Screen Captures for Various Digital Uses

From ElateWiki


Screen captures or “screen shots” of the images on a computer monitor may be useful to represent particular work, to capture information for troubleshooting, and to convey visual information for learning.

Screen captures may be still images of 3D immersive spaces (albeit captured in 2D), images of software user interfaces, images of a desktop, or anything that can be visually represented on a screen. These captures may involve all or part (defined within a rectangular window) of a computer screen.

This Screen Captures series will include the following:

1. Setting up Gadwin PrintScreen 2. Grabbing a Screen Capture with Gadwin PrintScreen 3. Screen Captures for Print 4. Screen Captures for Web Pages 5. Screen Captures for Integration into Slideshows and Videos

Contents

Setting up Gadwin PrintScreen

Various freeware programs may effectively capture screen shots. Gadwin PrintScreen 4.4 is one that has gotten high ratings and is free. It is available through C/NET’s www.download.com, which tests freeware for any embedded spyware before making it available to the public. Gadwin PrintScreen 4.4 requires 5.2 MB of space. Once it has been downloaded and installed, go to Start Program > Gadwin PrintScreen, and launch the program.

Defining Preferences

In the Preferences setup, you will be able to define the “Hot Key” (usually Ctrl + PrintScreen) that will start up Gadwin. You will be able to set up an initial delay before capture if you’ll be needing setup time to create a particular image; this is similar to setting up a delay before taking a photograph. You may choose to hide the icon when capturing an image; request notification messages; preview the captured image. On startup, you may run this software automatically and have it show the splash.

Defining the Source

In the setup, go to the Source icon in the left column, and choose whether you want to screen capture to come from the Current Window, Client Window, Full Screen, or Rectangular Area. If you want the Mouse Cursor to show up in the window, you may also check that box beside “Capture Mouse Cursor.”

Defining Destinations

The Destination button allows you to capture the screen area to the Clipboard, to the Printer, to be sent via your Email, or to a File. If you capture the image to a File, you may set up Gadwin PrintScreen to ask for the file name after the capture, to automatically name it, or to have it be opened with a digital image editing software program.

Image

The image icon allows you to set up the screen image capture as any one of various types of digital image files (.bmp, .jpg, .gif, .png, and .tif).

You may set up automatic resizing from the typical 1024 (height) x 1080 (width). You may have the program gray scale the capture or add an image shadow. You may define the image quality of the capture by setting that as a percentage.

If you choose to label your screen captures automatically, you can add a “stamp” into the image.

About

The “About” button provides information about the version of your screen capture software and links to other software programs that Gadwin creates. This is also the area you go to to check for the latest updates available for Gadwin PrintScreen.

Grabbing a Screen Capture with Gadwin PrintScreen

Click Ctrl + the PrtScrn (Print Screen) buttons simultaneously. (These buttons are on the diagonal opposite ends of the QWERTY keyboard).

QWERTYKeyboardButtonsforScreenCapture.jpg

(The image was made available from the Wikipedia Commons and has been modified for this article.)

That will bring up the interface for the Gadwin PrintScreen™ capture software. Place the mouse cursor on the screen monitor and define the space where you would like the software to begin capturing the image. This is defined as a rectangular space.

Hit the return key.

The image will be captured.

SLPrintScreenExample.jpg

(The above is an image of an avatar flying over to a virtual building in Second Life.)

The digital screen capture image may now be used in a variety of ways.

Screen Captures for Print

Once a screen capture image has been “grabbed,” it may be versioned for various uses.

Print imagery requires the most visual information. Imagery for print books, journals, and newspapers often require 300 – 400 dpi (dots per inch) to capture the proper amount of visual information needed for print processing.

The color processing for ink is “CMYK” (which represents “cyan, magenta, yellow and black”), which calculates the various percentages of inks to create particular color effects via ink on paper.

The digital imagery types used for print are usually .tif or .eps (Photoshop .eps).

In Adobe Photoshop, go to File, and Open. Select your chosen image in the pop-up window. Click open. The image will display in the work space.

Go to Image, and then Mode. There, you will be able to change the color output to CMYK.

ImageMode.jpg

Next, go to Image and then Image Size.

ImageSize.jpg

There, you may adjust the resolution with higher pixels per inch (ppi). (The term “dots per inch” is sometimes used interchangeably with “pixels per inch.” The first refers to visual information used in print, and the latter is used in relation to how an image shows on a Web page or computer screen.) You may also adjust the height and the width of the image. Keep the Constrain Proportions on, so that adjustments made to width or height will reflect on the other measure, which keeps the original proportions correct.

Next, you need to save your image as a .tif or a .eps. With your file open, go to File, then Save (or Save As). You will have an option to add a file name, and below that to define your file type. In the drop-down menu, choose TIF (or EPS).

SaveAsImageType.jpg

Click Save. Your image should be saved in a proper form for use in print.

Screen Captures for Web Pages

To use a screen capture for a Web page, first, achieve the capture. (Link back to the first article.)

Open Adobe Photoshop, and paste the screen capture into the window. The RGB (red, green, blue) color setting of the screen capture works well on Web pages. The 72 to 96 ppi (pixels per inch) should work fine for web pages.

The main thing that may need to be changed for screen captures to be used for Web pages would be their size, depending on the use of the digital screen capture on the Web page.

In the Toolbar, go to Image, and then Size. The window for size adjustment will display. Here, in the Document Size area, you may define the Width and the Height. If your Constrain Proportions box is checked (which is the default), then a change to width or height will affect the other and maintain proper proportions.

DocumentSize.jpg

Save your new image size by clicking on “OK”.

Next, you may want to change your file type, depending on the image type of the screen capture. The most common types of digital visual files on the Web are .jpgs (joint photographic experts group format) and .gifs (graphic interchange format).

Screen Captures for Integration into Slideshows (and Videos)

Integrating a screen capture image into a slideshow involves several considerations.

One consideration is to ensure that the amount of digital information is correct for the information depicted. A screen capture of an image for general look-and-feel may be very different than a screen capture that requires reading small text, measurements, or other fine-grained details.

For best results, the initial screen capture should be set at the highest information capture level possible, at the beginning. If that wasn’t done, and one only has the screen capture, there are still ways to enhance the quality of the screen capture. One way is to make the image smaller in terms of actual area but to raise the pixels per inch. Also, Adobe Photoshop has a feature that allows for the sharpening of an image.

Another concern is to make sure that the image is right-sized for the slideshow. An image that is too large but is physically minimized to fit the slide will take up memory and make the slideshow more unwieldy, particularly if it has to be downloaded or “played” (those slideshows with audio and / or automated effects) by its users.

The RGB color of a screen capture would work fine in a slideshow.

Screen Captures for Integration into Videos

Integrating a screen capture into videos does not usually require much in the way of adjusting the original image. Basically, this just requires that the screen capture be in a digital visual form that is Web usable—such as .jpg or .gif.

The original image should be clear. The video editing software will allow for the insertion of an image into a video stream in much the same way as a slide image (converted into a digital visual image), with a drag-and-drop interface.


See Also

References