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Adobe FrameMaker

Screen Captures May Not Make Sense

Jul 30, 2009 • general

Paul Masalsky argues that screen captures in documentation introduce more trouble than they're worth. Localization is the main difficulty. Another is size and the fact that many times the screenshots duplicate what the user already sees in the interface. This post raises a lot of issues that are worth exploring. While I agree that screenshots are problematic, I also think that without them, your documentation's usability goes down. When I watch users perform the steps of my documentation, they look very carefully at the screenshots I include.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include the following technical communication topics: Swagger, agile, trends, learning, plain language, quick reference guides, tech comm careers, and certificate programs. I'm interested in information design, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture and findability, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.