Text quality when adding questions hints

I started with Dave Moxon's excellent suggestion to use the Zoom tool to provide hints inside quiz questions. (Adding question hints in Quizmaker '09)

Getting this to work is easy, but I have been struggling to achieve a good text quality.

The simplest approach is to create a text box in PPT, and then use Save as Picture to save this as a .jpg graphic.  However, PPT has a mind of its own, and applies a certain amount of compression, resulting in poor quality.  You can see the compression artifacts as fuzzy surroundings here: (All the following pictures are screen clips from QM preview mode)

 I then moved to a heavy-weight graphics program, Corel Photo-Paint, and after a bit of fiddling I achieved a fairly good graphic as follows: (Looks bolder than the PPT, but this is a better rendering of the actual font)

So far, so good!  I then applied Zoom Picture as described by Dave...  But look at the degradation in quality in the result:

This fuzziness is not in the original graphic, and does not show when Zoom Picture is not used.  So is the Zoom function at fault?

A little more experimenting showed that the problem appears to be the border: I used QM's Format tool to apply a 1 pixel border as you can see above, to make the hint overlay distinct from the slide content.  But this appears to be the problem: Remove the border, and the quality reverts back to match the un-Zoomed image as follows:

However, I lost the neat border.

So, questions:

(1) Can anyone suggest a quicker way to produce a fairly large number of text-to-graphic objects?

(2) How can I include a border without triggering the above problem?

BTW: Zoom Picture does not work on a QM-inserted Shape or Text Box.

5 Replies
Melanie Sobie

Not sure if I can answer your question - but I didn't know about the method you are using to build in click-able hints in quizmaker. Can't wait to use this in one of my courses!

Have you seen this blog post on screenshots that has a lot of tips and hits that have to to with scaling and resizing?  There are lots ot tips on how to get crisp and clear screenshots. http://www.articulate.com/blog/how-to-get-perfect-screenshots-in-presenter-09/

Also, what tools to you have for taking screenshots of text boxes? I only have PPT2010's screen clipping tool or Snagit. I could give you some tips for these tools, or others might be able to give you some hints if they know what tools you have to use.

Larry Hieb

Melanie Sobie said:

Not sure if I can answer your question - but I didn't know about the method you are using to build in click-able hints in quizmaker. Can't wait to use this in one of my courses!

Have you seen this blog post on screenshots that has a lot of tips and hits that have to to with scaling and resizing?  There are lots ot tips on how to get crisp and clear screenshots. http://www.articulate.com/blog/how-to-get-perfect-screenshots-in-presenter-09/

Also, what tools to you have for taking screenshots of text boxes? I only have PPT2010's screen clipping tool or Snagit. I could give you some tips for these tools, or others might be able to give you some hints if they know what tools you have to use.


I have SnagIt to capture images.

Peter Hers

Hi

I did solve this problem a long time back, but I'm not sure why I didn't post the info...

I discovered that all the problems relate to trying to use a .jpg image, as all the Articulate programs keep trying to apply compression in various ways.  The trick is to save the tip as a .png file - QM then does not mess around with it, and it will display exactly as you created it!

I first created a few different "cloud" shapes, to allow me some variety.  In PPT I selected one of the cloud shapes, typed in the required hint text in the font I desired, and then used right-click / Save as picture to save it in a folder as a .png file. Swapping across to QM I then inserted this image and set it up as described by Dave Moxon - See ref. above.

(Incidentally, I did this for a set of quizzes with a total of about 300 questions - Rather a tedious job.  Then we decided to scrap the use of hints completely, for other reasons associated with the structure of the quizzes...  In the end what counts is building a solution which works well for the student / learner, and not how many fancy bells and whistles you can dream up!)