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Old 12-18-2006, 07:45 AM   #1
Adrian
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Hi!

What is the best way to get the highest quality screen shots for reproduction in a printed book?

Or, am I right in thinking that the resolution you get with something like Grab is as good as it gets?

Best wishes, Adrian
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:32 AM   #2
LoisWakeman
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You can only capture the screen (Mac, PC or anything else) at the resolution of the screen itself: so, 96 (or 72) ppi.

You may need to upress for press use, as even a full screen might only be about 3.5" for example (1024/300).
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:02 AM   #3
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Lois,

Thanks for that, but I don't understand your reference to "upress".

Best wishes, Adrian
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:36 PM   #4
Howard White
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I think (but I could be wrong) that she means "up-res," as in "increase the resolution."
For what it's worth, I recommend spending a few bucks to buy Snazpz Pro from Ambrosia Software. It's a lot better than Grab.
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Old 12-18-2006, 02:26 PM   #5
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Howard,

But how can you increase the resolution, other than by interpolation, which, if I understand it correctly, doesn't actually increase the resolution but simply fills in the "gaps" based on adjacent information.

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Old 12-19-2006, 01:32 AM   #6
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Adrian - sorry - Howard explained what I meant.

To answer your second question: there are two aspects to this. First - do you understand the difference between DPI settings in a file (as used by an app like Quark, Word, InDesign or whatever), and the number of actual pixels in the bitmap? If not, you might find this helpful: http://hannemyr.com/photo/pixels.html

Once you've read that (or if you already know), what follows should make sense.

The screen shot as captured has a number of pixels limited by the screen size and display settings: it might be 1024 x 768, or some other value, depending on your hardware. That's the base information you have to play with.

The file you save (in PhotoShop for example) has a DPI setting, nothing to do with the pixel count. You can set this to 300 for print use: and the resulting file will print at (number of pixels across / 300) inches wide.

If the result of this calculation is not big enough, you need to resize the image (=up-res) to be bigger. As you say, this is not actually increasing the info, but just filling in the gaps (interpolating).

For a screen capture, you may get better (crisper) results by reducing to 256 colours (adaptive palette, not web-safe/standard OS colours: experiment with the different reduction methods to see which gives the best result) and using an exact multiple for the resize (doubling the width for example), when each black pixel becomes a block of 4 adjacent black pixels, for instance. Printed at 300 DPI, this will probably look better than a 16M colour resize to some arbitrary value. However, each screen differs in how it looks, so try it and see: it costs nothing except your time!
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Old 12-19-2006, 01:57 AM   #7
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Lois,

Many thanks for the explanation and the reference. I think that my problem is/was a number of separate pieces of information that needed bringing together!

I'll have a play and see what happens.

Best wishes, Adrian
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