RE: Using photographs in documentation

Subject: RE: Using photographs in documentation
From: "Al Geist" <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2011 07:53:56 -0400

I use JPGs all the time, primarily because of bandwidth. However, there are
some rules. Never mess with your original. Only work with copies, so you
don't end up degrading your original. (I also shoot RAW, but work with JPGs
at 350 dpi until I need to finalize them for insertion into the document. I
do not use referencing, because I have no control over the file structure of
the servers I store the documents on. Imbedding is my only option. I use
Photoshop almost exclusively to manipulate images, then use SnagIt for
labels and callouts. The end result seems to work well enough for the
viewing (low resolution) and printing (high resolution) PDFs that are our
deliverables. Screenshots, drawings, diagrams, and such are different.
Screenshots are captured as bitmaps and processed in SnagIt. Drawings and
diagrams are either converted to bitmaps and imbedded in the document, or
SnagIt is used to capture the areas within those documents for use in the
final publication.

BTW...I used Word 2010 which limits what can or cannot be done. Most of our
products end up in 100 level clean rooms, where laptops are not allowed.
Online documentation would be fine except for those situations where the
system is down (and our customer is losing thousands of dollars per minute).
As a result, our manuals are primarily printed on cleanroom paper.

Finally, I totally agree with Richard in that you should never, ever edit
your original images. Edit a copy and you won't have problems with the JPG
lossy format.

Al Geist
Technical Communicator, Help, Web Design, Video, Photography
Office/Msg: 802-872-9190
Cell: 802-578-3964
E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com

See Also
Fine Art Photography


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Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:

Using photographs in documentation: From: Roberta Hennessey
RE: Using photographs in documentation: From: Jimmy Breck-McKye
RE: Using photographs in documentation: From: Combs, Richard

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