GIF screenshots not readable

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GIF screenshots not readable

Postby CycleFitness on Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:10 pm

Another quick question. My screenshots taken with SnagIt look fine in the XML Editor, but when I export them to WebHelp, they are distorted. What's the trick to having them display as-is?

Thanks again, team.
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby SteveS on Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:45 pm

Oh, welcome back to the forums! (Belated, I know...)

From the topic heading I'm guessing you're using gifs?

When you say they're distorted, what do you mean? Is the image forced into a differently proportioned view?

I've seen this happen when you change the source image - try right clicking the image and select Reset size from the context menu.
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby CycleFitness on Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:15 pm

Hi Steve.

Yes, it is a GIF and I tried doing the reset. The distortion is not in the proportions, but in the readability of the elements on the screenshot, both text and controls.

Is there a better format to use other than GIF that doesn't present this behavior?

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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby Richard Ferrell on Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:52 pm

Has the image been resized in the flare topic? or it is the same size? I have seen issues with resized images that will appear as fuzzy. You may want to make sure the image has not been resized in Flare. Or resize the image in Snagit
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby LTinker68 on Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:12 pm

Check your stylesheet, too, and make sure you didn't set a width or height value on the <img> tag.
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby KevinDAmery on Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:59 am

And as far as "better formats" go, I prefer PNG. It compresses well, doesn't produce artifacts, and can have as large or as small a colour space as you want. Plus it supports transparency (although IE 6 doesn't render transparent PNGs correctly--Firefox and IE 7 do).
Until next time....
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby RamonS on Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:27 am

And the compression algorithm in PNG is better than in GIFs, the legal aspect is no longer a point as the Unisys patent on the LZW compression used for GIFs expired a few years ago. Although higher color depth is nice to have, I found that the 256 colors are more than sufficient for screen shots, especially for desktop apps. Those screens consist of 90% or more battleship gray and it doesn't look any more attractive at 16 million colors than it does with 256. On some gradients artifacts may show, but not as bad as in some of the jpegs. And PNGs superb file size to quality ratio is ideal for the web. Who cares about IE6. IE is one of those apps that should simply be ignored.
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby KevinDAmery on Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:32 am

RamonS wrote:Who cares about IE6. IE is one of those apps that should simply be ignored.


Ahhh, if only our customers saw it that way 8)
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby RamonS on Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:05 am

You just need to educate them correctly. :lol:
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby KevinDAmery on Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:18 am

RamonS wrote:You just need to educate them correctly. :lol:


Ok, I know what will work: "Switch to Firefox or I'll send David over to lecture you about the evil's of Microsoft!"

(And for the really nasty customers I'll rile ya up first by talking about all the good points of proprietary source control solutions and the merits of developing in .NET :lol: )

If that doesn't make'em switch, well, they were warned....
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby RamonS on Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:05 am

Exactly! :D
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby launcher1 on Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:38 pm

all my graphics are jpegs. but some of them are distorted too - it is unpredictable. and no - I have not resized them in Flare or in Word.

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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby RamonS on Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:32 pm

How much compression did you use? And what exactly do you mean with distorted? The aspect ratio is off or the image looks grainy or fuzzy?
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby tomjohnson1492 on Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:40 am

One thing to note about resizing images: If you plan to generate a Word target, resize your images in Flare rather than SnagIt. If you resize them in SnagIt, they'll look fuzzy. But if you load them into Flare and resize them in Flare, they'll look crisp in a Word target. Same deal in RoboHelp. Basically, images resized online don't look as crisp as images resized in Word.
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby KevinDAmery on Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:59 am

tomjohnson1492 wrote:One thing to note about resizing images: If you plan to generate a Word target, resize your images in Flare rather than SnagIt. If you resize them in SnagIt, they'll look fuzzy. But if you load them into Flare and resize them in Flare, they'll look crisp in a Word target. Same deal in RoboHelp. Basically, images resized online don't look as crisp as images resized in Word.


Another way to do this that I'd had success with is to set the size in Photoshop, including the inch dimensions. Then, in Flare I put a print-only version of the image in the topic with the height and width set to match the inch measurements from Photoshop exactly. This produces very crisp output, although it does mean having a screen-only and print-only version of the image in your source topic.
Until next time....
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby doc_guy on Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:44 am

KevinDAmery wrote:Another way to do this that I'd had success with is to set the size in Photoshop, including the inch dimensions. Then, in Flare I put a print-only version of the image in the topic with the height and width set to match the inch measurements from Photoshop exactly. This produces very crisp output, although it does mean having a screen-only and print-only version of the image in your source topic.


Why Capture can't do this is anybody's guess.
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby KevinDAmery on Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:19 pm

You got me--I'm still guessing myself, but every time I pick up the cup that darn peanut is under one of the other two....
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby Darci on Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:53 pm

One other thing to consider is your PC's screen resolution, windows settings, including windows display properties for active, inactive etc. title bars. I have been struggling and made some corrections to the resolution and to my fonts and windows settings and experienced a 500% improvement in my screen shots... :mrgreen:
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby BL_N on Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:53 am

An oldie but a goodie (explains the pesky things about graphics you may not know and which format and settings to use to get the best result, every time).

http://www.efuse.com/Design/web_graphics_basics.html
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby LTinker68 on Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:35 am

BL_N wrote:An oldie but a goodie (explains the pesky things about graphics you may not know and which format and settings to use to get the best result, every time).

http://www.efuse.com/Design/web_graphics_basics.html

That seems to be slightly out-of-date, but it does give a good definition of the terms used, if not the more up-to-date values and file formats to use.
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Re: GIF screenshots not readable

Postby BL_N on Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:55 am

Yes, hence the 'oldie' reference. :)
"I" before "E" except after "C" or when sounded as "A" as in 'neighbor' and 'weigh'.
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