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It varies. But the key is make all screenshots have the same size relative
to one another. That is, if the type for UI elements looks to be, say 8
pt., then aim for that same consistency throughout the work. Or if a menu
bar is 3/8" tall for one shot (and it looks good), then all subsequent menu
bars should be 3/8" tall.
Make certain that everything is readable that needs to be readable. The
worst is having someone jam a full-size screenshot as an inline shot,
calling out performance results of some thing or another, but the poor
reader can't make out a thing in relation to text. In such a case, what's
the point of including a screenshot?
I regularly crop screenshots, If one section of the manual is only
addressing the gymfratz, I want the screenshot to clearly zero in on that
feature. But here one needs a visual anchor element that's a constant (a
landmark) between shots, so the reader can easily orient the exact location
of the gymfratz and its related elements. (Like a map of Washington, D.C.,
one might use the Washington Monument as the common anchor, by which
everything else is oriented.)
I'll judiciously fudge shots. Yesterday I had one where there was a huge
amount of white space between left- and right-side *reporting* elements in
the interior of the screenshot. It was obvious to me that I could reduce
the width of the shot using features in Paint to trim some of the wasted
space in the middle, but I'd have to scoot some top labeling info to the
left. This I could do without dramatically affecting what it was I was
illustrating, with the goal being to be able to achieve a larger overall
image when placed on a 8-1/2" wide page.(Readers would not likely know the
My current project calls for numerous full-size screenshots. I eyeballed
the first few, then used Paint (again) to see that each was giving good
results at 65% of its original size. Knowing this let me provide that size
continuity to subsequent images.
Other times, I'm just illustrating, say, a drop-down menu. If one shot
gives good eyeball results at 4" wide, then I make all others the same
sizeâagain in Paint (because it's easy).
As always, it's critical to retain the correct aspect ratio (proportion of
width to height) for every shot.
So... I use Greenshot to capture the original image. Then I manipulate it
in Paint, if need be. Then I might bring it back into Greenshot and apply
callouts (colored outline ellipses), simply because I think they look
better when applied in Greenshot as opposed to Paint. (And Greenshot
provides additional continuity here, IMO.)
Others have their favorite tools, like SnagIt, that may enhance
productivity. I haven't used SnagIt in several years, though, and am too
bloody cheap to stay up with licensing on one more tool. It could be I'm
missing out; I don;t know, as I haven't bothered to check in on SnagIt in
And it's been years since I've looked at it, but *Looking Good In Print*
might provide some guidance. The other volume I got good info from was *Editing