Re: "Ripped" borders for screenshots?

Subject: Re: "Ripped" borders for screenshots?
From: Ben Kovitz <apteryx -at- CHISP -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 11:05:42 -0700

Sybille Sterk wrote:

>How about cropping the screenshot generously and then fading out the
>unnecessary bit? This wouldn't draw any unnecessary attention because it is
>not spectacular enough and still would get the idea across.
>I must admit, I have used the ripped borders, too. Though, rather than
>using them because they were strictly necessary I used them more to wake up
>the user. (Our manuals are pretty long with as much detail as you could
>wish for. However, sometimes there's a lot of text there....)

Hey, waking up the user is another factor to consider! Something that I
think about a lot is the "rhythm" of a document. Just about any technical
document needs a "rhythm". And then, to give emphasis, instead of clumsy
"NOTE" or "IMPORTANT!" messages, you can just put in something that breaks
the rhythm--like, say, a discordant "rip" down the side of a screen shot.

Fading out might be a good idea, too, especially if there's loads of text.
In the screen shot that I did yesterday, the text was fairly sparse, so I
simply whited out the one little snippet of text that got cut in the
middle. (Don't worry, I used Paintshop, not real white-out.) It was just
a typical "form" on a web page. If it had been, say, partial screen shot
of a text editor in use, maybe fading would be even better than "ripping".
Hmm, now you've made me curious to go try it...

Ben Kovitz <apteryx -at- chisp -dot- net>
Author, _Practical Software Requirements: A Manual of Content & Style_

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