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C4004 - How do I reduce screen shots so that they still look good?

by - Joseph Ganci

Unfortunately I was unable to attend your class at TAAC this year, and if this is too much of an imposition please let me know. For our CBT product we do software simulation and I was told that in your class you showed people how to size down screens without ending up with a blurred, anti-aliased look to it. Do you have any documentation on this? I am working in Photoshop 5.5, and I also have Corel 9.

The trick is to first convert the image to 24-bit color (or higher), then to reduce the image. In Photoshop (and I'm sure in Corel) you have different algorithm options for resizing. Experimenting with these options will help you find the best algorithm for your type of image. Raising the number of palette colors to 24-bit allows the algorithm to work with more colors as it reduces, allowing for antialising that smooths out text and such. Because text and other thinly-lined items do not reduce well normally, using this method will allow for the antialising to happen. This means you wil get the lesser of two evils - you will get slightly blurry text instead of totally unreadable text.

Another package to consider is PaintShop Pro if you're not happy with the results of your other graphics packages. It's shareware for 30 days, then pretty cheap after that. Check out for more info. It also opens and does things much faster than PhotoShop. I use it when my needs aren't too complex, and use Photoshop for the heavier stuff.

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