Whether it’s on email, tweet, or Word document, sharing text content as an image (screenshot) is a common practice that causes many problems. Here are some of those problems:
- Accessibility: It prevents anyone who uses a screen-reader from reading the content. You can always provide “ALT TEXT” to your image, but the best practice is to simply avoid using text as an image.
- Search-ability: Texts in screenshots/images are not machine-readable, therefore they cannot be searched or indexed. Imagine searching for a screenshot text in your email account days later. The search tool won’t find it!
- File Size: text as an image makes much bigger file to deal with, which can be a problem in emails or shared document file. This is not just for you, but also for the receiver of the content and anyone who’s managing the content (IT office, for example).
- Responsive Content: Images are very hard to navigate and view on smaller devices, where as typed text can be responsive to the reader’s viewing condition.
One common reason for using screenshots of text content is to add visual component to your content (e.g. letterhead, illustration, etc.), so that your email or Word document doesn’t look so plain and boring. This is common especially in emails. Followings are some alternative ways of creating dynamic emails:
- Mail Merge: Using mail merge for Word and Outlook, you can create a flyer or newsletter and email it to your Outlook contact list with a personalized greeting for every recipient. There are many flyer or newsletter templates available for you to use on Word. Watch this video for instruction.
- Mailchimp: It is an online easy-to-use email/newsletter composer that allows you create visually dynamic emails. You can send up to 12,000 emails per month and have up to 2,000 total subscribers for FREE.
- Rich-Text Email: It may not seem like an intuitive solution, but the edit tools on your Outlook (or any other email management application) can do a lot of things applications like MS Word or PowerPoint are capable of doing. Try customizing the font, headings, set the alignment, insert images using what’s available on the Outlook tool bar. If you do decide to incorporate images in your email, make sure to provide ALT text for each image. If you are using Desktop Outlook App, you can right click on your image, and go to “Edit ALT Text..” option, where you can enter an adequate alternative text for the image.