single-sourcing images for PDF and WebHelp

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single-sourcing images for PDF and WebHelp

Postby pdenchfield on Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:53 pm

I would like to take my existing images (~500) and single-source them so that Flare uses PNG for WebHelp and EPS/TIFF for PDF. Is that possible?

This Flare help page talks about DPI only; file format is not mentioned.
http://webhelp.madcapsoftware.com/capture6/Default.htm#Profiles/Creating_Single_Source_Images.htm%3FTocPath%3DHow%20to%20Capture%20and%20Create%20Images%7CEdit%20an%20Image%7CSingle-Source%20Images%7C_____1
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Re: single-sourcing images for PDF and WebHelp

Postby atomdocs on Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:28 pm

Hi Pamela, the format info is indeed missing from that help page. But format options are available in the same properties tab as DPI settings.

1. Open an image in Capture and display the File Properties dialog box (from the shortcut menu or CTRL+SHIFT+P).

2. Select the Flare Print Format tab.

3. Select Enable Print Format - this switches on the alternative format options for print targets.

4. You can now select TIFF from the Format list. EPS is not available.

To do this for all your images, you can create a profile (from File > New) that contains these print format settings, and then you can create a batch job (also from File > New) to apply that profile to all your images in one step.

This help page describes the batch process:
http://webhelp.madcapsoftware.com/capture6/Default.htm#Profiles/Applying_Profiles_to_Images.htm

(I assume all your images are already PNG format for use in WebHelp?)
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Re: single-sourcing images for PDF and WebHelp

Postby gbusch on Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:16 am

Hello there.

I'm just trying to understand the concept of Capture.
In Capture I have created a profile of settings. (e.g. set DPI to 300dpi on print media)
I have a Flare project with hundreds of screenshots and icons.
I want to apply my Capture profile to all these images.
So i created a batch job that scans recursively my Flare projects image folder and applies my Capture profile.
In the setup tab I left the option "Output Folder" empty.
According to the manual the Capture images will be saved in the same directory where it is about to scan for images:
(Optional) You have the option of specifying an output folder where the images are saved as a result of the process. To do this, next to the Output Folder field, click Browse. Then find and select the folder containing the images that you want to work with, and click OK.

If you do not specify an output folder, the images are saved in the same folder that you selected to scan.

After applying the profile to the found files i press "3. Save Files".

But instead of generating .props files for the images in the same folder where the images where found, it generates new images and .props files in a subfolder "[current image folder]/Output/[Name of the profile]/[image and .props file]".

I was supposed that Capture will generate its .props files in the same directory where it found the images and leave the original images as is. All i need is a Capture .props file for the corresponding image in the same folder where the image is placed. Otherwise Flare wouldn't notice the Capture profile settings if i generate my target output.

Is this an error with Capture? Do i misunderstand something?
Why does it generate new images into another folder even if i don't want it to do so?
Anyway what am i supposed to do with the new generated images/.props-files? *
Move them back to that folders where Flare is actually looking for the images?
Or go through the entire project again an update all the image links to the autogenerated output folders?
This makes the batch job somewhat pointless to me.

* if i set up the profile to auto generate grayscaled images it generates grayscaled images in the output folder. What is this for? I'm not using grayscaled images in my project. I just want them to be grayscaled if i generate a target output that is for print only. If i would actually use that generated Capture image in my Flare project it will be always grayscaled.

Anyone can give me some insight what Capture actually is meant to be for?
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Re: single-sourcing images for PDF and WebHelp

Postby smajors on Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:17 am

I have a slightly different question. I'm trying to understand how to single source images for PDF and HTML but make the size different for PDF. For the online help I use thumbnails for images so sizing on the webpage doesn't matter as much but when printing, some of the images are hard to read and some are too big. When I resize in the print layout and print medium, it changes the sizing in the web layout.

What's the best way to do this?

Thanks!
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Re: single-sourcing images for PDF and WebHelp

Postby gbusch on Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:04 am

Here is what i do:

Most times I'm dealing with Screenhots.
If the Screenshots are printed as is they are indeed too big.
So you need to make them smaller in print output.
But don't do this in Flare when editing the content because as you noticed this affects all outputs.

Basically i use two kind of images: inline images and block images.
Inline images are placed within the line of the text of a paragraph. (Such as icons)
For print output i have a stylesheet where i set the max-height of images in paragraphs to the pragraphs line-height.

Block images are placed in a standalone paragraph. (Screenshots, complex figures etc.)
This paragraph is wrapped in a div of class div.img.
The paragraph itself gets a class p.row[nr of lines the height of the image would use].
This means i have about 30 classes in my styleshett (row1 ... row30).
The paragraph and the image in that paragraph are styled to have a height that is [nr of the row] * [line-height].
So all image paragraphs get a class that determine the height of the image.
Since the width of the image is set to auto it scales uniform.
So you can scale your images to have a good size in print output using style classes that won't affect your online output.

For convenient reasons i created a snippet for figures. This snippet contains the div the paragraph with a dummy image a second paragraph for image captions and an anchor (to link passages of the text to the image: "See Figure XY").

The Snippet looks like this:
Code: Select all
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<html>
    <head>
    </head>
    <body>
        <div class="figure">
            <p class="row8"><a name="[--- Enter bookmark here ---]" class="anchor"></a>
                <img src=".../Images/Placeholder.png" title="Placeholder image" alt="Placeholder image" />
            </p>
            <p class="figcaption">Placeholder-Image. Enter description here.</p>
        </div>
    </body>
</html>

So whenever i need to insert a block image i insert this snippet, convert it into text and just adapt the given elements to fit my needs.

And here the print styles for my figures:
Code: Select all
p img
{
   max-height: 16pt;
   margin-top:-3pt;
   margin-bottom:-3pt;
}

div.figure
{
   page-break-inside: avoid;
   padding-bottom: 14pt;
   line-height: 13pt;
   width:100%;
}

div.figure p
{
   text-align: center;
   padding-bottom: 0pt;
   line-height: 13pt;
   font-size: 8pt;
}

div.figure img
{
   vertical-align: top;
   max-height: auto;
}

div.figure p.row2
{
   height: 27.5pt;
}

div.figure p.row2 img
{
   max-height: 23pt;
}

div.figure p.row3
{
   height: 41pt;
}

div.figure p.row3 img
{
   max-height: 36.5pt;
}

...

div.figure p.row47
{
   height: 635pt;
}

div.figure p.row47 img
{
   max-height: 630.5pt;
}


However this has one downside: All images have always different sizes even if they display almost the same thing. For example imagine two screenshots of a programm window that only differs in height but equals in width. If you use that .row[n] classes to fit the images in your print output both images would have a different width since only the height is used to scale the images. I do so because i use some kind of a typographic raster. So the Images always fit at least into my baseline grid.

Additionally i now try to use MadCap Capture to change the DPI of the images to 150 DPI. This only affects print output since screen medias don' t make use of DPI. I use this amount of 150 DPI because it seems to print out my screenshots in an appropriate smaller size but still provides a reasonably readability. So i can compensate the issue mentioned above since in most cases the 150 DPI images don't need to be resized by that .row[n] class. So i just need to find the closest .row[n] class that will not affect the image but the paragraph that contains the image so that it will fit into my baseline grid and though is as wide as another image of different height.

Hope you got my meaning.

But for now i'm still struggling with the batch processing of images ... doesn't make sense to me. Have to edit each single image separately ... :(
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Re: single-sourcing images for PDF and WebHelp

Postby smajors on Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:16 am

I forgot to mention I'm not using Flare's image editor, I'm using the screenshot tool SnagIt. I've been creating two images just different sizes and conditioning them one for print and one for online only.
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Re: single-sourcing images for PDF and WebHelp

Postby dorcutt on Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:28 am

Well, I'm hardly an expert on images (it's what I'm struggling with mightily right now myself), but what I'm planning on doing in this situation is to use CSS mediums (the "print", "non-print", and "default" mediums to differentiate between how the images display for web and for PDF. Maybe you've already looked at this, but maybe not, so I'll throw it out there in case it's helpful.

For instance, in the web medium you could use mc-thumbnail, as it sounds like you're doing, and then in the print medium you can use something like "max-width: 300px" or "max-width: 70%" or something to ensure that it doesn't get too big. This is just an illustration that you can control how the same image looks in PDF and web without resorting to double-images and conditioning. The details of this process are beyond the scope of what I should be giving advice on!

Incidentally, what I'm doing is using Capture and a few different DPI settings to try to control PDF image sizes. It's a struggle, to say the least, especially since I'm trying to deal with Capture image annotations in a sensible manner.
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Re: single-sourcing images for PDF and WebHelp

Postby smajors on Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:57 am

It looks like the max width currently set is to 4 inches. I'm not as familiar with DPI settings. There's so many options I guess I don't know which is standard to use (see options below) and to know what numbers to set.
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Re: single-sourcing images for PDF and WebHelp

Postby dorcutt on Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:44 am

As far as standards, I'm not really sure either, but you can figure something out that works for you I'm sure.

Max width only caps the image if the image would be bigger than the listed size (see http://www.w3schools.com/cssref/pr_dim_max-width.asp. For info on the units, see http://www.w3schools.com/cssref/css_units.asp. The free info on w3schools is always a super-helpful reference). Since you

What you can do, though, is to create different classes of Img and size them differently. For instance, you could create the classes below and then give them these settings in the "print" medium (make sure the medium drop-down in the StyleSheet Editor says "print"). I'd mostly just work in inches, since these formats are only for PDF and it is readily obvious what that means:

img.MaxSize
max-width 100%

(this will set it to 100% of the width of the containing element, usually the same thing as the width of your PDF page. This is for those images you want as detailed as possible)

img.LargeScreenshot
max-width 4 in;

(this is your current size, it means the image will take up most but not all of the width of your page)

img.MediumScreenshot
max-width: 3in;

Img.SmallScreenshot
max-width: 1in;

img.ButtonImage
Max-width: 21px;

For all of these styles, these properties would not affect the web display since you're defining it in the Print medium. Play around with it a bit and see if you can get it to do what you need.
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Re: single-sourcing images for PDF and WebHelp

Postby smajors on Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:28 am

Good info, thank you!
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Re: single-sourcing images for PDF and WebHelp

Postby gbusch on Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:22 am

Beside the image sizes may i draw attention to this question again?
I still wonder what this batch processing is for.
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