If you create PDFs to give away to those who sign up to join your email list, adding screen captures is a great change from clip art. Your PDF will look more professional and engaging, without a lot of effort.
Screen capture software allows you to copy only a portion of the screen rather than just clicking Print Screen and copying the entire screen. Many programs are available to help you out, both free and paid, but I’ll talk about the one I’ve used the most, SnagIt by TechSmith. (TechSmith also has a free program called Jing, but I don’t have a lot of experience with it.) SnagIt recently added a feature for capturing video as well, although it won’t allow embedding those clips into a Word document. I tried.
Insert a page clip.
Suppose you’re working on a giveaway for genealogists about supplemental resources to bring family trees alive. You could just insert the link, but why not show a bit of the page instead?
Once it’s on the page, you can resize it as you wish.
By the way, if you want the clip to stand out on the page, click on the image, then click the Picture Tools tab in Word:
Choose a picture style that fits what you’re doing:
I also use this for handouts in courses when I’m showing something step by step.
Draw on a page clip.
This technique is useful for step-by-step documentation as well. In the example below, suppose you’re creating a giveaway on a local website, detailing restaurants in the area that shouldn’t be missed. Use the drawing tools to editorialize your favorite menu items.
Give further information with a callout.
Callouts are perfect for crafting giveaways. A callout is a text shape that points out a particular feature or gives additional information. In SnagIt, a callout can have several shapes. In this example using a crochet project of mine, you’ll notice speech balloons, an arrow and an action balloon:
They’re easy to make. Just click on Tools, then Callouts. You can change the color of the border, the fill and the font easily, as well as making other changes. Amazingly, you can’t make a screenshot on SnagIt itself!
I’m sure you can think of lots of other ways to use SnagIt. Enjoy spicing up your giveaways!
4 indie-published books
3 degrees (MCert, Web Design & Development, University of Denver; MLS, University of Alabama; BA, Art, University of Alabama in Huntsville)
17+ years professional experience in university web design and editing