static graphics must communicate relevant information about a topic.
Uninformative graphics weaken a presentation. Decorative graphics,
or screen captures of empty dialog boxes, provide little additional
information and are a waste of space.
Unfortunately many graphics only convey a dozen words or less.
Make your graphics do more work. Search for the best example to
illustrate your ideas. Choose the best subject and the strongest
vantagepoint. Include parameters and tools along with the objects.
Your objective is to communicate the maximum amount of information
in the smallest amount of space in the clearest possible manner.
Show motion by using arrows and overlapping images. Emphasize
significant information by calling it out. Annotate, highlight,
crop, circle, or otherwise draw attention to relevant information.
Do not insert raw screen shots and expect the user to figure out
what parts are important.
You can often scale screen captures to a smaller size with only
a slight loss of quality. A reduction to 75% of original size
is usually acceptable for online publication. Reduce up to 50%
If you reduce an image more than 75%, be sure to hide the cursor
before you take the screen capture. When cursors are scaled down,
they end up looking like flyspecks, rather than looking like useful
Save static graphics in GIF or JPEG format. Use GIF for screen
captures. Use JPEG for continuous tone images such as photographs
or rendered images.