RE: print-prep (was: Adobe Photoshop Justification

Subject: RE: print-prep (was: Adobe Photoshop Justification
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l digest recipients <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2000 20:14:37 -0700

Subject: RE: print-prep (was: Adobe Photoshop Justification
From: KMcLauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 11:20:41 -0400
X-Message-Number: 22

Susan Ahrenhold said:

> Many technical writers I know simply aren't aware of all the
> things you can
> do to a graphic, because they can produce a "good enough"
> graphic without
> learning all that stuff. And learning can be time intensive, and even
> expensive, as you mess with different settings and see how
> the printer deals
> with them.

Besides the software settings, most tech-writers are very
careless of how they use graphics. Some common problems:

1.) Moires in the screen shots.
2.) Distracting or irreleveant background detail (especially when
showing a menu against the background of a desktop).
3.) Screen shots of entire windows when a cropped closeup would
not only do, but supplement the text better.
4.) Poor positioning of screen shots. The most common problems
are boxes around screen shots (useful only if the shot's
background is white), and centering graphics on the page
(graphics should generally have the same alignment as the
paragraph above them, the better to show the relation between
graphic and text).

None of these problems are hard to correct, but most tech-writers
apparently don't consider editing graphics as part of their final

Part of the "I'm a writer, not a designer or an artist" syndrome,
I guess.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189

"There was nothing but fever and ghosts in the water,
How will I ever be simple again?"
-Richard Thompson, "Simple Again"

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