However we can make screenshots visually appealing just like we do with desktop themselves. The goal of this tutorial is to teach you how.
THIS is the only rule in this topic so if you don't use them atm, read on!
Images bigger than 300 per * pixels (or the other way round) must never be posted directly inside a topic : link to them.
If not, the image will be removed and a link put in its place. More details why thumbnails are needed here.
1- PNG file format
JPG is widely used and has a high compression ratio. However, it is a lossy compression format and takes a big part of the visual appeal of your desktop out. On photos it goes unnoticed because people usually don't look close enough to them to see the artifacts. But they are present and some compressors are worse than others.
PNG on the other hand is lossless: your screenshot will always be clear and sharp, just like you see it every day. Moreover it compresses better than jpeg on pictures with large chunks of the same color (title bar for example). I have to add that I a clearly biaised towards png screenshots when I have to decide which desktop will go in the monthly contest.
2- Everything but MS's Paint
Paint is a nice tiny app but the in/out part could be much better. It is far from having the best visual quality or size for jpeg and doesn't compress at the most when dealing with png.
I advise you to use IrfanView or XnView. Both are free and for instance, Irfanview usually compresses 40% better than paint (for a png file).
Everybody knows imageshack, xs.to, tinypic, photobucket... All of them are free but contain a lot of advertisement, imageshack can be really slow, and they delete pictures that are not checked enough often for them (therefore a lot of images are lacking in past topics).
Zxian has set up a nice website so we can upload screenshots without the usual hassle (remember imageshack removes images after 30 days); I advise you to go with it: KwikPiks.
If you don't like Canadian people, you can still use screenshots.haque.net or get a deviant art account.
Rumshot is a .net2 application designed to take screenshots and generate eye-candy thumbnails.
It comes with a few themes by default but much more are available on their website.
The bad part is it doesn't compress better than paint so I usually recompress screenshots with irfanview. Important: do not do this with thumbnails, they contain complex transparency values that would get lost.
A simple example of what you can get:
Edited by Camarade_Tux, 30 June 2007 - 11:17 AM.