TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 12:14 PM, Margaret Cekis <Margaret -dot- Cekis -at- comcast -dot- net
> 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
> Adobe products (FM, InDesign), annotations were easy because they are
> treated as independent vector
> 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?"
> 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
> 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
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
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
I just haven't figured out a workflow to ensure consistent text size.
Read about how Georgia System Operation Corporation improved teamwork, communication, and efficiency using Doc-To-Help | http://bit.ly/1lRPd2l