There is a saying, "A picture is worth a 1000 words". I'm sure you've heard the idea behind this saying. A picture (of something you’re trying to describe) helps people understand (or visualise) what you’re attempting to communicate far better than a "1000 descriptive words could".
It’s no secret that pictures are very effective at helping communicate ideas and concepts. Take time to create and format the images you intend to use to achieve maximum impact! Here are some tips!
- Use clear (good quality) images
- Use an editor to add lines, arrows, etc. for indicating highlights. This makes your images look clearer and more professional. It adds credibility to your article.
- Format (compress) your images if you can (think of faster download times) (see the links to good free image editors below)
- If you can, save your image "for the wiki". If your source image has a width over 600px, save it with a maximum width of 600px (the maximum width supported by the wiki page format)
- You can use Microsoft Word's drawing canvas and tools to create an image. Then snip it with the Snipping Tool (Windows 7/8 users)
- Use the snipping tool to take screen shots (Windows 7/8 users)
- Only snip the area of screen that is relevant to your article. This makes sure what you are trying to communicate with the image is clear.
- Remember, images are not deleted from the Wiki once they've been uploaded – so be careful about what you upload.
- If your image contains sensitive information, then use an image editor to "mask" that part of the image.
Tips for scrubbing/masking: use a blur filter, a thick line, or a rectangular box (filled-in). This will keep your image looking neat.
- Always set the maximum width property to the actual width of the source image (if the image is 600px or less).
- Use a width property that is less than or equal to the width of your source image (browsers generally do a bad job of enlarging an image)
- Use pictures wisely. Not everything needs a picture. For example, "Step 6: Click Ok to close the properties dialog window", would not need an image of the dialog box with the "OK" button circled. Most people are familiar with using the Ok button to close a dialog box; it doesn't need illustrating!
- Have fun! You can use your images to add clever content to your article – just make sure it’s appropriate. E.g. if your image is of a user properties form, you can give the user an unusual name, department name, office, location, etc.
Free Image Tools and Utilities
- Wiki: Basic Image Formatting using Pixlr (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/23364.wiki-basic-image-formatting-using-pixlr.aspx)
- Wiki Article: Insert an image into an article (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/264.wiki-how-to-add-a-video-or-image-to-your-article.aspx)
- Wiki Article: Maximum widths for wiki images (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/145.wiki-how-to-contribute-content-to-technet-wiki.aspx#Images)
- Point 4, in the content section: (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/145.wiki-how-to-contribute-content-to-technet-wiki.aspx#Content)
Other Posts in this series:
- Wiki Life: Planning a Great Article
- Wiki Life: Get to the point, keep it short!
- Wiki Life: Format.Code()
- Wiki Life: Cut'N'Paste