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B1015 - How do I display good miniature screen shots?

by - Joseph Ganci

Would you happen to know of a good solution to taking print screen shots of pictures (Microsoft Windows look alike graphics) that need to be reduced to about 3/4 or 1/2 their size without any of the quality being lost.  The pictures will be inserted in Authorware for CD-Rom / online use. Any suggestions will be much appreciated.

If you're referring to Windows screen shots, it's difficult to size them down without losing quality. That's because the original graphic, the screen shot, is basically made up of thin letters, lines, and such. When you resize a photograph of a forest, it's not as noticeable because there are continuous streams of colors.

So, here's what I have found produces the best quality solution, having done a lot of software training over the years. Again, the results will not be outstanding, but they will be much better than other approaches. Use Photoshop or the new Paint Shop Pro version ( to do this.

1. Set the number of colors for the graphic to 24-bit (16.7 million colors). The more colors you have, the easier it is for the software to resize the graphic, and the smoother the final result.

2. Resize the graphic.

3. Try saving it as a GIF. If it looks lousy, try saving it as a JPEG, set to the highest quality.

The result should look like the original, but somewhat "fuzzy". At least it will be relatively readable. Of course, it will be much easier to read at 2/3 size than 1/2.

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