including only part of dialog in screen shot

Subject: including only part of dialog in screen shot
From: Gilda Spitz <Gilda_Spitz -at- MARKHAM -dot- LONGVIEW -dot- CA>
Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 10:12:03 -0400

How do other people "out there" handle this situation?

When we have a dialog or other graphic element that is quite large, and the
accompanying text refers to one small part of it, we sometimes don't want
to show the whole thing, for two reasons:

- the whole dialog takes up too much space
- we want the reader to focus on the particular area we're explaining

But how do you make it clear that you're including a partial picture?

At a previous employer, I used to work for a manager who was very talented
with graphic software. He used Photoshop to create a very nice fading
effect above or below the focus area, which neatly illustrated that the
screen shot was "incomplete". I have no such talents, and I'm looking for
some simpler way to accomplish the same effect with just MS Paint.

I've experimented the spray can tool, but it looks weird. For now, we're
just including a sentence that says " Only the pertinent area of ...
appears in this example", but I'm really not happy with it. Sometimes we
just use the whole picture along with a callout.

What do you folks out there do?

Gilda Spitz
Manager, Documentation and Translation
Longview Solutions, Inc.

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