Jonathan DeVore

By: Jonathan DeVore on July 22nd, 2021

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6 Tips for Adding Screenshots to Your Job Aids and Procedures [Video]

If you’ve ever written procedures, created job aids, or prepared training materials, you’ve needed to take a screenshot to show somebody where to click in a system. But not all screenshots are created equal.

Simply inserting a screenshot into an article isn't enough — you need to clearly identify the purpose of those captured images. And there are different ways to grab screenshots to communicate those purposes.

As the Head Consultant at ScreenSteps — a knowledge base software company that makes it easy to document your procedures — I've used a variety of strategies to grab screenshots and define the purpose of those images.

In this video, I’m going to share 6 tips for taking screenshots for your training materials, for your procedures, and for your job aids. These tips will make your materials look more professional and end-users will find them more helpful.

Note: I'll be using the ScreenSteps screen capture tool to show this example, but the tips are best practices for any screenshot you take, no matter which tool you use.

1. Use the everything screenshot sparingly

An everything screenshot is when you capture the entirety of an image on a web page instead of zeroing in on a specific area. It covers all of the steps (no matter how many there are) in one image.

These screenshots have their place, but it isn't every time you need to take a screenshot. Instead, use multiple screenshots to walk an employee through a process.

2. Avoid taking screenshots of the entire screen

When you take a screenshot of the entire screen, it is difficult to read the text on the screen. It makes the image smaller in your guides, so it makes it difficult to understand where your employees need to click. 

📽️ Watch Related: 6 Ways to Grab Screenshots Using ScreenSteps [VIDEO]

3. Avoid taking screenshots that are zoomed in too much

Like most things in life, there is a balance between showing too much of the screen and too little of the screen.

If your taking a screenshot of a zoomed in area make sure you still show the context of where the action is happening. Then your employees will have cues as to where on the screen this step is taking place.

Aim for 600 to 800 pixels wide for the screenshot to show up clearly in your job aid or procedure. 

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4. Use image annotations to point out where the clicks happen

Add annotations to your screenshots to point out where the clicks happen. When you add annotations, it is easier for the reader to see what needs to be done.

You could include arrows, highlights, or sequence annotations to point out the order of the clicks that need to happen.

📽️ Watch Related: 8 Ways to Add Annotations to Your Screenshots in the ScreenSteps [Video]

5. Grab screenshots as you go through the process yourself

By walking through a procedure as you write and adding screenshots to your guide, it ensures that you capture every click. 

6. Resize your screen to get better screenshots

When you are grabbing screenshots on your desktop, you can resize the window to make it easier to capture images. This helps you avoid including unnecessary dead space in your screen captures.

Also, it lets you capture more than one area without making the text too small.

Capture screenshots right in your procedures

When you include screenshots in your job aids and procedures, it makes it easier for your readers to SEE how to complete a task. It clarifies the steps and where your employees need to click on a screen. 

Screenshots are a game-changer when it comes to documentation, which is why ScreenSteps has an easy-to-use screen capture tool.

Our integrated screen capture tool allows you to grab screenshots right where you are documenting procedures. Then you can easily annotate your screenshots in eight simple ways that make it easy for your employees to follow your guides.

Want to see the ScreenSteps screen capture tool in action? Check out our pre-recorded demo videos to get access to a library of videos for every feature, function, and tool. 

Explore Our Pre-Recorded Demo Videos

About Jonathan DeVore

Customer Success