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How do I send a file, image, or screenshot?

1697 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 28, 2022    Chat Features


General notes
Send a file using the file button
Send a screenshot using the snapshot sharing tool
Send a file or screenshot using drag and drop, keyboard shortcuts, etc.


Common Issues
Image resolution

Why are some screenshots dark / unreadable in Chrome?
Why does text copied from a document sometimes go through as an image?


General notes on sending files and images

In LibraryH3lp, there are several ways you can send files and screenshots to patrons.


  • Please don't send full text articles and other licensed resources. On AskAway, we have no way of verifying a patron's institutional affiliation and we want to respect licensing agreements.
  • When you're sharing files and snapshots, be mindful that you aren't sending any personal information or information you wouldn't want them to see.
  • Any files or images you send to the patron will not be included in the transcript they request. For this reason, you may wish to encourage the student to download and save any images they might use later.

Send a file using the file button

You can send a file to the patron by using the "send a file" button . Once you've clicked this, you can upload a file from your computer. Files sent to the patron will appear as a link on their end and clicking the link will start a download of the file.

Files of any type can be sent and each file can be a maximum of 20 MB.

Send a screenshot using the snapshot sharing tool

You can edit and send a screenshot to the patron by using the "share snapshots" tool :

1. Click the tool to get started. This will open a pop-up.

2. There are 3 ways to upload an image:

  • copy (Ctrl-c) and paste (Ctrl-v)
  • choose a file from your computer
  • drag and drop

4. Once you've uploaded the image, you can send as is to the patron by clicking "Send Snapshot to Guest" or you can "Edit Snapshot"

5. There are many options for editing your snapshot! You can add text, highlights, crop, etc.

6. When your snapshot is ready, you can Save to your computer (if you think you might use it again in future) and/or you can go ahead and send it to the patron by clicking "Send to Guest"

7. A message will notify you when the snapshot has been sent

8. Exit the snapshot tool to return to your conversation with the patron

On the patron's end, the snapshot will show as a thumbnail, which they can click to open full size.

On your end, you'll see a link to the snapshot and can choose to either show or hide the image in your chat history (note: this will not affect what the patron sees).

Send a file or screenshot using drag and drop, keyboard shortcuts, etc.

You don't need to use the above tools to send a file or screenshot. Here are some of the ways you can quickly send a file or screenshot to the patron:

  • Drag and drop into the typing area
  • Copy (Ctrl-c) and Paste (Ctrl-v) into the typing area
  • Use the Print Screen shortcut and paste into the typing area

When you use the above methods with an image, you'll have the option to edit (using LibraryH3lp's snapshot editing tool) before sending to the patron.

Have you found another method to send files or snapshots? Let us know!


Common Issues

Image resolution

If you use LibraryH3lp's built-in screenshot sharing tool to edit your screenshot, you'll likely see a system message that says "This image was resized to fit the space available. Use Undo to go back to original size." If your image has small text that may be difficult to read at a lower resolution, click the "UNDO" button on the left-hand side of the editing tool and then proceed with editing and sharing the full size image.

Once you've sent the image to the patron, you may wish to check the resolution. To see the image you've sent, click in your chat to open the thumbnail and then click the thumbnail to view the image in a new tab.

You can also ask the patron if the image has come through clearly on their end. On the patron's end, they'll receive a thumbnail of the image that they can click to open full size in a new tab.

This short screencast (1min 23sec - no audio) shows you how to use the screenshot editing tool and how to undo the automatic image resizing.

Why are some screenshots dark / unreadable in Chrome?

If you or the patron are viewing screenshots in Chrome and if the screenshot is a transparent image (i.e. an image with no background), the image may appear dark and unreadable. This happens because in Chrome, the default background color for images shown in a tab is black and if the image contains black text, you're seeing black text on a black background.

When you're sending screenshots to a patron, always check-in to make sure they can read it. If they're having trouble seeing it and they're using Chrome, suggest they open it in another browser (i.e. Firefox) or that they download the image and view it on their desktop. If you're having trouble viewing an image the patron has sent you, try opening it in another browser such as Firefox.

Why does text copied from a document sometimes go through as an image?

This is an odd issue that can be replicated when text is copied from a Word document on a Mac and pasted into chat in Chrome. It looks like what's happening is Mac Word is placing multiple representations of the copied data onto the clipboard and Chrome is choosing to send the image version instead of the text version.

To workaround this issue, use Ctrl-Shift-V to paste the text OR right-click and use "Paste and Match Style" when pasting your text into chat. If a patron is having this issue, recommend they try the same.