Re: Why use screen shots at all? [WAS Survey: "Screen shots"

Subject: Re: Why use screen shots at all? [WAS Survey: "Screen shots"
From: CHRISTINE ANAMEIER <CANAMEIE -at- email -dot- usps -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 12:30:57 -0500

> Why not get rid of the screen caps altogether?

<cough, sputter> :)

I'd probably use fewer images in, say, a WinHelp file than in a printed doc, but
if I had to get rid of them completely, I'd have one hand tied behind my back.
Screen captures, if done well, are not fluff; they're integral to the
documentation. Yes, they also make the docs more visually appealing, but the
main thing is that they can illustrate some concepts better and faster than
words can.

In my previous contract I (re)wrote a 200-page training manual for an audience
with a significant number of non-native speakers of English. So I loaded it with
(cropped, annotated, etc) screen captures. The response from users was
enthusiastic: if they had any uncertainty about the wording of something, the
picture would clarify it. Even native English speakers commented that they found
the manual easier to follow because of all the images.

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