Taking screenshots of Software

  12 years ago


First of all, the reason why I am writing this tutorial is the idea that I added recently: We have too few screenshots!

As you all know, then you browse applications via Sortware Manager or this community site, every application has a place for a screenshot. But unfortunatelly  only a few of them does have one. And it depends on us - the community - how many screenshots there will be.

So I decided to write this short tutorial about taking screenshots of different kind of Software, preparing them for uploading (max. size etc.), and suggesting them via this community site.

Taking a screenshot

Simple way

Typically you can easily take a screenshot of an active window by using Left_Alt+Print_Screen keys. Then you save it as a PNG image.

More difficult way

But sometimes - mostly in games - this shortcut doesn't work. What to do then? You can use Take Screenshot application to make a screenshot after a delay.

To start Take Screenshot application: Mint Menu -> All applications -> Accessories -> Take Screenshot.

Next select Grab the current window, disable Include pointer option, disable Include window border, and choose Effect: None.

Now it's time to choose the delay. I usually choose 10-15 seconds. Why? Because it's the time period in which you have to launch the application (mostly game) and start playing.

After you've chosen the delay click the Take Screenshot button, and then quickly launch the game, start playing, and wait until Save Screenshot window appears.

Preparing screenshot for uploading

After you've made a screenshot, you probably notice that it weights more than 500KB. (you can check this by right-clicking on the image file and choosing Properties). If it is so, you can reduce its weight in two ways. Both ways are made in GIMP. To open your screenshot in GIMP: right-click on the image file, and choose: Open With -> GIMP.

Reducing the size of the image

In GIMP click: Image -> Scale Image.... In my opinion good sizes are between 640x480 and 800x600px (width x height). If your image is larger than this, scale it to desired dimensions and save as PNG image with Compression level: 9.

Reducing number of colors in the image

In GIMP click: Image -> Mode -> Indexed.... Select Generate optimum palette, and type 256 as Maximum number of colors. Click the Convert button.

Notice: You have to compare obtained image with your original image. If the difference between them is too big, i.e. indexed image looks ugly, then you have to Undo this change and try to reduce the size of the image as long as it will fit the 500KB restriction.

Combine both approaches

You can combine both approaches to achieve smaller image weight.

Suggesting screenshot via community site

When your screenshot weights less than 500KB you can suggest it via this Mint community site.

Log-in with your login and password. Go to: Community -> Software. Search for your desired application. Click on the "No screenshot. Click to suggest one!" caption. Upload your screenshot.


My idea has changed status to Considered, so there's a chance that soon there will be new menu option: My places -> My Screenshots (or something like that), where you will be able to see what screenshots you've already uploaded.


Thank you for reading. This is my first tutorial so please be forgiving :) And feel free to write comments.


robertfbn 8 years ago

Written clearly and easy to follow.

abelkababel 8 years ago

I use KSNASHOT to make screenshots because none of the image/editor programs has a 'connection' with the clipboard. Probably because there is no clipboard. So why not implement something like a clipboard? And then have all the graphics programs have a connection with it?

Kafka 8 years ago


blueXrider 11 years ago

simple way to get a screenshot might also consider "Shutter"

Tonya 11 years ago

Thank you very much. Very useful tutorial.

dagon 11 years ago

I post my screenshots booth here and on:

They have a lot more screenshot's so I don't get it why we can't take them from that collection?...

Elisa 11 years ago

And what about Shutter app for cool screens? :-)

Boringbytes 11 years ago

As a new comer to Linux Mint I found this tutorial very helpful.

m4daredsun 11 years ago

Thanks vipek. I wasn't aware of the different possibilities. Maybe you could add a comment or a link about the options 'shutter' offers

navigator1 12 years ago

Very useful tutorial, I am a beginner so this is music to my ears. You may want to improve on it , by including different methods, (using shutter for example).Thanks for sharing. We needed this.

ron_o 12 years ago

Just use "shutter." It will help you upload to an image site or one of your choosing. For autostarting the --min_at_startup option will keep it in the notification area at start.

It also has plugins and a resize one too. Everything should be able to be handled inside "Shutter."

kneekoo 12 years ago

Thank you for the tutorial. This should be promoted somewhere on the first page, where people see how many packages (don't) have screenshots, so they can contribute for other applications.

vipek 12 years ago

@oscar799: If you take a look at the upload page, you'll see "(.png format, 500KB max)" caption. So PNG is the only accepted file format.

oscar799 12 years ago

Changing the file format from .png to .jpeg also reduces file size.
This can be done with gThumb which is available in Synaptic Package Manager.

pbmuk 12 years ago

Nice clear tutorial.

I have cropped some screenshots to only show interesting parts of the application window. Perhaps put a paragraph suggesting this in the "Reducing the size of the image" section.