How do you handle screenshots?

Subject: How do you handle screenshots?
From: "Molly Bowling" <mbowling -at- statsoft -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 16:00:37 -0500

This is a very basic question, but I need to justify why we do screenshots the way we do in order to purchase the software we need to stay legal. Also, we have no experienced tech writers, so the way we do things may very well not be the easiest way. The archives were a lot of help in terms of what programs different writers use, but I'd like to know more about the process.

When I started, I was told to take a screenshot at 256 colors, copy it into Paint Shop Pro, increase the color depth, decrease the size to 75%, then increase the color depth. This seems reasonable enough to me, and results in a slightly fuzzy but readable screenshot. Full-size screenshots are too large and overwhelm the text, and the color reduction is necessary to preserve the colors during reduction.

How do other writers reduce screenshots? Is there a reasonable way to do so without using third-party software? I realize there will be no consensus on what software is best for the reduction, but if you use fairly inexpensive software and find it works for you, what is it?

I'll post a summary to the list.

Molly Bowling

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