Welcome back to another Inventomization (still looking for the TM on this one). With all the talk and hub-bub about Inventor Publisher, I thought I would take a stroll down memory lane on this idea of quick documentation and revisit one of my favorite tips. In this posting we will take a look at a dynamite tip to get a fantastic image for PowerPoint or any other system that uses images from an engineer's Inventor designs to create either sales material, documentation, or just the good ole presentation to the boss.
When you have to export an image from Inventor a couple thoughts come to mind. First you may consider a screen grab. It's quick, easy and by far quickest way to grab something and put it in a PowerPoint or CAD administration guide. For those that have forgotten the ways of the screen grab, let me refresh your memory. Hit PrintScreen on your keyboard, this captures your current screen to the clipboard which you can simply Paste into anything else. If you hold Alt+PrintScreen at the same time you get the active Window.
The next thing that you can use is the Inventor Save Copy As or Export commands. These will take your current graphics screen and save them out as a Image file with a format of your choosing (BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, and TIFF). Although the export options that are given here are rather limited. For instance we can only change the X and Y of the capture and not the DPI.
If you have become savvy with Inventor enough to delve into the Inventor Studio environment you may have already found the answer to high quality presentations in the aspect of the rendering engine that Inventor uses. In Inventor Studio, lights, surfaces, backgrounds can all be modified to get a desired result for marketing or sales scenarios. Illustrative renderings can even be generated to create a sketched appearance to the design.
Here is where the dynamite tip comes in and saves me so much time when I don't have it to begin with. When I have my Studio illustration or rendering ready for output, select the Options before saving. This allows for more customization to the export than allowed in the normal environment of Inventor. For instance, DPI is now a selectable value for most formats (GIF exlcuded).
Perhaps the most powerful export image type here though is the PNG format. PNG allows for creation of an alpha channel that will drop the background from the image. Now before you tried this you probably tried just a plain white background. The problem with that is that there is STILL a background. Alpha Channel will take the background and remove it from your design so that if fits better on screen with PowerPoint backgrounds as well in technical documentation to allow words to wrap around the image.
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