Does anyone have a good format for creating good quality images for use in a word document. We use mainly Solidworks images in our machine manuals and I would like to find out if anyone has found a good method to create images for the document.
Generally, we use Windows Snipping Tool & save/paste into a Word doc or PowerPoint. Works with general SolidWorks or rendered views. FYI we change out background to white to make the images more seamless in the documents.
I agree Snipping tool is great to use and it's free with Windows.
We recently got the program Snagit and it's FANTASTIC.
Does all the Snipping Tool does and more. Annotations, VIDEO, and a lot more.
We got frustrated with making animations with SW, it took forever to get something simple quickly.
Now, we just move the parts on screen while recording a screengrab. Makes small .mp4 files that are easy to share.
I highly recommend it!
I had to do a bunch of views for some documentation at work. I created new sheets for the views, since they were a little different from the views in our drawings, adjusted the sheet size so there was very little excess white space, and did a save as to a png file. Click on the Options button, and make sure your dpi is at least 300. You can then insert the image into your document, crop and modify as needed.
We normally just insert a screenshot and then select "insert screen-clipping". If we don't use that, then I just save as a picture file. I almost never create a new drawing to do these pictures, seems like a waste of time to me.
If you've never used the Windows included "Snipping Tool" before to capture screenshots, you're really missing out.
It's easy to use. Start the tool, drag a window around what you want to capture and it's automatically copied to the clipboard.
Paste it into whatever you want. It's quick and painless. The only real negative is the crayon like markup tools it has. Really UGLY when you try to draw a line or arrow or God forbid, text.
(By the way, I used Snagit for the screengrabs. I added the highlight and the arrow with it.)
Though I usually generate these kind of images to go into CorelDraw or InDesign I thought I'd share my obsessive process. I like crisp images, so I create drawings especially for instruction manuals. I'll lay up several images on a sheet and save as PDF. This will give you a vector image you can edit in corel or illustrator. I do said editing, delete lines, adjust line wieghts etc. Save PDF. Insert into document and crop to the view I'm after, copy/paste image, re-crop to next view. Once I'm done the software usually has the ability to purge all cropped data, Word does.
I find vectors give a much better final image quality.
We also use Snipping tool.
SolidWorks Composer is nice for manuals and JT's.
Thank-you very much for your prompt replies.
We do use similar methods at the moment. I was looking for anyone who has made use of the perspective setting and camera function to create more realistic images. We have used Photoview 360 but the image quality seem to get lost when printed.
for print, I always render out 2x larger than necessary, then reduce size while increasing dpi in Photoshop.
I render to 16-bit TIFF so it can be used for tasks yet to be thought of. Save-as jpeg at required res for various requirements.
What type of file are you saving out from PV360., We use PNG, it is the best to work with especially if you are re-sizing the image. JPEG & BMP will pixil-ate if you try to re-size the image... PNG is more friendly.
Nothing fancy here, but I had Ambient Occlusion on, along with perspective.
I have a common lighting scheme I use for all my image shots. I use these for the selections for 3DPartstream.
I make sure all my materials show realistic colors and textures.
Just a screengrab with snipping tool.
Hi Andy ,
have you tried SolidWorks Visualize?
if you are on subscription you can get it for free and it will give you a pretty realistic rendering.
also with print quality you will always want to render at 300 ppi (pixels per inch) for print quality photo's. generally the default is around 72 ppi for "web optimization" and the prints can get very blurry.
No, I haven't. Is is SW2016 only? I'm on 2015 for now.
I also thought I read that it only works with systems using Nvidia workstation cards. We JUST TODAY got delivery of brand new Dell Precisions with ATI W5100 cards.
Thanks for the tip on ppi.
you only have to be on subscription with a Solidworks Pro or Premium license to be able to use it. it is not a requirement to be on SW2016 as it is a standalone program.
although Visualize uses the Nvidia Iray rendering engine the only thing you will not be able to do with an ATI card is use GPU rendering as it requires CUDA core technology.
so you would have to stick with CPU rendering but all other features should work.
you can download Visualize from the Customer Portal
I used to use the Windows Snipping tool (which is very easy to use & handy) but for the past year I've been using (free) EVERNOTE's built-in "Clip Screenshot" feature. I like it better than Windows snipping tool for a few reasons:
1 - it's easy to launch - just a right -click - at the "evernote" icon in the bottom right of the screen then you click out a rectangle to "snip".
2 - I never liked the tedious saving of each screen-shot using other applications. Now All my screen-shots are automatically saved to a new "note" on your computer's Evernote Application - you can then drag into a Word file from there
3 - (may not be useful to your needs here) Evernote has a really simple annotation feature which lets you quickly write notes & draw on the image. This is great when I need to throw a quick question to a client which is easier said with a picture.
(PS - Evernote does a lot of other stuff - some of which is great some of which is clunky - but the screen-shot features are super)
I don't know if you have tried Snagit. I have used it a bunch of times for our presentations and its goes over really well.
Alan, for making images out of SolidWorks (assuming that Composer is off the table) I recommend using the SaveAs command and selecting PNG for your format.
This might seem a long-winded approach, especially compared to snaggit, except for one detail
Solidwroks 2015 and later can save a PNG with the background removed and set to transparent, which for making good looking images in presentations and documents gives you all kinds of great options.
this is a good point ,
if all you require is a SolidWorks shaded view level of realism this is a good bet , just make sure you use the PNG Options in the save prompt to set the capture as PRINT and not screen and set the appropriate ppi/dpi setting (for print quality its 300)
you could also probably setup a simple macro to do this for you so it's a one button solution.
I use software called Lightshot. It's a bit better than windows snipping tool. You can also add lines,arrows & text. The image can be saved to clipboard or saved to disk as png and jpg.
I found the best images - "If" your lighting and scene are good and you are using full color - is saving the screenshot in a high resolution jpeg with the part zoomed as far as you can in the screen, then reduce the size using paint, when you do a save as go to the options tab and save it at least 1,400 or better.
To get a good picture without rendering you can add images to your surfaces as well.
If you want just line drawings for a operators manual, I found the best image is to save the screenshot as a tif or ai.
Again the trick is to zoom your item as far as you can, then when you insert it into Word or Publisher then you zoom the picture to fit your space, that reduces the amount of pixelation.
I've always wondered what the difference was! Thanks!
Hi John ,
Pixelation and print quality can be controlled by simply increasing the DPI/PPI in the options button from the save as prompt. no need to do any zooming at all.
Snip-it works the fastest but we use a rendered pictured via PhotoView 360 when I can.
My problem with anything other than a screengrab is that I like to use Ambient Occlusion. When you do any Solidworks "save-as" option, it removes that.
Anyone know how to maintain that and save as .png?
Do a test Scott then you'll find out that when you save the picture as big as you can with the pixels set like I mentioned and than reduce the picture, it is a whole lot different than if you save a small picture and then insert it in a document and you have to stretch it. Sure you don't add to the number of pixel count 1,400 is 1,400, understand that, but your picture is much clearer and crisper doing it the way I mentioned... Did a few operators manuals .... The only Microsoft product I like when doing operator's manuals is Publisher, easy to use.
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