RE: Best settings for screen captures?

Subject: RE: Best settings for screen captures?
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 14:12:44 -0400


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stuart Rogers [SMTP:srogers -at- phoenix-geophysics -dot- com]
> I will have to capture Windows, DOS text, and DOS graphics (yech!).
> Output will be colour laser print and (possibly) PDF. Tools on Win98 SE
> are Frame 6, Photoshop 5.0 LE, SnagIt, and Hypersnap DX 3 (I'm
> evaluating the last two).
> 1. Does it matter what resolution my own screen is set at (640 x 480
> versus 1024 x 768, e.g.)?
Your captures will comprise dimensions in pixels. Your screen size does not
matter, though your color depth does. Your screen captures will be at the
color depth of your screen. Your screen captures will be RGB. Your color
printer is CMYK, though it might use RGB drivers. These color maps are not
the same and your printed colors will differ from the precise color shown
on-screen . . . unless you calibrate. IMHO, don't bother. Color accuracy is
unimportant. In fact, consider whether the expense and speed of printing to
color is really worth it . . . what do color screen captures add over
greyscale ones?

> 2. How do I relate on-screen image size to eventual print size, and will
> I run into problems of image quality if I shrink or expand the original
> captures? (*Should* I shrink or expand them, or is "lifesize" the best
> approach?)
You cannot resize rasters by adding or removing pixels without losing image
quality. You have to resize them by changing the number of pixels per inch.
The best ppi is one that divides evenly into the resolution of your output
device, as 120 ppi and 150 ppi do into a 600 dpi printer.

> 3. How do I ensure the screen captures are all of uniform size and
> shape, when the captures may be done at various times, with the subject
> windows sized and shaped differently?
If the windoes are sized and shaped differently, so too will be your screen
captures. The only way to fix this is to rewrite the software to make all
the windows a uniform size so you can capture them at a uniform size.

> 4. Is there a "best" file format to save captures in?
For CMYK color from a Windows environment, EPS is the only way. TIFF
supports CMYK color, too, but not accurate CMYK color from windows. PNG and
BMP are RGB only. GIFF is 8-bit color. Avoid JPEG, it uses lossy

> 5. What work habits make for efficiency in this part of doc creation?
SnagIT to automate the capture, resampling, and naming process.


sean -at- quodata -dot- com


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