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I need to take some screenshots of an application window. My laptop resolution is low, and I'd like to get high quality images.

Is there a way to grab the screen as vector graphics (e.g. EPS, PDF, SVG)? Alternatively, is there a way to take a screenshot with higher resolution than the native one?

My native resolution is 1366x768, while I'd need at least a resolution of nearly 4000x3000.

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I assumed Windows for your question. Please edit and retag if that's not the case. –  slhck Sep 13 '12 at 18:19
    
> You could try looking into UI scaling. That doesn’t change the total number of pixels rendered to the screen or available for capture. –  Synetech Sep 13 '12 at 18:29
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This seems highly confused. Let's say you had a 10k by 10k display; how exactly do you think the application window should look different? Should it contain more items, or do you want it to have more detail in the same items? Is it a native win32 application or some other toolkit like Qt, Java or even an OpenGL or DirectX window? –  Eroen Sep 16 '12 at 17:05
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The idea was different. I know i can't create pixels that the display does not have. I was looking for a "virtual" display resolution enhancement tool, such that i can virtually set any resolution and if it is higher than the display capabilities i will have to scroll the screen viewing everytime only a subset of it, and being able to print the virtual screen to image instead of the actual virtual screen subset being viewed. –  Alfatau Sep 16 '12 at 20:39
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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Capture as vector? No of course not. There is no way for the capture program to know anything about the geometry of the shapes on screen without having some sort of hook into the program(s) doing the drawing.

What you can do however is to capture a raster image and then convert that to vector. There are tools like Inkscape that can perform this conversion (though you will usually have to manually do some tweaking, and even then, you will rarely be able to get pixel-perfect results).

As for the resolution, when you perform a capture, it cannot capture more information than is available. You can re-size the resulting image up, and if you use a good scaling algorithm, the interpolated pixels will blend fairly well, but there is no way to invent more pixel information than is present.

Theoretically, it could be possible to implement some sort of system in which everything is rendered internally at a higher resolution and then sent it to the screen at a lesser one, but that would require special support in both the OS and the drive, and is unlikely to be implemented since it has very limited use and would only be a waste of memory in most scenarios.

You may be able to use desktop-panning to achieve a higher resolution desktop than the screen supports, but again, that requires that your drivers support it.

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Assuming the window has a small colour palette and is fairly simple, there are en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_art_scaling_algorithms that might be useful. –  Eroen Sep 16 '12 at 17:08
    
@hit-and-run-down-voter, what (if anything) is your issue? Others seem to like the answer, so I can’t address any problems you may or may not have with it if you don’t bother to leave a comment. –  Synetech May 8 at 2:19
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Of course! Yes, you can do that. You'll need a UI rendering engine that has vector backend. Gtk+ 3+ has that backend. Please see this project:

But you should know the application should be able to run on Linux using Gtk+. Maybe you can create mockups either with this method, or using Microsoft Visio for having vector output.

See these samples:

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Nice! Though the question is tagged Windows, this is still a very useful answer for future visitors who find this question. –  Arjan Jun 30 '13 at 20:41
    
Thanks, actually that tag is not from the guy who asked question. In fact, this is somehow a tricky process, but with Metro and Retina, maybe this is/will be possible on Win/Mac. It deserves a good research. –  Ho1 Jun 30 '13 at 21:31
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