Re: Screen Captures in UNIX

Subject: Re: Screen Captures in UNIX
From: Mike Starr <writstar -at- WI -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 06:17:53 -0500

If you've saved your screen captures as bitmap files, try this:

Open the file with Windows Paintbrush (yes, the one that comes standard
as part of your Windows installation). Select the File/Save as... menu
item. Set the File Save As Type to 16 Color Bitmap and save the file,
either under a new name or replacing the current file. What this does is
map the colors to the standard Windows screen colors. Now, select the
File/Open menu item and open the file up, even though you've already got
it open. The reason you need to do this is because the image currently
open is a 256- or higher-color image. You need to open the 16-color

Once you've got the file open, you should have much less trouble
remapping the colors.

Having said all that, my own technique for screen captures is to strip
them completely of color and/or grayscale. I turn them into pure
monochrome images so that no matter what printer I output them on
they'll look the same. In addition, you don't have the degradation
inherent in the photocopying process if that's your production method
for documents. I've found that I can usually strip the color out of a
screen capture in less than three minutes for all but the most complex

Photoshop is a great tool, but I've never found a tool that I can use as
easily as Windows Paintbrush for screen captures. Now, I'll confess I
haven't looked at it since version 2.something so I may revisit it in
the near future as well as installing the version of Paintshop Pro and
Adobe Illustrator that I've ordered. Microsoft Flash might also be worth

Hope this helps

Mike Starr
> I am working on a reference manual for our UNIX based software system.
> The system consists of about 200 displays and numerous popup menus.
> The displays were recently redone by a graphic designer in the colors
> of the 90's. They are beautiful to look at, but the screen-capturing
> process has become a nightmare.
> I experimented with xv to capture the screens. Rather than getting
> smooth shades of gray, I am getting ugly dithered patterns for many of
> the colors. It is a big problem in areas where the colors are used in
> large blocks or bands across the entire display.
> I got good results on one display by taking it into PhotoShop and
> cleaning it up. I also got some displays looking fairly good using xv
> and manually adjusting each color. However, both methods involved a
> lot of time, and I could not find a method that I could apply in every
> instance with consistent results.
> The manual is in FrameMaker for Windows. The manual pages will be
> photocopied from the originals that we print on our 600 dpi printer.
> Does anyone have any suggestions on how I might be able to speed up
> this process? Is there another screen-capture program for UNIX that
> might work better for this than xv?
Mike Starr | WriteStarr Information Services
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