Re: screen capture questions

Subject: Re: screen capture questions
From: Kevin Hargis <KWH -at- WYNDGATE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 10:19:33 -0800

Laura wrote :

> we are using the simple screen capture utility provided by microsoft
> (alt+printscreen) to capture some screens in access. (in win95)

> the problem is that when we link/paste the screen capture into a word
> document, the online resolution is horrible, even though it prints
> we eventually need some decent resolution for online presentation.

> does anyone know if this utility saves the preview as a coarse black &
> white tiff and if that setting can be changed? a fine B&W tiff would be
> good.

> also, what format is the file in? properties didn't tell us. is it a
> or a .wmf?

Since the Windows environment uses primarily bitmaps, I am assuming that
that file type pasted into Word is a bitmap format. It is not a .WMF
because this is a vector based image, an the simple screen capture
included with Win 95 has no way of interpreting rays and curves on a
screen. It is simply grabbing pixel color information, which is a bitmap
in the Windows environment.
In our manuals, we had numerous screen captures using the <alt>+<print
screen> function, and used Word 7 to crop and resize the images. I
learned that Word retains all of the cropped information as well as the
orginal file size, before resizing. The screen captures averaged more
that 1MB per image, which made for .doc file sizes that were
unmanageable. After this project we did some research, looking for a
better screen capture application that would allow for smaller file sizes
(at a cheap price). We found that TechSmith's SnagIt/32 would capture a
screen, and convert it to 4-bit color (or numerous other settings) and
shrink the file size by a factor of 10, while retaining the image
clarity. This is a bargain at $40 ($250 for 10 users) when you consider
the harddrive space you are saving, and the extra RAM you can do without
(you will need it if you have a 30MB .doc file). My only complaint about
SnagIt, is that in the 4bit mode, it puts a slightly greyed window
background in screen captures with a white window background. But if you
can deal with this undocumented feature, SnagIt is a great improvement of
the stock Win 95 screen capture utility. The adjustable formats of the
screen capture should allow for you to grab images at a sufficient screen
quality, as well as print quality. You can download a demo version at I am not affilitated with this company, in any way,
just a satisfied user.

Kevin Hargis
kevin -at- wyndgate -dot- com
Technical Writer
Wyndgate Technologies (

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