Capture screenshots for documentation

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You should take all screenshots on your standard 15″ MacBook Pro unless documenting a mobile application. A standard MacBook Pro screen defaults either to 1440⨉900 or 1680⨉1050 pixels. Ensure your browser’s zoom is set at 100%.

By default, screenshots save to the Desktop and will reflect the resolution of the portion of the screen captured. Unless cropping a screenshot, no further manipulation of a screenshot is typically necessary.

Note: While there are many screen capture applications out there, consider using the native Mac screenshot functionality since all BriteCore staff have access to it.

Important: Never show personal information in any screenshot. This includes personal bookmarks, autofill text, browser tabs, etc. Never show any true/live client data unless you are documenting something for a specific client; client-specific imagery can’t be used in any other capacity.

Capture a portion of a screen

  1. Press and hold these three keys together: Shift, Command, and 4.
  2. Drag the crosshair to select the area of the screen to capture. To move the selection, press and hold the Space bar while dragging. To cancel taking the screenshot, press the Esc (Escape) key.
  3. To take the screenshot, release your mouse or trackpad button.
  4. If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, select it to edit the screenshot, or wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop.

Capture a window or menu

  1. Open the window or menu you want to capture.
  2. Press and hold these keys together: Shift, Command, 4, and then press the Space bar. The pointer changes to a camera icon. To cancel taking the screenshot, press the Esc (Escape) key.
  3. Select the window or menu to capture it. To exclude the window’s shadow from the screenshot, press and hold the Option key while clicking.
  4. If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, select it to edit the screenshot, or wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop.

Note: After pressing Shift, Command, and 4, you can toggle between the crosshair and the camera/window option by pressing the Space bar.

Capture the entire screen

Generally, you won’t need to use a fullscreen screenshot. If you intend to focus on a specific feature such as a menu, dialog box, portion of a screen, etc., use one of the previous screenshot methods.

  1. Press and hold these three keys together: Shift, Command, and 3.
  2. If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, select it to edit the screenshot, or wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop.

Guidelines and considerations

  • Resolution: Screenshots captured using the above methods will be of appropriate resolution using the MacBook screen.
  • Clarity: The more you resize a screenshot, the greater the chances are of creating distortion. It’s best to display screenshots at original size; when necessary, try to minimize scaling or crop the image.
  • Size and content: Capture only the necessary portion of BriteCore. Smaller, more focused screenshots are clearer to the user. If you are highlighting a new dialog box, take a screenshot of only the dialog box, not the entire screen.
  • Visual noise: Be mindful of the content displaying when you take a screenshot. Including unnecessary information such as expanded menus, bookmarks bars, tooltips, etc. can make it difficult for a user to find what they are meant to see.
  • Guest mode: Consider taking screenshots in your browser’s guest/incognito mode to eliminate the appearance of any personal information.
  • Combination screenshots: If you’re illustrating a process/change, you can use side-by-side images to show the comparison/difference.
  • Effects: Adding effects such as drop shadows, borders, etc. isn’t necessary. The Documentation team will apply these when publishing the content.
  • Format: The default format for Mac screenshots is .png; please don’t change this.

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