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How to take a screenshot in Ubuntu

January 17, 20248 min read

Screenshots are used to capture essential data or information visible on our mobile or computer screen. A screenshot is a snapshot of your screen that captures everything you see at an exact moment. It is a convenient way to document, share or preserve visual information on your computer. Ubuntu allows you to take a screenshot of the entire desktop, a particular window, or a specific part you choose. There are a variety of methods for taking screenshots in the Ubuntu operating system.

In this post, we will see how to take a screenshot using both desktop applications and keyboard shortcuts.

Method 1: Taking a Screenshot Using Shortcut Keys

Taking manual snapshots is the default and frequently used method due to its relative ease. This is probably the best option for users who don't need advanced features like photo or video editing.

Ubuntu offers several options to capture the screen manually. Let's look at each of them individually:

1. Snapshot of the entire screen

Simply take a screenshot of your entire screen by pressing the Print Screen (PrtScn) key on your keyboard. The captured image will be automatically saved in the “Pictures” folder.

2. Snapshot of selected area

There are instances when you only need to capture a portion of the screen such as a dialog box, part of your browser, or an active window. Press the “Shift” and “Print Screen” keys for a specific area to capture a screenshot.

3. Snapshot of an active window

You can take a screenshot of a currently open window in Ubuntu by pressing the “ALT” and “PrtSc” keyboard shortcuts. When you use this keyboard shortcut the operating system will take a screenshot of the currently active/open window.

Comment: Any of the three methods given will store the screenshot directly in the “Screenshots” directory.

Method 2: Taking a screenshot using built-in tools

By default, the Screenshot tool included with Ubuntu 22.04, provides the functionality to record and capture the screen.

On Ubuntu 22.04, pressing the “PRTSC” button triggers the built-in screenshot tool. Simply press the “PRTSC” key and the tool will appear allowing you to use it.

You can see that three options appear to take a screenshot:

1. Selection Tool

This option selects a particular area of ​​the screen and takes a snapshot of it. To do this, click the pick icon, change the rectangular form selection to suit your needs, and then press the white circle button to capture the desired area.

2. Screening Tool

When you click the Screen button, it automatically selects the entire screen. Simply press the Capture button below it to take a snap of the entire screen being displayed.

3. Window Tool

To take a screenshot of a specific window, click the window icon to show all open windows. Then, select one of the active windows to capture and press the circular capture button.

Method 3: Take a Screenshot Using Terminal

You can use commands to take a screenshot of a window, section, or the entire display while you're in your terminal.

Launch the Ubuntu terminal, then use this command:

When you press “Enter” the terminal takes a screenshot of the full screen. However, remember that by using this command, the OS captures both the terminal window and the screen. To avoid this, the screenshot process can be postponed for a few seconds by specifying a delay time. You will have time to minimize the terminal window.

You can delay the screenshot capture time by using the “-d” argument. The “-d” symbol represents delay, and the value of 4 represents the number of seconds you want to wait for the screenshot before capturing the snap.

To get a snapshot of the active/current window, use the following command:

For some minor changes, enter the following command to add a border to your screenshot:

Method 4: Take a Screenshot Using GNOME Tools

GNOME Screenshot Tool is a simple and intuitive app for taking screenshots in Ubuntu.

step 1: GNOME Screenshot Tool usually comes pre-installed in Ubuntu. However, if it is not installed yet, run the following command:

sudo apart to install gnome-screenshot

Output:

step 2: Look for the “Screenshot” app by typing “screenshot” in the app launcher and open it.

step 3: As you can see, you can choose “Screen” to take a screenshot of your entire screen, “Window” to capture a single window, and “Selection” to take a screenshot of just a portion of the screen. To take a screenshot, click “Take Screenshot.”

step 4: Save the screenshot photo to the “Pictures” folder.

Step 5: GNOME Screenshot Tool's option to take delayed screenshots is one of its strongest features.

Method 5: Take a Screenshot Using a Third Party App

Shutter is another great tool for capturing screenshots in Ubuntu. It's relatively easy to use, even if it seems a little complicated at first. By default, the tool comes with a basic editor. Additionally, experienced users can easily share screenshots on Dropbox and Imgur. It includes the option to take delayed screenshots.

step 1:To install Shutter, execute these commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apart to install shutter

step 2: After installation search for the app in the app launcher to start using the app. After that, it will appear in the system tray area in the upper right corner where you can click on it to access it.

step 3: Select “Selection” to capture a specific portion of the screen, “Desktop” to capture the entire display, or “Window” to capture a particular current window to take a screenshot in an application.

The snapshot is stored in the “Pictures” folder by default. There is no need to save it manually.

step 4: If you took multiple screenshots, they will also appear in a tabbed interface under the “Shutter” window.

conclusion

We have covered several methods to take screenshots in Ubuntu in this article. You can use keyboard shortcuts, built-in screenshot tools, Terminal, GNOME Screenshot Tool, or third-party tools like Shutter. Your particular preferences and needs will determine the best option for you. Keyboard shortcuts are the best option if you want to snap quickly and easily. If you need more control over the screenshot process such as delayed screenshots or modifying your screenshots then a dedicated snapshot tool is better.

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