Screenshots of Documents in Expert Witness Reports

Screenshots of Documents in Expert Witness Reports
Photo by Annie Spratt / Unsplash

When I'm writing my reports, I frequently reference source documents. Over time, I'm made a number of changes to the way that I do this, increasingly trying to make it clear that the words I'm presenting are not my own.

For example, in my current report template, document excerpts are inset in a shaded background, and written in a different font. Like this:

screen capture of formatting for source document

Increasingly, I've been inserting images of the documents as screenshots, which preserves the formatting (great for tables), and is the most transparent representation of the source material.

If you'd like like to include some, there are a number of great tools for screenshots.

I currently use CleanShot X on MacOS, which is included in the SetApp subscription. It has easy pixelation and redaction tools, among a wealth of handy features.

CleanShot X for Mac
Capture your Mac’s screen like a pro.

A great free MacOS option is Shottr.

Shottr – screenshot app for pixel professionals
Shottr is a free macOS screenshot app with scrolling screenshots, OCR, annotation and measurement instruments.

For Windows, I recommend the free and feature-rich ShareX. It has a boatload of features, but unfortunately, it's not as user-friendly. (If you're a Windows user who knows a better option, please drop me a line.)

ShareX - The best free and open source screenshot tool for Windows
ShareX is a free and open source program that lets you capture or record any area of your screen and share it with a single press of a key. It also allows uploading images, text or other types of files to many supported destinations you can choose from.

To make it easy to take screenshots, I set up buttons on my Stream Deck. The one below lets me select a rectangular area and sends to CleanShot for editing, but also puts it right on the clipboard so I can just paste it into the document if no editing is necessary.

Stream Deck screenshot button

So far, this has been a good addition to the formatting shown above, but not yet a complete replacement. It's not a great fit for every source document or report, but it's a good tool to have at your disposal.