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Your opening sentence needed a little deciphering, but I'll pass on my
typical humor rant.
The thing to keep in mind is:
* If the image is for print, resize using Word (or other DTP program). This
preserves the image detail on a high-resolution output device.
* If the image is for screen, resize using a bitmap editor (like Paint Shop
Pro). This preserves legibility on a low-resolution device, like a video
* If you're doing both, then you need both versions of each graphic.
A computer monitor is a very low-resolution device, compared to a laser
printer. If you scale a screen capture much below 60%, you won't be able to
read the text because you're throwing away a lot of pixel information. No
amount of "sharpening" will help.
But maybe the reader doesn't need to decipher the text in the screen
capture. Why? Because a graphic could simply clue the reader to the current
state of the GUI - it's size, shape or texture. If you're repeating the text
from a dialog in your narration. If you have a big data entry panel, you
might not even want to have that in your online doc. But if you do, maybe
you only want a thumbnail of it - say, 40-50% of it's original size. Then
you can do fun things like create hotspots that trigger pop-up info panels.
Ask yourself this question with each graphic, "What is the key reason I'm
showing this?" Your answer will tell you the importance of the text
readability in the screen capture.
SmoothScaling is part of the DocToHelp package. I've used it, and it works
well for help files and other online media. But if you already have Paint
Shop Pro, you probably don't need SmoothScaling. I think the output of both
is comparable. Also, both have good batch processing capability.
I've used 3rd party screen capture utilities, but again, they're mostly
unnecessary with Paint Shop Pro or using Windows' built-in screen capture.
Paint Shop Pro and SmoothScaling scale nicely...
--> as long as the color depth of the image is set to 16 million. <--
Once in a while, I'll sharpen the image (using unsharp mask) after it's been
scaled, but it's nit-picking.
I am having a problem that does not appear to be unusual.
I'm using Word, and I'm taking the screen captures with SnagIt and then
pasting them into Paint Shop Pro to resize and touch them up. Resizing
(shrinking) in PSP and Word produces the same blurry results. I tried using
the Sharpen filter in PSP and it doesn't help.
I did a search on the Web and found a product called Smooth Scaling
This is the first time the doc will be available electronically.