Screen captures

Subject: Screen captures
From: Anonymous <anonymous -at- techwhirl -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2013 12:13:42 -0500

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My current position has a corporate policy that discourages screen
captures. In the documents I'm working on (I just inherited them) there are
numerous screen captures. Right now for pretty much each procedure that
spawns a new screen or dialog box there's a screen capture at the start of
the procedure. It's a complex software product and I believe the screen
captures add value. I don't believe we've surveyed either the development
team or the user community. The documents are currently published as PDFs
but may be additionally be converted into web-based documents in the future
(both the PDF version and the web-based version would be available to
users).

How much value do you believe screen captures add?

Are you aware of any research as to how much either real or perceived value
screen captures add?

Do users want them even if we don't (they can add significant maintenance
issues but I'm okay with that)?

I'm considering proposing using conditional text capabilities and have a
couple possible scenarios:

One would be to produce two versions of the documents... one with screen
captures and one without.

For the HTML-based version, an option would be to produce documents with
clickable thumbnails that would allow the reader to expand the thumbnail of
any screen capture to full size. The clickable screen captures would have
to have their own home on a server somewhere.

Thank you.
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