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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Wed Oct 27, 1999  4:00 am
Subject:  Creating .GIF Files


> This seems to be a question for me. I don't know the technical stuff,
>but I use Netscape and get most of my e-mail through Hotmail. When Angus
>sent his .gif file, it came out perfect included at the end of his message.
>His .sgn file I had to download and save and later open through SW.
>Lourdes' subsequent correction of the sign SEND-SEND-SEND also came through
>fine.
> Valerie, can you remind me exactly how to convert a SW .sgn file to a
>.gif file? I don't have PhotoShop. I have PhotoDeluxe and the Chinese
>equivalent of Paint. Thanks!
> - Wayne

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hello Wayne!
Yesterday I suddenly realized that you could share some Taiwan Sign
Language with us! I bet that would be fascinating for all of us :-)
And judging by what you say above, it looks like everything is working well
for you - I am so glad!

In regards to the SignWriter Computer Program...there is no "magic way" to
create .GIF's from SignWriter...in fact it is pretty annoying because the
program is in MS-DOS!

I am on a Macintosh, and I can run MS-DOS on my Mac with software called
SoftPC or VirtualPC. And those two programs let me do screen captures of
MS-DOS, as if I were on a Mac. In the Windows world, I bet there is a way
to create a screen capture of an MS-DOS screen - I hope so!

So assuming that you can take a screen capture of an MS-DOS screen, here is
the way I create .GIFs (by the way, there are other ways to do this...this
is just my way :-)


MAKING .GIF FILES FROM A SIGNWRITER FILE

I make .GIFs by typing in SignWriter 4.3. Then I create a screen
capture of the sign, or signs, or screen I want to capture. That creates a
graphics
file. Then I open the graphics file in Photoshop, and I "invert it",
getting rid of the black background, and convert it to .GIF. I always use
the "web" mode for making .GIFs, because I sometimes need diagrams for the
web later anyway.

If you are not sure how to create a "screen capture", I know you can do it
from both Windows and the Mac. On the Mac, you can get very small
definition, just capturing one tiny symbol, or a whole screen. The Mac
strokes for that are: Shift-Command-4. That gives you a cross-hair kind of
symbol, and then you can box the area you want, and lift your finger from
the mouse, and it places the screen captured graphics file on your desktop
to open later.

I have also done screen captures on Windows 98, and if I remember right,
they have a key called "print screen", and that captures the entire screen
I believe. If you press Alt-Print Screen, I believe that will capture just
the Window you are in...although I do not know how to capture a very small
space on the screen, like I do on the Mac.

Once you open the graphics file in Photoshop, you need to know Photoshop
and all the ".GIF making techniques" - and unfortunately, there are several
.GIF formats. Slowly our List will learn which formats work, and which ones
do not....I have already learned that transparent .GIFs that are made for
the web do not do well - some people did not get the message - the message
was transparent - ha!!

I hope this helps, Wayne! Write again anytime with questions -


Val ;-)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Valerie Sutton


SignWritingSite...Lessons Online
http://www.SignWriting.org

Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

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