Creating screenshots and images for user guides

Ellis Pratt and Ginny Critcher

Creating screenshots, diagrams and images is something that every technical communicator needs to do, but very few have had any formal training in how to do it. Sometimes, the result is that the user guides and online Help contain images that are unclear, inconsistent, and frankly, unprofessional. They can make the product look like it’s poor quality. Creating them can also tie up the Technical Writer’s time, especially if they need to be changed frequently.

This e-learning course on creating screenshots and images for user guides gives you the foundations for creating professional images in an efficient way. The course includes exercises and model answers for the delegates to complete and review.

Duration: 3 hour(s)

Date: Various

Cost: 149,00 + tax

About This course

The course comprises eight modules in total, which you can complete at your own pace. The course will take delegates approximately 1 day to complete.

The course modules are delivered via the Web in small, manageable modules. With the exercises, each delegate will need to allocate around seven hours to complete the course.


This course gives you the foundations for creating professional images in an efficient way. The goal of the course is to enable you to use diagrams, images and screenshots to communicate to your audience, with a focus on simplicity and ease of understanding. This is accomplished through a mix of design theory, best practices, software, and practical application.

Please note, we don’t focus on highly detailed technical illustrations or 3D drawings that you might find in the aerospace or automotive industries. Also, the course does not cover Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality.

You’ll go through the key stages in developing images. You’ll learn to understand the context, choose an effective visual display method, focus attention, apply design best practices, and use the appropriate software tools to communicate your message.


Fantastic training… expertly delivered… every time!




Eight modules

  1. Introduction
  2. Understand the context
  3. Choose an appropriate visual display method
    • Screenshots
    • Simplified User Interface
    • Diagrams
    • Aspect ratio
    • Icons
    • Image maps
    • Wordless guides
  4. Focus attention where you want it
    • Gestalt theory
    • White space
  5. Think like a designer
    • Layout
    • Colour
    • Accessibility
    • Style guides
  6. Software
    • Software tools
    • SVG
    • Automating tasks
    • Stock images
    • Presentation applications
  7. Animations
  8. Summary

The course contains 22 exercises (and suggested answers) for you to practice your skills.


This course is for anyone who develops user guides and online Help and who wants:

  • A foundational understanding of how to use diagrams, screenshots and images, in an effective and efficient way.
  • To see practical, real-world examples.


Ellis is a Consulting Technical Communicator and Director at Cherryleaf. He has been working in technical communication since the early 1990s. He has a degree in Business Studies. He is a Member of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC) and an Associate of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

He was a judge for the UK Technical Communication Awards 2020 and the DevPortal Awards 2020.  He is a regular conference speaker on technical communication topics.

Ginny has a background as a skilled trainer and information designer. She has over twenty years experience in teaching and training throughout the world. Ginny has extensive project management skills and considerable experience using the main technical authoring tools.

She has an MSc in Information Systems, a BA in Spanish Studies, and an RSA TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certificate. She’s also fluent in Spanish.

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