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Product Review: Professional Capture System

By Richard Lowe
Posted Monday, December 6, 2004

During my career I've written several hundred manuals for dozens of applications, operating systems, routines and hardware. This is an area that I've always felt is vitally important, yet it seems to be either completely overlooked or assigned at the last minute to the person who is lowest on the organization chart. I've seen projects with implementations that required dozens of man-years, yet didn't have a single page of documentation of any kind.

Just like you, I've heard all of the excuses. User's don't need documentation or won't read it; Documentation is too expensive; The customer won't pay for it; Things are changing too quickly; It will be immediately obsolete; and dozen's of other mindless "truths" to explain the lack of delivering vital information in written form.

I know that documentation is tough - I've written enough myself to understand fully how hard it is to get started, to find the information, and to just start writing down the words. Perhaps the toughest task was describing how to do something which I as a programmer and computer veteran do without thinking, but a typical user has absolutely no idea how to even get started.

Then one day I stumbled across a little gem of a tool. It's called Jasc Capture System, and what the program does is allow you to capture some or all of your computer screen. In other words, you can grab part of the screen and save it as an image. This image can then be edited using normal image editing tools, added to documentation and even sent in emails.

How is this useful? Well, let's say you have to explain how to enter a URL in the address field of the browser. Seems simple, doesn't it? Well, you can make it even simpler for your users to use a picture or two instead of a lot of words. You could include a picture of the browser window with some arrows and labels, which would make the whole thing more obvious and easier to understand.

This product has some very nice features. You can capture by area (you draw a box around what you want), the whole screen, a window or even a specific object. All you have to do is start up the program and press whatever key you define as your hot key. You will then be able to select what parts of the screen you want to capture.

I would recommend this product to anyone who needs to include pictures of their screens into documentation. I use it constantly to improve the quality of my work.

About the Author
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at ( - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.


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