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Shutter: Feature Rich Screenshot Tool

written by: •edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 5/29/2009

A look at one of the best free screenshot tool available today, Shutter.

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    You can take a screenshot of your desktop with the "Print Screen" key on your keyboard, but this way you take a screenshot of your entire desktop and don’t have control of many other important aspects. To have a greater flexibility and control over your screenshots - like taking a screenshot of only a specific region of your desktop (ie, the active window) - and to perform other necessary operation on your screenshots like basic image editing to add a tag etc., you need to use more advanced screenshot tools. These screenshot tools, apart from providing you with greater control on how you take a screenshot, also provide additional tools to edit and share your screenshots. In this article we take a look at one such free screenshot tool named "Shutter" that has great features and is an excellent screenshot tool.

    Shutter (formerly known as GScrot) is a Linux screenshot tool that lets you take screenshots of any specific area of your desktop. You can also take a screenshot of the whole desktop screen or a website for that matter. It is a free and open source program licensed under GPL v3. For a free tool, Shutter sports loads of useful features.

    Shutter is fully integrated into the Gnome desktop. It lets you take a screenshot directly or you can set it to take a screenshot specifying a delay time. Shutter generates thumbnails when you are taking a screenshot and the screenshots can be saved into a specified directory and be named later. It also lets you upload the screenshot image files directly to an image hosting service and thereby share them. Shutter also has a built in drawing tool that comes in handy to edit your screenshots without using any external image editors.

    Shutter has a very simple interface that should be easy for any beginners to get started with it. The large toolbar icons provide an easy and quick way to select the screenshot area. You can choose to capture a full screen screenshot, or make a selection by using either the simple selection tool or advanced selection tool, or you can choose to take a screenshot of any active window by clicking on the Windows icon of the toolbar. You can view a list of available windows by clicking on the arrow next to the window icon. You can also take a screenshot of a webpage by clinking on the Web icon on the toolbar and entering an URL. It also lets you set a timeout option while taking a web screenshot. These options are also accessible from the File → New menu.

    Once you take a screenshot with Shutter you can edit the screenshot image by opening it in an external image editor. You can open a screenshot with an external image editor easily by clicking on the external image editor name from Shutters Screenshot → Open With menu. However, Shutter also includes a basic image editor where you can perform various basic tasks without opening it in an external editor. You can start the editor from the Screenshot → Edit menu.

    These features make Shutter a great screenshot utility. It’s hard to find another free alternative to it that has similar features. Although it currently lacks video capturing capability, Shutter is worth a try because of its rich features and the free price tag.

    Shutter Homepage