Re: Screen Capture Programs--?

Subject: Re: Screen Capture Programs--?
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 1996 17:14:00 EST

>Kamela J. Salyers DeAtley asks:
>>Can anyone recommend a good screen capture program?

>If you're not working in Windows, I wouldn't know. But if you're working in
>Windows, you needn't spend a red cent. PrintScreen captures the entire
>screen onto the Clipboard; Alt-PrintScreen captures only the current window.
> In most cases, you can then paste that image directly into the application
>of your choice.

>To use only one section of the image:

>1. Paste it into the Paint program that comes with Windows. Make sure you
>can see everything you want to include; this program cuts off anything you
>paste, right at the edges of the visible window.

>2. Use the Pick tool (scissors cutting out a rectangular area) to mark the
>section of the image you want.

>3. Choose Copy To... from the Edit menu and provide the name of the file to
>hold the newly trimmed image. The automatic extension is .BMP (for BitMaP).

>K Watkins
>kwatkins -at- quickpen -dot- com
>speaking for myself, not my employers

This works for quick-and-dirty purposes, but it has limitations. One of the
most painful ones is the inability to manipulate the image's color and
contrast. Many screen captures are in full 256 or 6 million colors, way too
much for, say, the WinHelp 3 compiler to handle. You'll have to reduce the
color count for those. Some images can benefit from being turned into
black-and-white images, to eliminate raster interference patterns that show
up as the annoying patches or stripes where colors are supposed to be. And
often you'll want to create one type of graphic out of another. You may want
to make a BMP into a TIF or a WMF, for example. I've often had to rearrange
text in screen captures, too, to pretend that I've captured data in a field,
and to eliminate data that was, shall we say, inconveniently present.

I work mostly on a PC, so my tools of choice are HiJaack Pro, Paint Shop Pro
and LView, depending on need. HiJaack does the donkey's share of the work,
while the others are for touch-up and special prep. And as I say, the print
screen option works for rough-and-ready purposes, so if that's all you need,
that's all you should do. But I have yet to meet a real screen capture that
I liked right off the monitor.

Tim Altom
Vice President
Simply Written, Inc.
Technical Documentation and Training
Voice 317.899.5882
Fax 317.899.5987

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