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From:  Bill Reese
Date:  Wed Oct 27, 1999  4:19 pm
Subject:  Re: Creating .GIF Files

You're right, Valerie, ALT-PRINT SCREEN will capture the whole screen in MS-DOS -- at least in Windows 98.  I was playing around with it yesterday and, essentially, had to do the same things you do -- invert the image in Corel Photohouse and convert to GIF.  I even found that you can cut and paste from Photohouse to a Netscape email, version 4.6, but then Netscape converts it the image to JPEG.  It's a trifle bit faster than creating a file then attaching the file, but I'm not sure how Netscape's JPEG format will show up in other people's email.  Let's test.  :-)

But first, you can delineate a portion of an MS-DOS screen.  Instead of using ALT-PRINT SCREEN, do this:
1) Change the MS-DOS screen to "Window" instead of "Full Screen" by doing the following
    a) Switch to Windows with ALT-TAB
    b) Right click on the MS-DOS Program button on the taskbar
    c) Select "Properties" from the menu that pops up, then "Screen", then select "Window" in the "Usage" box
2) There are commands at the top of the window then that will allow you to select and copy portions of the MS-DOS screen.

You can run SW from this window and just cut and paste the portion you want when you are ready to.

The following is something I did real quick.  I cut a small portion from SW, then pasted directly into this email without having to open a graphic file or make a file to save anything.

While this was as easy as 1 2 3, the image is not inverted, has portions I don't want and would be very large if I did this with a full page.  In my tests yesterday, a full page done this way was 734 Kb.  After importing the image into Corel Photohouse, I changed it to Black and White and inverted it, reducing its size to 29 Kb.  So, using a graphic program as an intermediate step is definitely useful.

Notice that the image above is JPEG format, so it should serve as a test of Netscape's JPEG format.  How is it appearing?

Bill Reese
reeseb@gate.net

Valerie Sutton wrote:

>     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
mailto:Sutton@SignWriting.org

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

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


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  Replies Author Date
2139 Re: Creating .GIF Files Valerie Sutton Wed  10/27/1999

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