Screenshots (also known as screen captures) let you capture exactly what you’re seeing on your screen to share with others or to reference later. They can be extremely helpful when you need to show something that would otherwise be difficult to explain in words.
Whether you’re already using screenshots daily or you’re looking to start, I’ve put together some tips for creating great screen captures. So, let’s dive in.
1. Add text and arrows
This may seem like a no-brainer, but adding text and arrows to your screenshots can make them more engaging. By using a tool like Snagit, it’s easy to add text and arrows to point out important parts of your screen capture. For example, use an arrow to point out a spike in your monthly sales numbers and add a quick text shout-out to your team member for their success.
Now, your simple screen capture of a graph is a polished image you’ll be proud to attach to a team email.
2. Resize screenshots correctly
You’ve captured a screenshot to include in an important document or presentation — awesome! But you need it a little bigger, so you grab a selectable arrow from the corner of your image and stretch it to the perfect size. Oh no! Now, your screenshot is now all blurry and distorted — not awesome.
Thankfully, you can avoid the dreaded pixelation. Try resizing your picture or screenshot in an image editing program instead. You’ll want to keep the same ratio of width to height, and then add it back into your document or presentation.
3. Panoramic capture
You may be familiar with panoramic images, but have you heard of panoramic screen captures? Panoramic photography captures long, horizontal fields of view. Similar to this technique, Snagit’s panoramic scrolling capture lets you scroll up, down, or side-to-side while taking a screenshot.
Use panoramic capture to capture wide, horizontal scrolls, infinitely scrolling webpages, and everything in between. You can take one, precise screen capture instead of stitching individual captures together.
4. Document a process step-by-step
Need to teach someone how to do something? Screen captures are your best friend when it comes to showing, not just telling. Instead of writing a lengthy email outlining a process with only text, use screenshots to demonstrate. You’ll avoid having your directions misunderstood or confusing anyone. A quick way to document a process is to number steps in a screenshot or multiple screenshots.
Above is an example that I put together to demonstrate how to correctly save images for our website. Now that I’ve put together this documentation, I won’t need to repeat myself. This screenshot is ready to send to anyone, at any time.
5. Blur out sensitive information
Want to quickly share important details (like flight times) with your boss or a client, but it has confidential information? Don’t worry. You can still take a screenshot to share. Simply blur out any sensitive info.
Snagit has an easy-to-use blur tool that lets you virtually erase private information.
By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to take your screen captures from good to great.