Argh! Question about screen captures

Subject: Argh! Question about screen captures
From: "Pro TechWriter" <pro -dot- techwriter -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 09:51:27 -0500

Hi TechWhirlers:

This is sort of a usability issue question about screen captures. If you
have no interest, stop reading now :-D

I am on a new contract, and I've just released my first set of draft
documents for review. I had to complete the documentation from screen
captures that the developer provided for me (separate issue, yes!, but I did
not have access to the application at the time).

Now I am getting comments that the screen captures don't match (they
don't--the developer used two or three different physical servers to do the
captures on, and one of them even had Windows Classic window styling).
Someone else created some older captures that I was given to use, that were
already annotated with big, thick red circles.

I don't normally use red for annotations due to the (1) printing in black
and white, it fades away and (2) to avoid problems for people who are color
blind. I don't use circles either; I use a rectangle to highlight buttons
and text fields, and use arrows with notes (if the window is complicated) to
get my point across. That is, if I am required to use screen captures. I
don't do that much any more due to my extensive work with online help
systems, I don't think it's usually necessary, but this client really wants
them so that part is non-negotiable.

So here's my question: In screen capture, what do you use for screen
annotations (circles, squares, arrows, nothing, color, no color?) and (2)
do you have any research or sources to back up your choices?

I will, of course, check the STC and other sources I have.

Feedback appreciated.


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