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Old 02-23-2005, 10:05 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Mac OS X screenshots

I have been chastized for attaching PDF screen shots, but that is what Mac OS X makes natively when you click the useful and accessible Option-Shift-4. There appears to be no way to change the file type (except by opening the PDF in Photoshop or something and making a different kind of file, which in my experience is likely to make a mess). And David Pogue implies as much in his OS X Missing Manual, so I suspect it is true.

Tell you the truth, PDF does seem like overkill for screen shots. So I am looking at Grab (in the Mac OS Applications/Utilities folder), which makes TIFFs. It places the image on the screen — then you have to save it or print it. Maybe I can get used to this.

Pogue recommends SnapzPro X, so I also went to the Ambrosia web site and downloaded a 30-day demo. That allows for gif, png, jpg, tiff, pdf, bmp, pict, and maybe a couple more formats (including movies), but I do not see a way to set this in Prefs (and I am not sure that the choice is sticky). In fact, this seems like overkill, and it also has no instructions that I can see. Costs $70 after the trial period.

So: What do you think about PDF screenshots? And what do you use to make them?

   
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Old 02-23-2005, 11:23 AM   #2
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They don't bother me but I think it's weird that pdf if the default for a screen shot...as to taking the pdf into Photoshop...I do that all the time--particularly for forms--and it doesn't muck them up at all...what kinds of problems have you had doing that?

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Old 02-23-2005, 12:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie
They don't bother me but I think it's weird that pdf if the default for a screen shot...
So do I actually, and it wasn’t a pdf before OS X (it defaulted to pict but could be a tiff, which is what I used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie
… as to taking the pdf into Photoshop...I do that all the time--particularly for forms--and it doesn't muck them up at all...what kinds of problems have you had doing that?
Just opening a PDF in Photoshop increases the file size. In this particular case, the jpg is 224K, the pdf 120.

That would be okay. But it was a fragment of a page; a larger area would be huge. Of course I could reduce it, but my experiments with doing that have created weak or fuzzy images.

And of course it is annoying to have extra steps. I just loaded Grab in the Dock — I’ll try to use that for a while, see how humongous a tiff will be.

I really like it when simple things just work. So much for that! <g>

   
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Old 02-23-2005, 12:23 PM   #4
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I've only used Grab for OSX screen shots, primarily because I usually want the images for easy display in a browser or mail app window for all and sundry without me jumping through hoops to convert them (the files or the "all and sundry" who receive the shots from me).

   
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Old 02-23-2005, 12:38 PM   #5
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>>kt: Just opening a PDF in Photoshop increases the file size. In this particular case, the jpg is 224K, the pdf 120.

How strange...I've never paid attention to that...will have to check in the future--not that it's a big deal when I'm doing this because I know my file size will increase as I add layers to fill in the data...


>>Of course I could reduce it, but my experiments with doing that have created weak or fuzzy images.

Don't want that...

>>I really like it when simple things just work. So much for that! <g>

'-}}

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Old 02-23-2005, 01:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElyseC
I've only used Grab for OSX screen shots, primarily because I usually want the images for easy display in a browser or mail app window for all and sundry without me jumping through hoops to convert them (the files or the "all and sundry" who receive the shots from me).
So you get TIFFs. Are they huge (or tiny) or anything else weird?

Never mind, actually, as I guess I will test them.

   
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Old 02-23-2005, 01:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
I have been chastized for attaching PDF screen shots, but that is what Mac OS X makes natively when you click the useful and accessible Option-Shift-4. There appears to be no way to change the file type (except by opening the PDF in Photoshop or something and making a different kind of file, which in my experience is likely to make a mess). And David Pogue implies as much in his OS X Missing Manual, so I suspect it is true.

Tell you the truth, PDF does seem like overkill for screen shots. So I am looking at Grab (in the Mac OS Applications/Utilities folder), which makes TIFFs. It places the image on the screen — then you have to save it or print it. Maybe I can get used to this.

Pogue recommends SnapzPro X, so I also went to the Ambrosia web site and downloaded a 30-day demo. That allows for gif, png, jpg, tiff, pdf, bmp, pict, and maybe a couple more formats (including movies), but I do not see a way to set this in Prefs (and I am not sure that the choice is sticky). In fact, this seems like overkill, and it also has no instructions that I can see. Costs $70 after the trial period.

So: What do you think about PDF screenshots? And what do you use to make them?
I use the Shift-Command-4 method of making screen shots, but then open them in Photoshop and use 'Save for Web' to get smaller JPEGs, rather than just Save as. It seems Saving for Web discards the colour profile information, which is apparently a significant portion of the file content.

   
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Old 02-23-2005, 01:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annc
I use the Shift-Command-4 method of making screen shots, but then open them in Photoshop and use 'Save for Web' to get smaller JPEGs, rather than just Save as. It seems Saving for Web discards the colour profile information, which is apparently a significant portion of the file content.
That is exactly what I was doing, and got a mess. Perhaps I rescaled? That might be risky with screen shots.

Guess I’ll try all these options. Being naturally lazy and increasingly forgetful, what I do not want is to have to learn a lot of complicated new tricks.

   
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Old 02-23-2005, 01:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
That is exactly what I was doing, and got a mess. Perhaps I rescaled? That might be risky with screen shots.

Guess I’ll try all these options. Being naturally lazy and increasingly forgetful, what I do not want is to have to learn a lot of complicated new tricks.
I never touch anything in the files. Just open and save. It's a pain, but someone complained on about the second day of our P-CIS access about a PDF I posted, so I've done the other ever since. The PDFs have to be renamed anyway, so it's not much harder to run them through Photoshop, which is always open and ready to look at files.

   
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Old 02-23-2005, 04:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annc
I never touch anything in the files. Just open and save. It's a pain
It doesn't have to be. Save the script below as an Application from Script Editor, and any time you want to convert a PDF to TIFF, just drag-and-drop it (or a bunch at once) over the script app. There's no screen display, so it's very fast.

on open fileList
try
tell application "Image Events" -- invisible app
launch
-- loop through files
repeat with aFile in fileList
-- build new name/path
set thePath to aFile as Unicode text
if thePath ends with ".pdf" then
set newPath to text 1 thru -5 of thePath & ".tif"
else
set newPath to thePath & ".tif"
end if
-- open, save, close
set anImage to open aFile
save anImage as TIFF in file newPath with icon
close anImage
-- to keep originals, delete next line
tell application "Finder" to delete aFile
end repeat
end tell
on error
beep
end try
end open

It probably requires OS X 10.3.x.

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