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Peter Shreeves' tip - Screenshots

EBookCompiler Here is a tip from a user (Peter Shreeves) on how to get nice screenshots.  Very handy if your ebook is related to how to use a particular software package, web site,etc.

Creating Reduced Scaled Copies GUI Images With Zero Distortion.
Back in the mid 80's I was programming 68000 computers with the first Windows Environments.  A friend of mine wrote an algorithm that would take a clipped graphical unit and change its scale to 50% or 25%.  The result was an image that was 100% perfect for placing in documentation. If there was any distortion, I could not see it.   I have not found any software for Windows that does a perfect job scaling images.  Gif files lose the smoothness in the gray panels: jpgs retain the nice smooth gray but the text on buttons etc becomes a bit distorted.  Until some clever dude creates a program that will reduce the scale of images with no distortion try this:
1) Set monitor to 1600x1280 and Large Fonts.
2) Minimize your program and Paint Shop Pro;
3) Maximize your program and bring up a drawing or GUI that you want to copy and reduce;
4) Maximize Paint Shop Pro and take a snap shot of your GUI;
5) Clip your drawing to the size you wish to use in your e-book;
6) Save new image in both jpg and gif formats;
7) Use the best image that takes the minimum space in your e-book.
I then reset my monitor back to 1024 x 768 and run Arachnophilia, a great FREE HTML compiler.  I center my scaled gifs or jpgs in my right HTML panel, inside a 680 wide FRAME.  The gifs are 100% as good as my originals only they are 1024 / 1280 * 100 = 80% in width.  If one has 2000 x 1600 resolution available you can create pictures 51.2% in width.  Thus, my HTML or e-book pages can be easily displayed on a 1024 x 768 browser page with a nice clear left panel of directional buttons and enough space left in the right panel for displaying great looking copies of the original program GUI's.  Most of my reduced GUI snap shots are only 20 to 30 KB, a few really detailed ones are about 100 KB.  This is not a problem for me because I ship my e-books (program documentation) on CD's.
Peter A. Steeves, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., P.Eng.
Geomatics Engineer
Geodetic Software Systems

Posted on: 12:39 am on November 27, 2001

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