6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 6, 2008 11:31 AM by HKabaker

    Image quality

    CeeEllBee Level 1
      RH 7.02.001
      When I insert a png image that I resized to 90% in SnagIt, it comes in pretty poorly.
      When I insert another png, using the same source file as the first, that I've resized to 90% in PhotoShop, it comes in slightly better.
      In an attempt to clear suspicion from RH, I inserted both images in a Word file. They come in fine and look exactly the same. Alas, the cloud of suspicion hangs over RH.
      Does anyone happen to know if RH does something to images when it inserts them? Is it nicer to PhotoShop files? (Is there a family bias!) Or, is there a workaround?
      The screen grabs are of web app pages...nothing zany. My monitor is set at 1280x1024 at 32-bit color.
      In past versions of RH, I never had issues with image degradation.
        • 1. Re: Image quality
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
          Hi there Constance

          I don't believe RoboHelp has been in the Adobe stable long enough for PhotoShop to have been given any bias.

          Unless you are grabbing a sizing handle on the image and adjusting the size after you get it into RoboHelp, it should be doing absolutely NOTHING to the format of the image. It simply displays what you feed it.

          FWIW, I rescale images all the time using SnagIt and my preferred format is .PNG. Yes, the quality suffers a bit if I scale too much, but that's going to happen with any raster image.

          Cheers... Rick
          • 2. Re: Image quality
            CeeEllBee Level 1
            Hi Rick,
            Thanks for the feedback. I'm not using the resize handles and I agree with you that the images whould be exactly the same. It's very odd. There is a definite difference, though.
            Will screen resolution/graphic card affect the image? If I start with a lower res and scale it to a specific dimension would it hold the quality better than if I started with a hi-res and scaled it to the same dimension? I can try this myself; I'm just wondering if you have toyed with such things.
            Again, thanks for your response.
            • 3. Re: Image quality
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
              There's an article on my site covering some tests I did a while back importing different image formats. That may be of interest to you as well.

              • 4. Re: Image quality
                kmaddox1 Level 1
                Hi Constance,

                I used to have terrible issues with image quality in RH (versions 5-7), but it was always a result of resizing the image, either in RH, SnagIt, or Photoshop (though, as you report, PS did seem to work better). I finally figured out something that works well. For me at least, maybe for you as well?

                Here's what I do:
                1. Reduce the size of the application or browser window to less than full screen BEFORE taking the screen shot. This seems to be especially important if your monitor is set to a very high resolution. Shrink the window as much as you can while still showing the information you need.
                2. Use SnagIt to capture a region of the window where possible (which further reduces the size of the capture). SnagIt's torn edge feature works well for showing that some information has been cut off.
                3. Add any callouts or highlights in SnagIt, but do not resize the image.
                4. Save the screen capture as a GIF file. (I suspect PNG would work just as well, but i haven't tried it.)
                5. Import the GIF file into RH, but do not resize it.

                I've found that this process renders images in RH that are fairly true to the original, though the images suffer some degradation in when converted to Word or PDF.
                • 5. Re: Image quality
                  CeeEllBee Level 1
                  Thanks Kathy. I'll give your instructions a go.
                  • 6. Re: Image quality
                    HKabaker Level 2

                    Oh, would that we could reduce the application screen!

                    I use PSP's "sharpen" function after resizing.

                    My steps, FWIW:
                    1. Take screen shot, save with thousands of colors.
                    jpg, pspimage, whatever; just not gif. Yet.

                    2. Use just a section of the screen at full size, or reduce the image.
                    Make sure you use "smart resize" or equivalent, rather than pixel resize, for example.

                    3. Sharpen the image. Save it again as the small version, still full colors.

                    4. Add whatever embellishments you need. Sometimes I make the overall shot very small -- barely legible -- and rely on blowups, popouts, full-size detail insets or popup windows. Separate layers are especially helpful.

                    5. Save the final with layers in full color, merge layers and save again. Convert to gif.

                    6. Import the gif as is and do not resize in RH.

                    I know I'm sacrificing some quality. Just capturing the screen degrades the image some. I'd be glad to hear suggestions for improvement.