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Last post Author Topic: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread  (Read 10647 times)

mouser

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The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« on: September 08, 2013, 01:28:16 PM »
We have been debating the value of adding some sort of ruler functionality to Screenshot Captor in a few threads.

There are people who believe rulers would be very useful, and there are others, like me, who don't yet understand the usefulness of them.

I'm hoping we can consolidate the discussion into this thread, and focus on what actual tasks are being done that might benefit from some kind of ruler functionality, and then decide what kind of optional tool i can add to SC that would best help people perform these tasks.

This might mean adding rulers (fixed or floating?) or adding some kind of special panel with extra information, or a customizable grid, etc.

Or it may simply mean finding an external ruler/measuring tool and creating a helpful .sctool entry for it to make it super easy for people to use from within Screenshot Captor.



I think the first step is for people who want "rulers" to help me understand what kind of rulers they think would be useful and what kinds of tasks they would use them for inside SC; and let's try to think outside the box and figure out if a ruler is what is really needed or if something else might help even more with these tasks..
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 05:19:26 PM by mouser »

tomos

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2013, 03:15:36 PM »
^is the ruler measuring the pixels?
Tom

cmpm

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2013, 03:24:01 PM »
I do not see the benefit of adding things to SC that are not useful. Please do not make SC a candy coated bloatware memory hog like so many others have done.

thanks

mouser

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 03:31:40 PM »
It's measuring pixels yes.
And yeah i'm inclined to not include this ruler thing -- certainly it wouldn't be enabled by default; like i said i just cannot understand how it would be useful.

mouser

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2013, 03:41:56 PM »
While I still think the rulers seem pretty useless, i'm open to ideas for either how to make them useful, or some alternative thing that might be more useful.

For example, while the current selection size is shown on the bottom statusbar, i'm open to the idea of an optional larger panel above the image (where the top horizontal ruler would show) that has in larger font information about current cursor location and selection size in pixels and inches/cm.

Maybe if i could hear some use cases for using a ruler..
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 03:58:47 PM by mouser »

cathie28

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2013, 05:00:41 PM »
Thanks.  Tried it in Vista x64.  Mostly works - couple tweaks needed.

Got Odd msg from ? SSC, when change prefs to show rulers, about "out of system resources."  Definitely NOT out - not even close, nor did SSC hang.  After I dismissed msg, went on OK.  Got msg again, but then no more (uh-oh, see below).  Maybe was because closed / reopened the new "ruler version?"  Will see if happens again.

* Yes, it happened again, when resized SSC UI, using SSC "restore down" button.  Every time.  Haven't rebooted, but using portable version - no need.
Doesn't seem to affect anything, except having to dismiss msg.

Lots of uses for rulers, if using some of more advanced capabilities of SSC or similar apps.  That's why many apps in same "class" have them.  See screen for ONE example - are many others - BETTER than quick one I picked.  Maybe choosing exact size for an icon image; placing an object exactly in middle of existing image or 7 px away from edge.  Getting into artistic uses of SSC.  It's not a plain Jane screen cap. app.  

For plain captures w/ simple text box or arrow, rulers aren't much use.
They're about precise measurements - selecting or placement (on images), not for when "eyeballing" is plenty.

Couple things noticed about rulers look / behavior.
1. When 1st opened an existing file (automatically opened by SSC), the rulers  weren't aligned w/ top, L corner of image.  Off by 1/2 in. or more.
After I hit auto fit or "100%" for image size, ruler / image suddenly aligned.  Didn't catch what size the image loaded at - nothing odd about that image.

2. The '0' on ruler is partly cut off.

3. Cursor should probably be diff color than ruler ticks - makes easier to see exact position of cursor cross hair, when lined up w/ a tick mark.

4. Tick mark for every 5th px (or 1/2 in. mark, if allows scale choice) should probably be a bit longer (upward, as at 0, 10, 20...).  Easier / faster to visually find mid value (or other) between marked values.

5. This SSC version allowed me to add a text box that extended past the captured image area (to left)??  Can see when saved, it cut off part of text box.  Don't know if had anything to do w/ ruler not being aligned, but ruler misalignment was for a DIFFERENT image.

Couple of screens - just samples how some apps handle crosshairs / rulers.  100 different ways.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 05:20:04 PM by cathie28 »

cmpm

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2013, 05:12:41 PM »
I guess it's useful for what you are using it for, cathie28.

Quote
2. The '0' on ruler is partly cut off.

That's true of most any ruler, or it would be offset from the hash mark.

cmpm

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2013, 05:27:01 PM »
I use Screen Calipers from Iconico if I need that type of precision.
Screen Calipers is dedicated to doing what it does, not much more and certainly not less.

http://www.iconico.com/caliper/

cathie28

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2013, 05:35:05 PM »
I ain't isn't familiar w/ screen calipers, but thanks.  Rulers on image editors (even pdf readers, word processors - w/ image pasting ability) aren't exactly "high tech."  I only gave SOME uses, not that everything had to be a matter of + / - 0.05 px, for them to be useful.  :)  It doesn't have to be for microscopic applications.

You're correct, most rulers (that end at 0), have offset #s.

mouser

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2013, 05:35:44 PM »
Sorry about that out-of-resources error, that seems to be something the rulers are causing -- i'm working on it.

Regarding usefulness of ruler, i still dont quite see it.. It seems if you want precise sizing, the text showing you the exact size of your selection at the bottom seems more useful.

Maybe what would really be useful would be an optional top pabel where the horizontal ruler would normally be, showing in large font the position of the cursor, the exact size of selection (in pixels and inches), and the exact size of the current object being manipulated.  Maybe even an option to overlay a grid with a custom origin and grid size?

cmpm

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2013, 05:53:10 PM »
cathie28
I would like to see where you have actually used a ruler to create a finished shot. Not an example but something that you have actually done with possible "another app", using it's ruler.

My request is the same as mouser's. Just simplified a bit.

Quote
Can those who want rules try the new BETA i just uploaded and let me know if you think it's actually useful (and how so?).

So, actually useful in what real time screenshot work, How So?

So we can stop wasting time on a useless feature and do more productive thought work.

app103

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2013, 06:01:20 PM »
Personally, I'd like more people to help light a fire under Renegade's butt to get him to finish this ruler. I have found it to be quite useful for just about anything I could need a ruler on my screen for.

cathie28

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2013, 06:30:01 PM »
I realize you don't get rulers - guess because you don't do tasks where they're useful.  But if no one used them, devs wouldn't put them in & continue doing so for yrs, decades.

I agree, lots of ways to do what you're suggesting - maybe better than rulers.  I didn't want to suggest difficult options.
Quote
text showing you the exact size of your selection at the bottom
Well... 1) the #s at screen bottom are usually small (in this case - very).
2) (I suppose) many consider looking at a crosshair on ruler ticks as taking less concentration than reading 2 numbers.  Just looking at a line - if it's lining up, vs reading 2 #'s.  From a "theory of learning" standpoint, the latter takes more concentration.

I'd like to see (in any editing app) values for crosshair location, area, etc., in big, red #s - right above  current position or image.  Then disappear, once done w/ selection, moving, etc. (& then just show at screen bottom, as usual).

What's an "optional top pabel?"  Label? Parable?  Pablum?  Pablov?  Table? :D  Any of those would be great for showing cursor position, starting & current cursor / selection line position, area; esp. table, label, pop up box w/ values, etc.  Not sure about a pabel.

Figured if I couldn't get the font size at bottom of main GUI increased (cursor selection position, area,...) or Options UI, had no chance for something like you're describing.  If you want to bounce ideas off me, that's fine.

Many editors (even simple image viewers w/ some cutting / cropping function) have grids, as well.  With varying capabilities.   They're also useful for certain things.  I have > 1 wrench & screw driver in my (real) toolbox.  I can barely pick it up.

CMPM - uh, I already gave some examples of how they'd be useful.  If you don't like rulers, you don't have to see them - they're off by default, so they won't cause blindness.  :)  There are other tools in SSC that I've rarely used - I don't berate others (that's right - I said it  :D) when they talk about tools or issues, that don't concern me.  Be a tiny bit tolerant.  

How can I post an image or created icon, or anything I used a ruler on (or many other functions ), when evidence of using a measuring tool, grids, & many other tools disappears after finished?  That goes for a 100 tools in a 100 apps.  No one uses rulers present in 100's of apps, incl. screen caps., editors, drawing, PDF, word processing, on & on??
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 06:41:30 PM by cathie28 »

cranioscopical

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2013, 06:39:19 PM »
Personally, I'd like more people to help light a fire under Renegade's butt to get him to finish this ruler. I have found it to be quite useful for just about anything I could need a ruler on my screen for.
Cor, strike a light, I'll match that request!  :onfire:
 

cmpm

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2013, 06:41:51 PM »
Not a troll?
Yeah, has been and has not stopped talking just like a troll.
Called it the first time.

mouser

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2013, 07:04:56 PM »
just for the record, i think cathie's criticisms can be a bit harsh sometimes, but many of her points have some validity, and some have already led to some improvements.  So let's make sure we don't get *too* defensive (which is not to say i don't very much appreciate having SC be defended and praised, because i sure do!).

mouser

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2013, 07:07:24 PM »
Let me look into an optional top panel with clearer information about cusor position, selection size, and maybe some grid options.  Surely that's got to be more helpful than the rulers.

cmpm

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2013, 07:19:30 PM »
I'm not defensive or offended or upset. I have more confidence in mouser then that.

I agree mouser, that you have come up with some useful things out of these posts.

But this is what a troll wants to do. To get folks upset over nothing and forget about the actual real topic. Imply and projecting feelings on to another without any proof of thought from anyone except the one projecting.

I've dealt with worse face to face. This ain't nothing.

mouser

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2013, 07:25:15 PM »
Ok but Cathie is a user of the software -- she's taken the time to use it and test new versions.  Let's please let's not be insulting users and calling them names.

cmpm

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2013, 07:32:27 PM »
Okay

mouser

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2013, 09:51:25 PM »
I think we should approach this from the opposite angle.

Let's start out by saying that external ruler tools do this job fine, and so SC doesn't need one.
And then we can ask -- what *WOULD* be more useful?

That tasks do you use a ruler for -- can we add a tool to SC that would help you do that even more than a ruler would?  That's why i'm thinking along the lines of some custom mode, with a top info panel, and maybe a custom grid and crosshairs?  By custom grid i mean a grid where you could easily tweak the grid size and origin.
 
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 11:36:50 PM by mouser »

cmpm

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2013, 09:18:47 PM »
after some thought and time,
I was rude and my comments were not my best nature.
somebody give me a few shots of mouser diplomacy
i don't know how he does it

(i still think the benefit thread is appropriate though)

IainB

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2013, 01:25:06 AM »
...If people can tell me a good usecase for rulers i might implement them.
Well, quite coincidentally, last night I was doing some seriously careful clipping of SSC captures of scrolling images from my browser. The images were of pages of text from one of those sites that won't let you read more than a couple of pages of stuff without your joining their blasted website. The scrolling capture was really messy because of the proprietary display - SSC could not compensate for it, and there was a lot of duplicated text on either side of the "joins".
My task was to cut out (remove) the duplicate text. I was working at 200% zoom so as to cut out horizontal sections - sometimes cutting some of the lines of text. I wanted to leave the text looking as though it hadn't been cut and joined (invisible joins). After considerable repeated effort, I succeeded. It reminded me how very useful a tool SSC is.

As I was working on the page images though, I did wish for rulers in both axes. This was whilst I was cutting off extraneous borders that had been added to the top, bottom and side margins of the pages. I was trying to ensure that each page ended up as the same height and width. This was quite difficult to do without rulers, and I ended up having to do everything by eye (using my visual judgement). The results were OK, but imperfect and I only managed to get them approximately the same length and breadth - e.g., 788x1309, 785x1272, 785x1285 pixels. Rulers would probably have enabled me to get these spot-on.

This is the 2nd exercise where I have cut and spliced text horizontally with SSC, achieving an invisible join. It is the first time I have needed rulers for cutting to a specific size.

By the way, whilst I was working at 200% I was making much use of the zoomed pixel display, and even dragged it wider so I could spot the relative differences between top and bottom of the cuts, so as to judge when to cut to get an invisible join. It was whilst i was doing this that SSC drove me mad with frustration because the cutting box did not behave nicely and consistently as it should have done. Sometimes it plumb disappeared, or had a mind of its own and snapped back to its previous shape after being dragged to a new shape. Other times, the handles sort of floated in the air, like in this example:
SSC - floating handle for cutting box.jpg

mouser

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2013, 09:57:01 AM »
Thanks for the post Ian, seems a couple of different things here though.

It sounds like the rulers -- at least as i implemented them in the recent test (just along the top and side and not floating) would not have helped you.  Do you know about how the bottom statusbar of SC shows the current selection size? Would that have been what you wanted, to get an exact selection size?  You could have also saved the selection size so you could repeat it.  I'm sorry to be dense but i don't quite follow everything you are saying.

I do understand the basic task you are describing -- splicing out the overlaps of a scrolling capture on a page where it can't be done automatically.  but beyond that i didn't completely follow.

mouser

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Re: The Great Screenshot Captor Ruler Debate Thread
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2013, 10:02:17 AM »
I hate to beat a dead horse but i really do want to understand.  But when you say something like this:

Quote
As I was working on the page images though, I did wish for rulers in both axes...I was trying to ensure that each page ended up as the same height and width. This was quite difficult to do without rulers, and I ended up having to do everything by eye (using my visual judgement).

you have to understand that i don't get it.  i just don't understand how you are using the rulers, how they help, what you actually use them to do/see, whatever.  

right now when you make a selection it tells you the exact size of the selection.  I need someone to explain to me some concrete use cases for rulers so i can understand what purpose they solve.

everything i read here makes me think rulers are some magical sticks that you wave around an image and they magically make doing hard things super easy.

i'm not asking for someone to "prove" to me that they are useful, just explain to me how specifically they would be used in SC to help do some task so I can see if there isn't a better solution, or at the very least make sure that the rulers i implement serve this purpose.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 02:34:38 PM by mouser »