How to Prepare Screen Captures for Print

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 9.03.19 AM

If you’re creating software documentation for print, or you want to show an image of a Web page in your project, you may need to include screen captures of software interface components such as menus or panels in your page layouts. Screen captures are easy to make using a system utility or dedicated screen-capture software, but they require some special handling to print clearly. When they’re part of software documentation or instructional materials, it’s important that the details are as sharply rendered as possible.

You should understand this about screen captures: Whether you take them by using your system’s built-in screen-capture functionality or a third-party screen-capture application, you are merely intercepting information that eventually becomes pixels on your monitor. Regardless of your current monitor resolution, there is a one-to-one relationship between the fixed number of pixels that an application (and your system) uses to render panels and menus and the number of pixels you see on your screen, even if you use a zoom utility. Of course, the size of the overall image you see is a function of your current monitor resolution, but the pixel dimensions of panels, menus, and tools will be identical, regardless of resolution. (Figure 1)

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