RE: Screen Captures

Subject: RE: Screen Captures
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>, "'Becky -dot- Scott -at- dart -dot- biz'" <Becky -dot- Scott -at- dart -dot- biz>, "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2013 13:29:06 -0500

Hmm. Good. That's what I did for visual Quick Start (hardware mounting and connections, before the user gets to the software).
It should have occurred to me to do similar for screen-caps in software instruction. Going to re-visit right now.

I guess I would start out with a full-size screen-cap of the whole app window, for orientation purposes, then go to the two-column mode using small captures of the relevant dialogs. I usually just put a simple red circle/ellipse around whatever item is changing or being discussed. This seems needful, given that our new GUI was developed by a couple of guys who had only ever done command-line apps before. :-)

[ASIDE: We actually have a group developing standards, templates, and tools for GUI/webbish apps, but waiting for them to finish would have delayed our product release a year. Such is the business world. ]

Anyway, for WebHelp, I would probably default to a two-column table, possibly allowed to self-re-size for available browser space... or maybe I should freeze the size.

Not sure if I should consider a different approach to two-column-ness, since the docs might also be published in PDF form.

Is there a better approach to multiple columns of content that MUST remain in sync (in html output), or is a table the go-to solution?

I use MadCap Flare v8, by the way.



-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Cardimon, Craig
Sent: February-15-13 10:09 AM
To: 'Becky -dot- Scott -at- dart -dot- biz'; 'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'
Subject: RE: Screen Captures

That's exactly what I try to do. Smaller screen shots with arrows or circles.

I may have to try the two-column idea to spice things up.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+ccardimon=m-s-g -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+ccardimon=m-s-g -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Becky -dot- Scott -at- dart -dot- biz
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2013 9:20 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Screen Captures

I agree that large screen captures which expand the doc can be annoying.
But no screen capture at all sometimes leaves people feeling lost.

I have used a happy medium that my clients seem to like ... small screen shots with relevant fields circled. I divide the page into two columns and put text in one column and accompanying screen shots in the other. That way people can read uninterrupted text if they want, or they can scan the screen shots to see what to look for. This makes the screen shots pretty small but since people are generally looking at the screen when they read the doc, they don't really need a large version.

One of my clients, which serves state government accounts, adopted this as their standard layout style.

I have attached an example, if the listserv can display it.



Becky Scott
Technical Writer
(517) 244-2191 (office)
(517) 290-3158 (cell)
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STC Vice President Nicky Bleiel is giving a free webinar on best practices for creating mobile help.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/WNaCzd

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EPUB Webinar: Join STC Vice President Nicky Bleiel as she discusses tips for creating EPUB, the file format used for e-readers, tablets, smartphones, and more.

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References:
Re: Screen Captures: From: Becky . Scott
RE: Screen Captures: From: Cardimon, Craig

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