RE: Editing screenshots that use the Windows XP look

Subject: RE: Editing screenshots that use the Windows XP look
From: "Nuckols, Kenneth M" <Kenneth -dot- Nuckols -at- mybrighthouse -dot- com>
To: "John Posada" <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "andrea frazier" <alf_hatt -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2006 13:15:54 -0500

John Posada said...
> > above? Also, I am curious how others who are using the
> > Windows XP look in their printed documents are
> > handling the gradients and increased file size needed
> > to make the screenshots look OK.
> Andrea...I capture XP images in Snagit and my image do look OK out of
> the box...PNGs capture 16 million colors, enough to handle any
> gradient. From your message, it seems that your problem is not
> capturing them, but modifying them after capture.
> I don'tr modify the graphics after capture..I make sure they are
> acceptable prior to capture. As far as "...add/remove features that
> aren't yet complete...", my position is that the image should reflect
> what the user sees in the application, not only what I'd like them to

These are the only modifications I've ever made to captured windows (in
a program like PhotoShop):

- Adding a transparent layer with opaque numbered callouts (useful for
very busy screens or GUIs)

- Cropping to the "essential portion" of the screen I'm describing
(again useful for busy screens)

- Adding a "magnified" area (basically layering a cropped section over
the whole screenshot to show where the magnified portion came from)

- Rarely--in very rare instances where there is no other option
available (or one that would be prohibitively slow) "airbrush" out an
account name or user name on the screenshot and replace with an obvious
placeholder like <username> or <account>. I've only used this when the
only way to show the information I need to convey is by taking a
screenshot of something like a customer account screen (when no test
account is available) and removing any data that would allow a reader
access to personal information about an individual.

The point is, as John says, to avoid changing the screenshot as it
appears in the documentation from the actual window that the user would
see on his or her computer.

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