TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Carolynne Robertson wonders: <<Does anyone have any tips to share on taking
professional looking screenshots? I need to know how to minimize the file
size of screenshots and resize screenshots without losing resolution.>>
Wextech offers a product called Smooth Scaling about which I've heard good
things (www.wextech.com); it's been mentioned on techwr-l several times by
experienced techwhirlers, and you should be able to find detailed comments
in the archives. Adobe also offers a product called ImageReady (bundled with
Photoshop) that does a nice job of optimizing graphics for the Web; it would
likely do an equally good job of resampling graphics for print or online
help. This bundle is far more expensive than Smooth Scaling, but the
competitive upgrade price from PhotoShop is much lower, and probably quite
affordable given the productivity benefits if you're doing lots of image
<<I have Corel Capture, but once I take the screenshot, I do not know how to
resize it without losing resolution.>>
I'm assuming that you generally want to shrink something down. If you don't
have a tool such as Smooth Scaling that is designed to do the job for you, a
generic trick that works in most software is to resize it by some multiple
of 1/2 (because this way, the software can interpolate smoothly between
adjacent pixels). Sometimes the text is going to end up too small for your
needs, in which case it may be better to either capture only part of the
screen (the part you're focusing on) or create a two-part image: a very
small image of the whole screen that primarily shows where the area you're
discussing lies, and a call-out that shows that area at full size in enough
detail to communicate your point.
--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at
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