Distorted Graphic Images in Help Files

Subject: Distorted Graphic Images in Help Files
From: "M. David Orr" <whitears -at- ORRNET -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 13:20:54 -0500

>I am having problems displaying graphics in my help file (I'm using
>RoboHelp). I do not have graphic software. I capture my screen shots
>by using the Alt + Print screen keys. I then paste the image into
>Paint, copy it, and paste the graphic into my document (this enables me
>to insert the graphic using less disk space). My next step is to resize
>the graphic. The result is a smaller graphic image that appears
>distorted online, but looks fine when printed.

>Is there a way I can shrink a graphic image without losing the
>resolution, or should I look into graphic software packages? Which
>graphic package would be best for capturing and resizing screen shots?

I'm not particularly technical, but here is what I think is the explanation:

An SVGA (800x600 pixels) monitor has a fixed number of pixels in a given
area of the screen. If you capture that area in a screen shot, then try to
put the same image in a reduced area, you have fewer pixels to show the
original image. Naturally, you lose resolution on the screen. However, all
the original information still resides in the image; the screen just doesn't
have enough pixels to show it. A printer can show it because its resolution
is 600 dpi, much higher than the screen resolution. The printer can handle
the extra information in a reduced image.

Image editing software that has a "sharpen" feature can sharpen the image
somewhat. Try Microsoft Image Composer, PaintShop Pro, or some other similar

M. David Orr
Orr & Associates/Usability Management
7366 N. Lincoln Avenue Suite 101
Lincolnwood, IL 60646 USA
Phone: 847-677-1920
mailto: whitears -at- orrnet -dot- com

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