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    Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    I am creating a user manual and would like to paste several screenshots. The manual may be upwards of 100 pages and will contain dozens of screenshots. I was going to simply Alt+PrintScreen/EditPaste the shots, but realize that this will contribute greatly to file bloat.

    Someone had once recommended a somewhat lengthy work-around which I have forgotten. Can someone offer a solution? Please note that I may also edit the screenshots before pasting them, and that they may be in different file formats. Thanks!

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    Re: Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    It's best to crop the screenshots in a graphics application. There are dedicated screen capture applications - one that was mentioned favorably today is Hardcopy for Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, 2003 and Windows XP (32+64 Bit). Irfanview is very good too. Both are free.

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    Re: Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    You will give yourself the most flexibility if you do save the screenshots to disk first, rather than pasting directly into Word. Getting embedded pictures out of Word can be a messy proposition. For screenshots, I generally recommend using the PNG format. It is a lossless compression that supports more colors than GIF. However, if you have photo-like matter in your screen shot, JPEG might ultimately save you a few bytes.

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    Re: Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    jscher2000 (btw, shouldn't you be jscherxp by now <img src=/S/anigrin.gif border=0 alt=anigrin width=19 height=19>), sorry for being a cement head, but when you say "save the screenshots to disk first", what exactly do you mean? For example, let's say I copy a Word dialog box to the Clipboard and don't need to edit the image at all. What steps are you recommending I then perform? And also, why does this method ultimately save me file bloat? I'm just trying to make sense of the insanity.

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    Re: Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    "jscherxp" shhhh, his age is pushing 2000, not that he is using XP, so it should still be jscher2000. <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    I don't use a special clipboard program, so I Alt+PrintScreen to copy the active window/dialog, and then paste into Paint and save as PNG. (I have Paint on my quick launch area for this very reason. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> ) Then I use Insert>Picture>From File...; I put a shortcut in my My Pictures folder to wherever I happen to be saving these images.

    I'm not saying that the above will save file bloat, but if you later decide to add some text to the image (e.g., a call-out or caption) or want to blot out some previously unnoticed personal information, it is much easier to work with an image already on disk than to first extract it from Word.

    Finally, test what happens when you paste into Word. Ideally, for purposes of space efficiency, you get a plain picture. If you press Alt+F9 to toggle the display of field codes and see something like EMBED MSPaint or EMBED PhotoEd or INCLUDEPICTURE, these take up more space in the file. You can convert them to pictures by selecting the field and using Ctlr+Shift+F9.

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    Re: Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    jscher, thanks for the details. A long time ago I had created a user manual that had about 100 pages and dozens of screenshots, some directly pasted, some pasted from Paint, MS Photo Editor, etc. The size of the file reached 75MB! I was hoping to prevent a repeat of that mistake, especially since I wouldn't have wanted to re-paste all those images after realizing the bloat had occurred.

    Thanks again for the tip.

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    Re: Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    The thread beginning with <post:=244,039>post 244,039</post:> lists quite a few possibilities. Since it's a manual including (I guess) lots of dialogs, I'd recommend MWSnap for several reasons. It allows capture of all or specific parts of the screen, including opened dialogs and menus. It's easy to reinsert a cursor into the shot and the autosaving feature saves a lot of work.

    Alan
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    Thanks, Alan. I guess I'm confounded by the apparent fact that there isn't a more direct way to do this in Word without the aid of some third-party software.

    I'll try everyone's ideas. Thanks for the excellent help!

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    Re: Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    Going through paint is a good option..... another thing we have found is that once you have the image in word you select it and press CTRL-SHIFT-F9 it some how breaks some undocumented link and drastically reduces your file size. You need to do this image by image because if you use select all you will also change any cross references or fields to text.

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    Re: Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    So that would make me Alan98... yep <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>, that feels about right nowadays.

    Alan98

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    Re: Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    I can't replicate the kind of behaviour you're describing here Karen. As far as I can tell (unless there are, indeed, some sort of hidden fields) there aren't any fields associated with InlineShapes that result from pasted graphics. I may have misunderstood though?

    Alan

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    Re: Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    I think what Karen means (and what jscher referred to as well) is that pasting graphics from some sources -- e.g. Microsoft Photo Editor -- causes the pasted graphic to be embedded, meaning that metadata about the source program is embedded along with the graphic in the document (interestingly, I couldn't get MS Paint to do this, although in the past I have seen it's embedding metadata). If you then select the graphic and press Ctrl+Shift+F9, this appears to command Word to throw away the metadata and treat the graphic as a "native" Word graphic (whatever that means).

    Presumably, this saves document bloat by releasing "unneeded" metadata (more about this in a moment), which is correct. As a test I pasted a graphic from Photo Editor into a clean document and saved it. The file size was 180k. Next, I toggled field codes, saw "{EMBED MSPhotoEd.3 }", selected the field, pressed Ctrl+Shift+F9, and saved the document. The result was a 40k file -- less than 25% of its original size!

    Now for the caveat. While this does reduce file size, it does so at the cost of the embedded information, which allows you to double-click the graphic to edit it in the source program. In fact, after using this technique, I couldn't edit the graphic at all ("Edit" in the context menu was disabled), perhaps due to my configuration, perhaps not.

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    Re: Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    (Edited by HansV to make URL clickable - see <!help=19>Help 19<!/help>)

    I have been using SnagIt (http://www.techsmith.com) for years for just the purpose that you are. It is excellent and offers a 30 day trial which I believe is fully functional.

    Another feature of Word 2003 is the ability to reduce the space taken up by graphics. Word normally stores the entire graphic even though you have cropped it. By right clicking the graphic and going to Format Picture and then the Picture tab and then Compress, you are given options for reducing either that graphic or all graphics in the document.

    Fred

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    Re: Efficient Screenshots (2000)

    OK, I can fully understand this happening when an embedded object is unlinked, thereby converting it to Word's native picture format. In such a case, it's a lot more than just the "metadata" to which I think you're referring, and significant file size reductions are not surprising.

    From (rusty) memory, I think you can Paste Special a Paint image as a Bitmap OLE Object (or something like that) and then be able to edit it later in Paint.

    Alan

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