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Creating Great Screenshots. Terry Smith STC Carolina Tri-Doc 2005 April 8 & 9. Graphic Element Clarity. Fonts are best for all formats Vector art is next Bitmap art like all screenshots is least flexible. What is the best tool to use?. It really doesn’t matter for simple screenshots
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Creating Great Screenshots Terry Smith STC Carolina Tri-Doc 2005 April 8 & 9
Graphic Element Clarity • Fonts are best for all formats • Vector art is next • Bitmap art like all screenshots is least flexible
What is the best tool to use? • It really doesn’t matter for simple screenshots • Most tools can capture portions of the screen • The real difference is in post-processing
Which graphics format is best? • Where will the graphic be used? • Can you sacrifice quality for reduced size? • How important is dependable color reproduction?
What can I do before taking the screenshot? • Use standard appearance settings so your screenshots have a consistent look. • Use appearance settings that do not moirés.
It’s a moiré • Moirés are checkerboard patterns that show up in print and sometimes online. • The appearance of the moiré depends on the resolution of the printer, how the screenshot was resized, and so on. • Moirés look unprofessional.
How do screenshots get ruined? • Lossy format • Changing size • Changing size by dragging instead of by adjusting DPI (FrameMaker) • Settings in print driver • Settings in Acrobat Distiller • Pasting from Microsoft Word
What is the worst graphic format? • JPEG (with one exception) • Lossy format • Compression algorithm is meant for smooth images like photographs, not abrupt transitions • Can cause bloating in PDFs
Good online formats • GIF if you need only 256 colors • PNG if your users all have a browser that supports PNG (PNG is the native format for SnagIt)
Good print formats • TIFF and EPS are best if you need top-quality color reproduction or cross-platform compatibility • PNGs are small and lossless if your desktop publishing program supports them • BMPs are big, but often useful for Windows programs
What do users like to see? • Clear screenshots • Screenshots with callouts • Screenshots that highlight the important parts in some way • When appropriate, screenshots that are layered and labeled to show relationships
SnagIt • The most recommended screenshot tool • Easy to capture the portion of the screen you want • Easy to process the screenshots for professional, user-friendly effects
Resources • Creating Perfect ScreenshotsInput\LS2-ScrnCap.htm • Dov Isaac’s recommended driver and Acrobat Distiller settingsInput\Dov Isaacs PDF Presentation\Isaacs PDF Conf West 2002.pdf
Tri-Doc 2005 Terry Smith Per-Se Technologies, Inc. email@example.com (919) 549-2359