Many theses will include computer generated images. Some of these will be created in a graphics program, and some may be screen captures. There are two types of graphics, vector, defined by a series of mathematical commands, and bitmaped images, defined as a collection of coloured, or black and white dots. Drawing programs such as CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator create vector graphics, while paint programs such as Adobe Photoshop create bitmaped images. Screen captures are bitmapped images.

When converted to PDF format, not all images will display equally well. One cause of poor display quality may be the fact that the image was resized inside the word processing program. If you find that an image must be resized, always open the image in a graphic editing program, and resize it there.

Some vector images may not display as you would like. This may result from the fact that Acrobat does not "antialias" vector graphics. (Pixels on the margin of objects are rendered at an appropriate level of gray, instead of being either black or white). If your vector graphics do not look as crisp as you would like when rendered into PDF, try bringing them into a graphics program, and converting them into bitmapped format, such as gif.

Screen captures can present the most serious prolem, because the resolution of the screen is low to begin with. For the best results using captured screen images in PDF files, follow these guidelines:

  • Before you capture a screen image, increase the size of the fonts your system uses for menus and dialog boxes. Often, fonts in a screen image appear jagged because they appear so small on the system. For instructions, refer to your system documentation.
  • Before you capture an image, adjust the system settings to minimize the number of colors used in dialog boxes. This helps reduce dithered patterns if the image is viewed on systems displaying few colors. For instructions, refer to your system documentation.
  • Before you insert a captured screen image into another file, open the image in an image-editing application and increase its resolution or resize it to the intended viewing size. Higher resolution images are less likely to appear jagged when magnified. If the image is already the intended viewing size, it will appear smoother on-screen.
  • When copying from Microsoft Excel to Microsoft Word:
    1. Adjust the column/cell size to the size you would like.
    2. Select the cells that you wish to copy.
    3. Hold down the SHIFT key and select Copy Picture from the Edit menu.
    4. A window will pop up; select "As shown on screen" under Appearance and "Picture" under Format, then click OK.
    5. Paste the picture in Word (Edit/Paste or Ctrl-V).