edit screenshot example

How to Edit a Screenshot

It probably comes as no surprise that the inclusion of images and screenshots throughout your content makes it easier and faster for your audience to receive your message. Did you know that human beings can make sense of a visual scene in less than one-tenth of a second?!

The essence of the modern digital world is constant change. And if you regularly use screenshots, then you know that this change results in screenshots becoming outdated.

image of trees in different seasons illustrating constant change

So, how can we quickly update images without having to recapture a slew of screenshots? I’m glad you asked. Let’s dive in!

 

Why edit screenshots?

There are numerous reasons to edit a screenshot instead of capturing something brand new. The primary, and most obvious reason is to save time. While the most basic screenshot might not take long to re-do, re-creating the exact same scene in order to capture it again, might.

photo-of-a-clock-on-a-table

If your screenshots are beyond the basics, and you’ve included interesting annotations with your image, the time it takes to recreate them will begin to add up.

Whether you are using screenshots for help documentation, on your website, or for internal training, there are some situations when a simple edit or small tweak will do the trick and save time! Here are a few examples:

  • You have recently created technical documentation, but due to a recent user interface (UI) update, need to update the screenshots.
  • You need to create an alternate version of a screenshot with translated text (not to be confused with a localized version), and need to grab the existing text from within the image to provide it to a translator.
  • You have a screenshot that you need to share, but it contains confidential information.

Now you know a few reasons whybut how can you edit a screenshot?

 

Edit…how?

It’s easiest if we stick with the same examples provided above, to explain how you would edit a screenshot in each scenario. And the neat partyou don’t even need the source file!

The first thing you’ll need is an easy-to-use image editing tool like Snagit. If you don’t own it yet, don’t worry! Just download the free trial to test it out, and follow along below.

 

Update the UI in a screenshot

Perhaps you have a screenshot where you want to rearrange the UI. In Snagit, one way to accomplish this would be to use the selection tool. This allows you to select an area, move the selection, and have the background automatically fill in with the same color.

GIF showing the Snagit selection tool in action

Grab the text in a screenshot

Let’s say you have a screenshot that provides information in English, but you need to update it to send to a Spanish-speaking customer. And, you don’t have access to the original, just a .jpg or .png.

Using the grab text function in TechSmith Snagit 2018 (coming soon!), you can capture the text that you need to have translated, and email it to your colleague for translation.

GIF showing the grab text functionality in Snagit

 

Blur out confidential information in a screenshot

Perhaps you have a screenshot that you’d like to share, but you realize that it contains personal information that needs to be kept confidential. Using the blur tool in Snagit, you can easily blur out anything you don’t want to be visible, successfully editing your screenshot to maintain privacy.

sales order with example of an edited screenshot

 

Takeaways

You now have a few new tricks up your sleeve that will help you save valuable time whenever screenshots or images need updating. Developing and maintaining a set of streamlined techniques and practices allows you to deliver high-quality content with speed and accuracy. Show off the latest and greatest your brand has to offer!

Have you struggled with keeping your screenshots and images up-to-date? Or perhaps you have another tip for maintaining your content? We’d love to hear about the challenges you’ve faced, and your successes as wellleave us a comment below!

Posted in Tips & How To's
Author
Allison Boatman

Allison Boatman is a member of the Marketing Team at TechSmith.
Follow her on Twitter @AllisonBoatgirl

  • She can often be found aimlessly wandering around local craft stores.
  • Personal motto: "Work hard, stay humble."
  • Favorites: Alaskan Malamutes, Iceland, and 90's pop culture.