How Do You Take a Screenshot in Ubuntu? 4 Distinct Methods

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How Do You Take a Screenshot in Ubuntu? 4 Distinct Methods

According to conventional wisdom, a picture is worth a thousand words. The underlying idea is that looking at something conveys information far more effectively than hearing or reading about it.

Screenshots are a useful tool to have on hand, especially when explaining a complex topic. This guide will go over all of the different methods for taking screenshots on Ubuntu. So, without further ado, let’s get started…

1. Take Screenshots Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Because of their simplicity, manual Ubuntu screenshots are the default and generally preferred method of screen clipping. If you don’t use Ubuntu for heavy-duty tasks like photo manipulation or video editing, this is probably the best method for you as well.

On Ubuntu, there are several methods for manually capturing a screen. Let’s take them all down one by one.

Take a Screenshot of the Whole Screen

To capture an entire screen clip, simply press the Print Screenbutton on your keyboard. The screenshot will be saved automatically in the Pictures directory.

Capture a Specific Area in Ubuntu

You may encounter situations in which you only need to capture a specific section of the entire screen—-this could be a dialog box, something specific on your browser, etc.

In such cases, combine Shift and Print Screen to capture the screenshot.

Take a Screenshot of the Current Window

Let’s be honest. If you’re like the average, distracted computer worker of the twenty-first century, you might have several tabs open on your browser right now.

If you only want to capture the current window open in your browser, rather than all the tabs on your screen, press Alt + Print Screen together. By default, Ubuntu will save the image in the Pictures directory, as it does with all screenshots.

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Capture and Save Screenshots to the Clipboard

This method is useful when you want to use the screenshots in another context, such as a document or an email. Ubuntu will copy the image to the clipboard, and you can then paste it wherever you want.

By making a little change, you may take all of the many techniques to capturing screenshots that we’ve discussed above, whether it’s a full screen clip of a window, a snapshot of just a specified region, or something else. Here’s a quick rundown of all the various methods:

  • Take a screenshot of the complete screen and copy it to the clipboard:
  • Ctrl +Print Screen Copy the following screenshot to the clipboard:
  • Shift + Ctrl + Print Screen Copy the current window’s screenshot to the clipboard: Print Screen (Ctrl + Alt + P)

2. Using the Ubuntu Screenshot App

Some people simply do not like dealing with keyboard shortcuts for a variety of reasons. If you are one of those people, you can still complete your tasks using the default Ubuntu screenshot app, Screenshot.

To begin, go to the Applications Menu and search for screenshot in the search bar. Then choose the best match to launch the Screenshot app. Choose the types of screenshots you want and then follow the on-screen instructions to finish.

One advantage of this approach is that you have greater flexibility over how you wish to snap a screenshot. You’ll have access to a slew of new capabilities and effects not available via keyboard shortcuts.

There’s an option to delay a screenshot after you click it, as well as the ability to add points and apply effects like drop shadow, vintage, and even borders.

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3. Take Screenshots on Ubuntu Through the Terminal

We understand if you spend a lot of time at the terminal. How can you go back to the old GUI method after you’ve discovered the potential of the command line? Ctrl + Alt + T to open the terminal and type the following command:


When you press Enter, the terminal will take a snapshot of the whole screen. However, keep in mind that this command will capture both the terminal window and the screen clip. If you don’t want that, you’ll have to wait a few seconds while you minimize the terminal window before taking a screenshot.

You can add a delay to the screenshot using the -d flag.

gnome-screenshot -d 3

In this case, -d stands for Postpone, and 3 is the amount of seconds you want to delay the snapshot by.

If you simply want to capture the current window, use this command:

gnome-screenshot -w

For a small modification, use the following command to add a border to your screenshot:

gnome-screenshot -w -b

4. Take Screenshots on Ubuntu With Third-Party Apps

If you’ve tried all of the ways outlined above and are still unsatisfied, capturing screen snips using third-party software is your final choice.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to pay anything. You have a plethora of free alternatives to pick from thanks to the open-source ethic of the Linux community.

There are several Ubuntu screenshot programs available, but two stand out as the finest. The first is called Shutter, while the second is called Gimp. Here’s how you can put them to use.

Capturing Screenshots With Gimp

Before you begin, keep in mind that GIMP contains many complex capabilities and hence has a high learning curve. As a result, only use GIMP if you need extensive editing capabilities.

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Go to Ubuntu Software and search for GIMP to install it. For verification, the system will request your password. GIMP will be installed on your machine in a matter of seconds.

After that, choose the Launch option to launch the program. To capture a screen shot, go to File > Create > Screenshot.

Using Shutter for Taking Screenshots

Go to the Ubuntu Software app, search for Shutter, and then click Install.

You may also install it from the terminal. But first, use the add-apt-repository command to add the official Shutter PPA to your system:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linuxuprising/shutter

Now, update the repository list on your PC and install the Shutter app:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install shutter

In a few seconds, the system will begin installing Shutter on your computer.

Related: Using Shutter to Take and Edit Screenshots in Ubuntu

Taking High-Quality Screenshots on Ubuntu

That’s all there is to it. Hopefully, one of these solutions assisted you in taking screenshots on Ubuntu and finishing your task. But don’t stop there. Ubuntu and the Linux operating system in general have a lot to teach you.

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