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How to Capture Screenshot in Ubuntu: [A Beginner Guide]

Learn how to capture screenshots in Ubuntu with our simple guide. Discover various methods for taking screenshots, including built-in tools and keyboard shortcuts. Learn how to take screenshots of the entire screen, a specific window, or a selected area, and how to save and share your screenshots. Make screenshotting in Ubuntu easy.

20 Jan, 23 by Susith Nonis 9 min Read

List of content you will read in this article:

Sometimes you can explain a thousand words with a picture. On the other hand, reading or hearing a description of something may not be as understandable as looking at it. When you want to explain a complex topic that is happening on your display, taking a screenshot is the most convenient way. You can use this tutorial if you are a beginner to Ubuntu and want to know how to take a screenshot using the easiest way.

You can take screenshots in Ubuntu using keyboard shortcuts which is the easiest way. In this method, you`ll need the [Print] key. If your keyboard is conventional, you can find the [Print] key at the top of the keyboard. “Print Screen”, “PrtSc”, and “Print” are also words that the key may be labelled with them. If you want to take a screenshot in Ubuntu using keyboard shortcuts, use the following instructions:

Screenshot of the entire screen

Press the [Print] key to capture a photo of the whole screen. You can access the screenshot you took in the “Pictures” folder, which is automatically saved.

Screenshot of the currently active Window

Press [Print] + [Alt] when you want to take a screenshot of a current window, and several tabs are open in your browser. No matter if you`re a researcher or a normal user, in any case, sometimes you`ll need to open multiple tabs in your browser. Pressing the [Print] and [Alt] keys together will help you select only one. This photo will be saved in the “Pictures” directory too.

Screenshot of a specific area 

Press [Print] + [Shift] to capture a specific screen area. Using these keys allows you to take a screenshot of the area you want to select. You can select your target area by dragging and clicking to set the size. This is the best method for capturing dialogue boxes, calculators, etc.

Copy the screenshot to the clipboard

Press [Ctrl] after any of the instructions above to copy the screenshots to the clipboard. Note that this instruction will not save the pictures on the computer. This method is useful when you want to attach the screenshot you`ve taken to an email, WhatsApp, or wherever else you want.

By default, an Ubuntu screenshot tool is installed on Ubuntu systems named Screenshot. For a specific reason, you may not be able to use your keyboard to take a screenshot. In this case, the Screenshot tool is provided to help you create screenshots easily. This tool is located on the Start menu. To use it, follow the steps below:

  1. Type “screenshot” in the Start menu search box.
  2. The "Screenshot" tool will appear. Click on it.
  3. After it`s opened, choose the kind of screenshot you want to take. (just like the keyboard shortcuts method, the options are taking a screenshot of the entire screen, a screenshot of a specific area, or a screenshot of an active window)
  4. Based on the setting, tap on the “Take screenshot” key
  5. Set the location manually if you don`t want to save the screenshot in the “Pictures” folder. If not, it will be saved in the “Pictures” folder by default.

If you want to use features like applying some effects to the picture, adding some borders, or anything else, you can use the delay option. This option gives you time to prepare your screenshot in the most usable way.

Some think this method has the upper hand since it provides more control over how they want to take a screenshot. You cannot customize the capture using keyboard shortcuts with effects or other features.

Running specific command lines in the Terminal, you can take screenshots of the whole screen, a specific window, or a partial area. With this method, you don’t need to leave the Terminal to take a screenshot. For capturing pictures of the screen with the Terminal, start with the following commands:

  • Before anything, ensure the “Gnome” screenshot tool is installed on your system. If you haven`t installed it before, run the following command to get it:

sudo apt install gnome-screenshot

  • After you installed Gnome, run the following command to take a screenshot of a specific area of the screen:

gnome-screenshot -a

  • To create a screenshot of a current window, run the following command:

gnome-screenshot -w

  • And if you want to take a screenshot of the entire screen, type this command in the Terminal:

gnome-screenshot

  • You can set your delay value to 5 seconds by running the below command. Here, "5" refers to a 5-second delay, but you can set your delay value.

gnome-screenshot -d -5

Note: All the pictures you take using Terminal will be saved in the “Pictures” folder.

Several applications can be used to create screenshots. The Shutter is one of those applications that are great for cropping or editing later screenshots. Additional features include watermarks, comment functions, subsequent darkening, and post-processing editors. The same goes for other programs such as GIMP and Fisheye. Making screenshots for professional purposes and intending to share them with clients or employees is a great idea. Creative alternatives to the default Shutter tool include GIMP, Flameshot, or Deepin Screenshot. Here we have an overview of some screenshot applications for Ubuntu and check how they work.

Shutter

Using apps for taking screenshots in Ubuntu may look complex, but if you know how to use them, you'll find them easily. The shutter is a handy tool for creating screenshots and provides a basic photo editor. If you're an advanced user of Ubuntu, you can quickly access its options. The delay screenshot option is available in Shutter. Here we explain how you can use the Shutter tool for creating screenshots:

  • First of all, you have to install Shutter on your Ubuntu system. To do this, run the following commands one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository universe

sudo apt update

sudo apt install shutter

  • Once the app is installed, please find it in the app launcher and click to open. Following that, it will be in the top-right corner of the system tray, where you may access it at any time by clicking on it.
  • After the app is opened, follow these instructions:
    • To take a full-screen screenshot, click “Desktop” and tap “Enter.”
    • To take a screenshot of an app window, tap "Window" and then "Enter."
    • To take a partial screenshot, click “Selection” and tap “Enter.”

You don`t need to save the screenshots manually because they will be saved in the “Pictures” folder automatically. If you have taken multiple screenshots, they will be listed in the tabbed interface under the Shutter window. Finally, you can edit the captures and export them whenever you want.

Flameshot 

Flameshot is another app for creating screenshots in Ubuntu if you need advanced options. It not only takes screenshots, but it provides editing options for taken screenshots. This tool comes in handy when uploading a screenshot to sites like Imgur. Let`s check how it works.

  1. Before anything, install Flameshot in your Ubuntu system by using the following syntax:

sudo apt install flameshot

  1. Open Flameshot from the app launcher after it`s installed on your system. It`s located under the system tray in the top-right corner.
  2. After opening the Flameshot app, click on the “Take Screenshot” option.
  3. This step selects a full-screen capture, a partial area, or a window.
  4. To save the photo in a specific folder or location, press “Ctrl+S”. The screenshots will default be saved in the “Pictures” folder.

Not to mention, you can edit and annotate the pictures of screens right away using the Flameshot app. This is the best part about this application. Highlighting certain texts, adding boxes, and many other options made Flameshot useful and lovely.  

Where are Ubuntu screenshots stored?

Go to the “Pictures/Screenshots” directory to access the screenshots you've taken before. All screenshots are automatically saved there. The file's name begins with a Screenshot and includes the date and time it was taken.

Also, the image will be saved on your clipboard, so you can share it directly via social media or paste it into an image editing application.

Screenshots can be easily taken on almost any operating system like Ubuntu. Many of the included applications provide sufficient tools for this task. Professional users may want to use third-party applications when creating their images due to the additional features available in these programs. Screenshots can be edited directly with the tools Flameshot and Shutter. Both are high-quality tools and worthy of praise; this is why we explained how they work. Now you can start creating screenshots using different methods.   

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Susith Nonis

I'm fascinated by the IT world and how the 1's and 0's work. While I venture into the world of Technology, I try to share what I know in the simplest way with you. Not a fan of coffee, a travel addict, and a self-accredited 'master chef'.