakdown impossible).

RFA #4 – BNA Books

R. Martin Witt:

Within the past couple days, there have been a rash of incidents where Bloomberg Law Books (formerly BNA Books) have been delivering multiple copies of materials and billing them separately when only one was ordered. There was also a lot of institution account information that was lost in a recent transition. I know you’ve just been made aware of the issues as well. Can you share any additional information or progress on diagnosing the issues?

Mike Bernier:

The email address should now be sufficient to address most of the concerns expressed. There was a transition, but it is being worked on. If there is a need for escalation of a particular issue, people should be forward the previous correspondence to me [Mike Bernier (] and I can assist.

Joe Breda:

We have someone in the office now tracking down instances where customers were sent books/copies that they didn’t want and working to resolve them. We are also working on fixing issues in our accounts that were transferred, including the loss of information related to tax-exempt status, so we are asking for that information and should be able to effectively keep track of that moving forward. Please just continue to communicate with us as we work through this process and the best initial contact is

R. Martin Witt:

Was there a pattern to the extra books that were sent out, which might indicate a systematic issue?

Mike Bernier:

Unfortunately, no. We’ve been able to resolve the individual issues, but there does not seem to be any commonality among the extra materials that were sent out.

RFA #5 – Full-time Equivalent (FTE) measure

R. Martin Witt:

A AALL member reported that Bloomberg Law was trying to “prove” that JD enrollment had crossed a certain threshold, thereby increasing their subscription cost and were requiring extra steps to certify the number as correct even though it was publicly available.

Mike Bernier:

Generally, Bloomberg Law takes the ABA 509 report and if enrollment drops we request something from the registrar that confirms the drop. If there is no discrepancy identified by the school, Bloomberg Law will not seek to identify discrepancies itself or require additional certification of ABA 509 numbers. This sounds like there was an unfortunate miscommunication and we can follow up.


Library of Congress Launches Website to Search CRS Reports

The Library of Congress (LOC) has launched their new website to search Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports. This website was developed after the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, which directed the LOC to make CRS Reports publicly available online. Before this, researchers would have to look in several different places in order to try and find the reports that are developed for Congress. The initial release of materials will include all R-series “active” reports that have been published since the passage of the Appropriations Act. A full migration of reports is estimated for completion in the Spring of 2019. More information can be found on the site’s FAQ page.

Fastcase Expands into Original Works by Launching Full Court Press, a New Print and Digital Imprint

On November 2, 2017, Fastcase launched its new publishing arm, under the imprint Full Court Press. The inaugural publication offered under Full Court Press is RAIL: The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law, and it is billed as “a multimedia offering, available in print, as an eBook, in audio, and exclusively within the Fastcase legal research application.”

According to CEO Ed Walters, the new imprint is “like Netflix for legal publishing,” noting that it is designed to improve the existing Fastcase platform by “adding our own original series through Full Court Press. RAIL is our first of many offerings, including legal treatises, deskbooks, forms, checklists, and workflow tools. We’re just getting started.”

The complete Fastcase press release is available here.


Predictive Business Intelligence For Law Firms

A company called Manzama is developing a product that will alert law firms to leading indicators of risk and opportunity  for business development.  Check out a great blog post from Jean O’Grady on the product and then the company’s website.


Ravel Law Announces a New Analytics Product

AALL’s Best New Product of 2016 Winner, Ravel Law, is releasing a new analytics product.  To get all the details and watch a live demonstration with legal tech-blogger Jean O’Grady check their website.