A group of reference librarians were preparing an assessment instrument to gage the library skills students have on entering college and after completing a program of face-to-face and online instruction. The goal was to create questions in the real context students face while completing research. For example, instead of asking students which sets of words they would use to search for a particular type of encyclopedia, we provided several screen captures of our catalog’s online search screen using different search terms, fields and combining terms then asking students to select the most effective method. It allowed us to examine the combined synergy of several skills all in one question. We could only accomplish that using pictorial questions.
In order to prepare the draft questions, the team learned how to capture data from a screen, place it in a Microsoft Word document, crop it, make it stay in the desired location and in some cases, label the capture with arrows along the edge. That is why this tutorial was born.
Over time I hoped that people would continue to use screen captures to illustrate searching techniques within handouts and PowerPoint presentations. That has happened to a certain degree. Some individuals have branched out from screen captures and used the related instructions to insert and manipulate clip art for class materials, signs throughout the library and, occasionally, for invitations to retirement parties and baby showers. Every use increases the likelihood that the skills will be used again. The overall goal is for a professional library culture comfortable with text-based communication to become more conversant with the highly visual “Generation Y” undergraduates using our tools and services.
Conventions used in this document
- Buttons and menu selections are printed in bold type.
- Some screens were captured using a program other than the built-in Windows screen capture. Those instances are noted.
- Cautionary or important notes have a rose-colored background.
Note: I left my cursor over the RUL logo when I took the screen capture, so I got the little yellow java script mouse-overs. Be intentional where you place your cursor.
(This process requires two hands.)
Note: I was able to get two menus open, because I chose the menu selection Edit, that had a small triangle at the end of the line, like this: , then selected Send. This will not work with all menu boxes because they are not all true menus. Capturing those boxes is beyond the capability of the Windows screen capture.
By following the same directions for “Copying the Entire Desktop” you can obtain more than one window like the one below
But, what if you only want the multiple windows, and perhaps not even the entire larger window? Use the cropping tool. Here are the steps:
Here is the result of one crop:
If you repeat the procedure with the top, bottom and left side, you will be left with this:
Caution: The screen capture loses resolution if the size is increased too much
Follow steps 1 and 2 above, then,
3. Keeping the cursor steady click once and hold, then drag slowly toward the center of the picture until it is the size you need.
You can add arrows, labels or shadow a box or picture so it appears to float on the page.
These choices all come from the drawing toolbar. If the toolbar, below, does not appear at the bottom of your Word Screen, from the menu, select View, then Toolbars and click on Drawing.
Don’t like the color of your arrow, or the thickness of the line?
Click on the color you want (or click on More Line Colors... for additional choices) and your arrow will assume that color.
The text box is a movable box that you can place letters into and move easily to a desired location.
Drag the mouse diagonally. When you let go of the mouse you have created the opposite corner of the text box.
In the example directly above, the words "Starting corner" and "Ending corner" don’t appear to be in a text box, but they are. The line color of the box was set as No Line.
To makes the lines surrounding a text box, invisible:
To create a shadow you need to start with a text box.
You must first have created a text box before you can fill it with color. Steps:
If your text box fill color covers over your text, do the following:
Select Draw on the drawing toolbar, then Order and finally, Send to Back.
Your typing should reappear.