How can I print high-quality screen caps?
October 27, 2013 4:32 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to create a book of tweets.

I've screencapped images of tweets as both jpegs and pngs, and uploaded them to four different "make a book" sites (Picaboo, Mixbook, Snapfish, and Shutterfly) and each time, the site warns me that the image is too low-quality to print well. The image preview does not look good.

I understand that this is because screen resolution is far lower than that required for printing.

So what can I do? Is there some app I can use to capture the images as high-quality? Is there a way to convert these low-quality images into something better? Is there a certain type of computer or operating system that allows for super-high-res screen resolution? Should I go ahead and do a "test" book to see if the images actually come out OK? Or will these tweets be trapped on the web forever?

Thanks for your help.
posted by Flying Saucer to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You can also try dramatically zooming in on the webpage (Ctrl-= in most browsers (Cmd-= on a Mac)) prior to screenshotting.
posted by tmacdonald at 4:49 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: SnagIt will take the screenshot resolution you want, and it has a free trial period.
posted by Houstonian at 5:05 PM on October 27, 2013

Retype the text in vector software that handles text well (twitter just uses Arial), but keep each tweet small enough that the enlargement of the avatar doesn't produce hugely noticeable artifacts. If your make a book site refuses to allow the low res images, resize them in image software to the proper DPI -- this won't make them look any better, but it will get you through automated errors.
posted by girih knot at 5:06 PM on October 27, 2013

Take the screen shot on a laptop with a very high resolution display (eg MacBook Pro Retina display or equivalent windows laptop) or on an iPad or iPhone with a Retina display.
posted by alms at 7:04 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

You can also try dramatically zooming in on the webpage (Ctrl-= in most browsers (Cmd-= on a Mac)) prior to screenshotting.

This gets you everything but the avatar - and you can go and snag the avatar from each user page and swap it out in-browser with the smaller version using the browser's developer tools. In Chrome, for instance: 1) copy the URL of the high-quality avatar from the user's page. 2) right-click on the small version of the avatar on the isolated tweet you're highlighting, and click "Inspect Element". This will highlight it in the Elements panel of Chrome's dev tools. 3) Double-click on the highlighted img tag and replace the small avatar's URL with the high quality one. 4) Ctrl-=/Cmd-= until you get a decent size. That should get you a much higher quality screenshot.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:17 PM on October 27, 2013

Actually, looking closer, the only difference in those URLs is that the low-quality avatar has "_normal" tacked on to the end, as far as I can tell. If you just go in and delete that portion of the URL in the dev tools you get the high quality one and you won't get nearly as much blur when zooming in. You could probably even write up a userscript for Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey that searches for "_normal.png" and replaces it with just ".png" (and repeat for .jpg, .jpeg, etc) on Twitter pages to save a lot of time if you've got a lot of tweets you need to screencap.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:22 PM on October 27, 2013

Individual tweets are in Georgia, not Arial. If it were me I'd recreate them in Illustrator/InDesign, but I'm a graphic designer.

I agree that saving as PDF will get you flawless text. If you're on a Mac, this is easy to do. If you're on Windows, there are add-ons that give you this capability.
posted by O9scar at 9:37 PM on October 27, 2013

Some websites have taken to re-creating tweets, with the appropriate background image, then including all the text as formatted on Twitter. I'm sure there are programs that make this process easy, as some sites do this a LOT, and I can't imagine they do all that by hand. This would allow you to make pages of your favorite tweets, which you could then print to PDF, and export to a high DPI image for inclusion in your book.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:54 AM on October 28, 2013

Response by poster: Snagit does the trick, even on a PC.

Thanks, Houstonian!
posted by Flying Saucer at 11:28 AM on October 29, 2013

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