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How to take screenshots on Ubuntu Linux

If you’re new to Ubuntu, you might not know that the screenshot tool included out of the box is a potent tool. Unlike on Windows, Ubuntu users can take screenshots in various ways. These ways include taking screenshots on a timer, excluding your pointer, app-specific shots, and even area-specific shots.

In this guide, we’ll go over everything there is to know about the Ubuntu screenshot tool (AKA Gnome Screenshot). However, if you use a different Linux OS with the Gnome desktop, feel free to follow along. Gnome Screenshot is the default screenshot tool on various Linux distributions.

Taking screenshots with Gnome Screenshot

To take a screenshot on Ubuntu, you’ll use the Gnome Screenshot tool. This program comes pre-installed on all Ubuntu desktops. You can press the Prnt Scrn button on your keyboard to instantly take a screenshot.

However, taking a screenshot by just using the Prnt Scrn button offers none of the valuable options included in Gnome Screenshot, like excluding the mouse pointer, taking a screenshot of a single window, a selection on the screen, or a delay.

Take a screenshot excluding the pointer

Do the following: take a screenshot on Ubuntu while excluding the pointer. First, press the grid icon in the Ubuntu dock with the mouse. Selecting the grid icon opens up the Ubuntu app menu. Next, type in “Screenshot” and select the program with “Screenshot” in the name.

With the Screenshot app open, look for the “Show Pointer” selection, and click on it to turn off the pointer. Then, click on the “Take Screenshot” button to take your screenshot on Ubuntu.

Take a screenshot of a window

As Ubuntu uses the Gnome Screenshot tool, users can take pictures of individual app windows rather than the whole screen. Do the following if you’d like to take a screenshot of a separate app window.

First, select the grid icon in the Ubuntu dock to open up the Ubuntu app menu. Once the Ubuntu app menu is open, select the search box and type in “Screenshot.” Then, open up the Screenshot app.

With the screenshot app open on the Ubuntu desktop, locate the “Capture Area” section and click on the “Window” button. After selecting the “Windows” button, click on the “Take Screenshot” button.

Upon selecting the screenshot option, the Screenshot tool will take a picture of the currently active program.

Take a screenshot of a selection

One of the best features of the Screenshot tool in Ubuntu is its ability to take screenshots of individual areas of the screen rather than the entire screen. To take a screenshot of a selected region, do the following.

First, press the grid icon in the Ubuntu dock to open up the Ubuntu app menu. Once the Ubuntu app menu, type in “Screenshot,” and launch the app with “Screenshot” in the name. When the app is open, find the “Selection” option and click on it with the mouse.

After selecting the “Selection” option, find the “Take Screenshot” button and click on it with the mouse. You’ll then need to use the mouse to select an area of the screen to screenshot.

Take a screenshot with a delay

Taking screenshots with delays is helpful, especially if you need to take a picture of a menu that won’t stay open when the Prnt Scrn button is pressed on the keyboard. To take a screenshot with a delay on Ubuntu, do the following.

First, click on the grid icon the open up the Ubuntu app menu on the desktop. With the app menu open, find the search box and click on it with the mouse. Then, type in “Screenshot.” Next, open up the app with the “Screenshot” name.

Find the “Delay in Seconds” menu within the Screenshot app. Once you’ve located it, change the number from “0” to a different number. For example, to delay the screenshot for 10 seconds, enter “10.” For 5 seconds, enter “5,” etc.

Once you’ve selected your delay time, click on the “Take Screenshot” button to take your screenshot. However, choose a screenshot option (screen, window, and selection) before selecting the “Take Screenshot” button.

Taking more advanced screenshots on Ubuntu

The Gnome Screenshot tool in Ubuntu is potent, but it doesn’t have features like added text, arrows, blurring, etc. If you’re not happy with what the Gnome Screenshot tool offers, consider following our guide on setting up Flameshot.

Flameshot is an advanced screenshot tool for Linux that has tons of useful features, and these features are handy for those that take a lot of screenshots. Flameshot can be installed on Ubuntu with apt install below.

sudo apt install flameshot

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