Screen Shots --> Pagemaker --> PDF Files [HELP!]

Subject: Screen Shots --> Pagemaker --> PDF Files [HELP!]
From: "Schweda, Christopher" <CSchweda -at- ICJIA -dot- STATE -dot- IL -dot- US>
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 16:48:43 -0600

I'll be brief. Here's my situation:

I'm working on a project to document law enforcement software. I'm
required to take screenshots of the software as it operates. We have
registered copies of Snagit 4.0 and I have access to HyperSnap DX for
the screenshots. The screenshots can be either color or grayscale.

We're running on Windows 95, using a standard 640 X 480 screen, 256
colors.

Here's the problem: I use Snagit to capture the image of the screen. So
far, I've been saving the screen as TIF files. They're big, but they're
easily resized in Pagemaker. When I print the Pagemaker file to a laser
printer using the included TIF files, everything prints out sharp and
clear. I drag the screenshots so that fit in the document columns -- no
problem. (I've tried saving the screenshots as GIFs or JPEGs, but when I
insert them into the Pagemaker document and resize them, they get
blurry.)

I know I'm doing something fundamentally wrong, but I can't figure out!

Anyway, when I export the Pagemaker file (with the included TIF
screenshots) to PDF using Pagemaker 6.5's PDF export function, those
crystal clear TIF files get munged into blurry, fuzzy graphics that are
barely legible.

I'm no graphic expert, and my experience with Adobe Distiller is pretty
limited. I'm guessing that the images are blurry in the PDF conversion
because Distiller is using some sort of compression. I've fiddled with a
bunch of compression options -- unchecked the downsample to 72 dpi
options in Distiller -- but can't for the life of me create good looking
images that will print out clear and sharp in a PDF file. In fact, I've
unchecked all the compression options, but the images still blur. Help!

I have however been able to save the TIF's (or JPEGs or GIFs) in
Photoshop as EPS files. If I insert those EPS files in the Pagemaker
document and *then* convert to PDF, the images appear sharp and clear in
a PDF printing *but* they look awful if the PDF file is viewed from the
screen.

My question is a simple one: what's the best method for capturing a
screen shot, inserting it into a Pagemaker document, and converting the
document to PDF. I'd like the same PDF document to be able to be either
read on the screen or print out. As it stands, I'm thinking I have to
create a PDF with TIF's for viewing on the screen, and a PDF with EPS
graphics for a laser printout. Is this what I'll have to do? Is there a
simpler solution?


Chris Schweda




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Christopher Schweda
Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
cschweda -at- icjia -dot- state -dot- il -dot- us
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