Process for Incorporating Screen Captures in Multi-Language Technical Documentation
Original Publication Date: 2004-May-17
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-May-17
Usability studies show that incorporating screen captures of a product’s graphical user interface (GUI) into technical documentation improves the learning process and assists users when completing tasks. The issue of how to include screen captures in products that translate into multiple languages is now a key development concern. The problem is how to portray screen captures in each language, but update them easily as the product changes. This paper offers a solution to this problem by detailing a re-illustrating process using CorelDRAW*.
Process for Incorporating Screen Captures in Multi -Language Technical Documentation
The process for re-illustrating screen captures to include in multi-language technical documentation involves the following steps:
1. An information developer takes a screen capture and sends a GIF, BMP, or JPG version of it to the graphic designer.
2. The designer uses the GIF, BMP, or JPG as a reference and re-illustrates the screen using the drawing tools in CorelDRAW.
3. Once the designer completes the re-illustration process, he or she deletes the original screen capture.
4. The designer returns the newly created CDR, GIF and EPS files to the information developer.
5. The information developer sends the CDR source file and translation instructions to the translation centers.
6. The translator opens the CDR file, edits GIF and EPS layers, and saves the CDR, GIF, and EPS files in the native language.
The following sections provide end-to-end instructions for how to complete this process.
Information Developers: Capturing the Screen
Take the following steps to include screen captures in your documentation:
1. Press Alt + PrtSc to capture the product screen.
2. Open Paint from the Accessories menu and paste the image into a new file.
3. Save the file as a GIF or BMP.
4. Send a copy to the graphic designer and schedule a meeting to discuss your goals.
5. Include a copy of the GIF or BMP in your documentation to get feedback from testers and reviewers.
6. Replace your GIF or BMP when you receive the newly re-illustrated file from the designer.
Graphic Designers: Re-Illustrating the Screen Capture and Creating Output Files
Your re-illustrated screen capture is a CDR file created in CorelDRAW. It contains two screen images, one for output to EPS and the other for output to GIF. Before you begin the re-illustration process, take note of the following requirements:
· The file size of your new screen capture illustrations should be consistent with the standard size of any already existing screen captures and graphics in the product documentation. If file sizes are not consistent, images might display differently across various platforms, books, and languages.
· Use the same colors that are used for any already existing screen captures and illustrations. These colors should not vary from screen to screen. For example, if the values for blue in the menu bar are R-35, G-64 , and B-78, use those same values when creating your illustrations. Be consistent with gray backgrounds as well.
· Use the same line width and font style of any already existing screen captures
Figure 1 demonstrates the layout of the individual EPS and GIF files that you will include in your CDR file. The image at the top is larger and is designed for EPS output. The image at the bottom is smaller and is designed for GIF output. They represent two separate layers. GIF is typically the preferred format for softcopy output and online helps, while EPS is be...