[texhax] easiest way to process hundreds of screenshots in a book in LaTeX?

Niall Mansfield texhax at uit.co.uk
Wed Nov 1 13:33:18 CET 2006

I'm working on a book that contains hundreds of screenshots and
diagrams that will need to be cropped, resized, and occasionally
have callouts added.  What's the *easiest* way to do this?

How do other people handling very large numbers of graphical inclusions
without going nuts?

For a small number of screenshots, using \includegraphics{xyz.ps} is
acceptable, but for large numbers it's overwhelming because for each
screenshot you have to:
    - capture the image (using 'xwd' or similar on Unix)
    - somehow crop the image to the right size
    - convert the image to PostScript
    - include the file's name in the \includegraphics
and if anything changes, you have to repeat.

LaTeX is perfect for the text and for structuring the book.  However,
including screenshots is one area where Microsoft Word is superb:
    - capture screenshot (with Alt PrintScreen)
    - Ctrl-V to paste it into your Word doc
    - drag to resize, or use the crop tool to hide unwanted pieces
      (and "cropping" really is just hiding -- the cropped parts
      are still there and can be re-exposed later if you change
      your mind).
This takes only 5-10 seconds.


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