13 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2013 6:59 AM by rob day

    Help Please! Serious Issues with Placing Screen Shots.

    colmmolloy Level 1

      Hi,

       

      I'm a long time browser of these forums but this is my first post. I'm pulling my hair out. I've spent hours on this and have a looming deadline. I've a lot of experience in PS and AI but have only started using ID recently. I've searched the forums and web in general, I've found people with similar or the same problems (both on Mac and Windows) but can't find a solution anywhere. I really think there's got to be a simple solution but I can't figure it out.

       

      I'm using ID CS6 on Mac OS X 10.7.5

       

      I've created several mutilpage PDFs (not for print, for screen viewing) in ID using vector graphics from AI without any issue. However, this time I'm trying to create a multipage PDF that will be a tutorial for GarageBand that requires dozens of edited screen shots. When I place the cropped screen shots they come into ID really badly pixelated. I've tried bring them in as several different file types, PNG, BMP, TIFF, JPEG, but all with the same result. I've tried scaling them in different ways and exporting the PDF in different ways but the screen shots still look terrible.

       

      I have the document set up for digital publishing and it's A4 Landscape. I've changed the display performance to High Quality Display but this shouldn't really matter because the exported PDF still has horrible looking screen shots.

       

      Sadly...when I bring the same screen shots into Microsoft Word Mac they look absolutely perfect. I really, REALLY don't want to be forced to use Word to create a tutorial, or anything for that matter.

       

      Can anybody help? Please!

       

      Thanks in advance.

       

      Colm

        • 1. Re: Help Please! Serious Issues with Placing Screen Shots.
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          Screen shots, by their nature, are low resolution. They are not expected to appear the same as photos or vector graphics.

           

          Rather than cropping, if you can zoom in on the area you want to capture and capture it as large as possible.

          • 2. Re: Help Please! Serious Issues with Placing Screen Shots.
            colmmolloy Level 1

            Hi Peter, thanks for your response.

             

            The screen shots are 72dpi and the file is set up for digital publishing and will be viewed on screen. I want the cropped screen shots to appear as they would on screen with no scaling or pixelation. Zooming into the area before doing the screen shot would still show pixelation I think?

             

            Is there a way to set the ID document up at 72dpi? Or would that even help? for example of I set up a PS document at 72 and brought in a 72dpi image, there would be no scaling or messing, it would just come it at actual size without pixelation. Is there any way to make this happen with InDesign?

             

            I feel that if Microsoft Word can import the screen shots to look perfect, there's surely got to be a way for Adobe InDesign to do it!

            • 3. Re: Help Please! Serious Issues with Placing Screen Shots.
              colmmolloy Level 1

              I completely understand that they're low quality by nature and not like photos or vectors. But if they're basically a section of screen image that's going into a document that will be viewed on screen, surely there shouldn't be such drastic change in the quality, there shouldn't really be any at all. As per PS or Word.

              • 4. Re: Help Please! Serious Issues with Placing Screen Shots.
                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                Are you scaling them in ID? If so, DON'T!

                 

                Just place them. Also, make sure you have high quality display enabled

                in ID and that the links are up to date when updating the articles for DPS.

                 

                Bob

                • 5. Re: Help Please! Serious Issues with Placing Screen Shots.
                  Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  As well as that, isn't Acrobat set to display at 96 ppi?

                   

                  I'd be making the screenshots @96ppi and placing them at 100% in InDesign.

                  • 6. Re: Help Please! Serious Issues with Placing Screen Shots.
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    I suspect if you search this forum for "screen capture" you'll find a lot of discussion. Some folks seem to think using a third-party capture tool like snagit will give better results for print, but in my opinion it never gets better than what you see on the screen. Zooming in allows you to capture just the area you need so that any scaling you might be tempted to do will be to reduce the size on the page which will help with the effective resolution.

                    • 7. Re: Help Please! Serious Issues with Placing Screen Shots.
                      MW Design Level 4

                      In general, I always use a utility when doing documentation so I can capture the region I desire without further editing.

                       

                      In any case, the attached screen shot is from within a PDF at 100% view. The ID document contained two screen captures, one of an AI dialog box, the other from this thread. The output to a low-res PDF is fine.

                       

                      The placement of the screen captures were placed at 100% of size. There are ways of increasing the size of a screen capture so it is larger pixel dimensions. But you will always have a tradeoff between a "softened" image or a sharper one that is slightly pixelated the larger one increases its size. I do often do this but do not go more than 120% of the captures pixel dimensions.

                       

                      2.png

                      Mike

                       

                      ***Edit to add*** Make sure to click on the image to see it at 100% of size...

                      • 8. Re: Help Please! Serious Issues with Placing Screen Shots.
                        colmmolloy Level 1

                        Bob, Eugene, Peter, Mike, thanks for your responses. It seems a lot of people are baffled by the same or a similar problem, for example:

                         

                        http://forums.adobe.com/message/4565047#4565047

                         

                        http://forums.adobe.com/message/4749878#4749878

                         

                        All the people encountering the problem seem to be new to the software so it must be a newbie thing. It seems crazy to me that I can't set the document resolution to what ever I want. That is probably due to the fact that I'm completely new to the software and relatively new to vector based work with no formal training in any of the above!

                         

                        I have to get this done today so will have to try another method and save figuring this out until there is less time pressure.

                         

                        Thanks for your help and advice.

                         

                        Colm

                        • 9. Re: Help Please! Serious Issues with Placing Screen Shots.
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          Documents have no resolution, only a size. Images have a resolution based on the number of pixels that occupy a space with specific dimensions in that document.

                          • 10. Re: Help Please! Serious Issues with Placing Screen Shots.
                            colmmolloy Level 1

                            Just to explain how I found my way around this problem...

                             

                            I had designed a template in ID for my multipage interactive PDF. I recreated this template in AI, which was completely vector based. I then added the screenshots and saved each page of the tutorial as individual PDFs. I then used Acrobat Pro to join the PDFs into one multipage PDF and added the interactive elements there as well. I know that I can create a multipage PDF in AI using tiles but this always messy so found this method to be much easier and cleaner, albeit long winded.

                             

                            72dpi screenshots can be inserted into Illustrator and exported within a PDF and look as close to perfect as a 72dpi image can (still grainy but not nearly as bad). I can't understand why they don't do the same in ID. It seems ludacris and defeats the purpose of the software for me since I hoped to use it mainly for tutorials containing screenshots.

                             

                            If anyone's interested there is a download link below to a sample pdf of the same screenshot exported to PDF from each package.

                             

                            https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8047476/Sample%20PDFs.zip

                             

                            Cheers

                             

                            Colm

                            • 11. Re: Help Please! Serious Issues with Placing Screen Shots.
                              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                              There's something very wrong with the ID export, but I'm not certain what it is. I suspect, thought that it's the compression settings. Can you show us the settings you were using in ID for export?

                              • 12. Re: Help Please! Serious Issues with Placing Screen Shots.
                                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                If anyone's interested there is a download link below to a sample pdf of the same screenshot exported to PDF from each package.

                                 

                                 

                                The ID version has been heavily compressed and maybe resampled. You don't want to alter the pixel structure of the capture, so you need the compression tab of the PDF export to look something like this:

                                 

                                Screen shot 2013-01-11 at 9.14.21 AM.png

                                • 13. Re: Help Please! Serious Issues with Placing Screen Shots.
                                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  It seems ludacris and defeats the purpose of the software for me since I hoped to use it mainly for tutorials containing screenshots.

                                   

                                  The user interface you are capturing is designed to the monitor pixel grid and captures degrade if you sample them up or down. You can see the resampling problem if you use OSX's zoom feature–zoom in and the interface get's larger but it also blurs.

                                   

                                  And extreme example would be a checkerboard drawn at 10 pixels per inch. Increasing the resolution to 300ppi doesn't add any information and degrades the checkerboard's appearance:

                                   

                                  checkerboardres.png

                                  When you place a screen capture in ID and scale it, there's no resampling—the capture is resized and the pixels are scaled larger or smaller. If you print the capture it will look fine because a hi-res printer can accurately draw the different scaled resolutions.

                                   

                                  When you export to PDF there's going to be a problem displaying the captures in Acrobat because there would only be one zoom level where the original interface pixels display unchanged. It's similar to Photoshop where the screen capture looks best at 100% where the image to monitor ratio is 1:1, but in Acrobat the 1:1 ratio might be any zoom percentage depending on how the capture was resized in ID.