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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I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, 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.