Re: Image/screen capture annotations for documentation

Subject: Re: Image/screen capture annotations for documentation
From: Shawn <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>
To: Margaret Cekis <Margaret -dot- Cekis -at- comcast -dot- net>
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:35:07 -0700

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 12:14 PM, Margaret Cekis <Margaret -dot- Cekis -at- comcast -dot- net
> wrote:

> Shawn asked about Image/screen capture annotations for documentation:
> "I am looking for advice on finding the best approach to adding annotations
> to screen captures or other images. In the past, when I was writing with
> the
> Adobe products (FM, InDesign), annotations were easy because they are
> treated as independent vector
> overlays.
> Unfortunately, MadCap Flare (and MadCap Capture) seems quite inept with
> working with annotated images. The main problem (or question) is how do I
> ensure a consistent size of the text (i.e. text bubble), regardless of the
> size/magnification of a screen capture?"
> ___________________________
> Shawn:
> I suggest you look at Snagit by Tech Smith. I've been using it for screen
> shots for several years. For a relatively inexpensive program (@ $50), it
> has a lot of editing features.
>
> I tend to avoid annotating screenshots, if possible, because several of my
> recent projects involved rapidly evolving products that required frequent
> image updates. I prefer to use bold arrows to indicate features or fields
> that I then discuss in the text about the image.
>
> Snagit will also enable you to downsize a whole directory of images at
> once,
> or to convert all the images in a directory from one format to another.
> Check it out at http://www.techsmith.com/snagit.html.
> Margaret Cekis, Johns Creek GA
>
>
Thank you Margaret,

>I tend to avoid annotating screenshots, if possible, because several of my

If I avoided annotations, my post would be moot. Flare handles resizing of
images quite well. :)

Perhaps I might be better served by asking about best practices in
describing complex screen captures?
I have always annotated because it quickly explains what the reader is
seeing without a lot of words. Perhaps it is laziness but I have found that
my method has always been well received by readers.


I own Snagit, however, IMHO it has a number of flaws that make it
unsuitable:
1) It also flattens images to a single bitmap;
2) In order to treat the annotations as an overlay, I need to save each
image in their proprietary .snag format (which can only be viewed/previewed
in Snagit;
3) Snagit doesn't allow background image replacement. That means when a
background capture changes (which happens often), I must carefully move the
annotations to the new image.

So far, it appears that Indesign might be my only solution:
A) Quick background update/replacement.
B) Save as vector image (so that text annotations are sharp at all PDF zoom
levels)

I just haven't figured out a workflow to ensure consistent text size.

--
*Shawn Connelly*
Technical writer

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Image/screen capture annotations for documentation: From: Shawn
RE: Image/screen capture annotations for documentation: From: Margaret Cekis

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