FW: How to display graphics clearly on screen and on print?

Subject: FW: How to display graphics clearly on screen and on print?
From: "Humphries, Ola" <Ola -dot- Humphries -at- Energy -dot- Sungard -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2006 16:03:15 -0500

Screenshots should always be in a bitmap format (bmp, gif, and png are
bitmap formats), as they are originally bitmaps anyway. Use jpgs for photos
or other similar graphics.

Here's how to make a png graphic to insert into FrameMaker or RoboHelp:

First, use the Control Panel > Display function to set your screen image
display for the graphics and resolution you like best.

Once you have populated the image you need, grab it by clicking the Print
Screen button on the keypad.

Paste the image into Paint and trim it to include only those objects you
actually want. You can then save it directly into a png format, though this
may sometimes change the color of the image. I think that Paint has gotten
more sophisticated as of late and it may be that you can save directly out
of Paint into a png. Try downsizing to a 256 colored bmp first to see how
that affects the color.

I always save it as a bmp file, then open this file in PhotoImpact to
downsize it to 256 colors and then save as a png file from there. If you're
sure you won't need the color, you could experiment with reducing the color
range even further to get a smaller image size.

Save the file with a consistent name in your graphics directory and from
there import by reference into Frame or paste directly into Word or use with

This method is a simple one and uses readily available tools. The pngs
produced are absolutely the smallest graphics images possible and still
retain high printable quality that also works well when the documents are
made into PDFs.

Ola Humphries
SunGard Energy Systems, Houston, TX

-----Original Message-----
From: Keith Hansen [mailto:KRH -at- weiland-wfg -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 12:01 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: How to display graphics clearly on screen and on print?

Ed wrote:

<<Well, GIFs are more for Web usage - (usually) small image files that
download quickly to a browser. They're not meant for holding huge
amounts of image detail. Instead, save your screenshots as JPGs or PNGs.
JPGs are
intermediate: larger files than GIF, but better detail; PNGs store
maximum image details, but usually wind up as much larger files than

I found this reply timely and helpful because I'm trying to decide which
file format will be best for me. The screenshots I take will have to be
used in both of the following:

* A RoboHelp (WebHelp) project for online help

* A FrameMaker document that will end up as a PDF document or actual
printed document (The printed document would not be high quality or
color. Just black and white pages placed in a binder.)

I took some sample screenshots in GIF, JPG, and PNG formats. Can anyone
comment on my questions below?

* GIF is out of the question for large shots: my samples are blotchy
looking in places. I assume, however, GIFs would be OK for very small
images (such as an image of an icon or button)? Can anyone confirm this
for me?

* My sample PNGs and JPGs look pretty close in quality. However, my
PNGs are smaller--not larger--files than my JPGs (e.g., 117KB vs.
376KB). Any ideas why?

* So I am leaning towards using PNGs in both RoboHelp and FrameMaker.
Any compelling reasons to go with JPGs instead of PNGs?

Thanks for any comments.


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