How to do a screenshot in Chrome OS

guia captura pantalla chrome os de chromebook feat
Brooke Cagle for Unsplash

Perhaps you’re familiar with screenshots on Windows or MacOS, but if you’ve chosen “the third way” and you have a Chromebooks, you may not have idea how to do it. Quiet: the process is not drastically different, though –yes– it is far from being the same. While the best Chromebooks do not include a specific key, to make a screenshot in Chrome OS is quite simple, whether you need an image of the entire screen or just a part of it.

Quick tips:

  • Hold down the Ctrl key + the “Switch Window”or “Change window” to make a screenshot of the full screen.
  • Press and hold down Ctrl + Shift + “Switch Window” or “Change window” to make a partial screenshot.

Full screen

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To take a screenshot of everything you see on the screen of your chromebook at the same time, you will need to hold down the button Ctrl and the button to Change Window (Switch Window). If you don’t know what it is, is located in the top row, and shows an icon with multiple squares, between the buttons and full-screen brightness.

Once you’ve pressed both, you’ll see a notification in the bottom corner of the screen to let you know that the screenshot has been saved.

The files from the screenshots will be saved in the folder Downloads of the chromebook, labeled with the date and time they were recorded.

*Note: the screenshots are saved locally and will not be available in your Google Drive unless you move the file manually.

Partial screenshot

In addition, Chrome OS also capture only a part of the screen. To do this, you will need to hold down the buttons Ctrl and Shift at the same time, then press also the button to Change Window.

The cursor of the Chrome will be replaced temporarily by a cross. Click and drag the selection over the screen, over the area you want to capture and save. After, it stops pressing on the trackpad or the mouse button. The partial screenshot is saved in the folder Downloads, like with a screenshot of the full screen.

Other tips and tricks

Copy the screen shots

Chrome OS does not save the screen shots as images are copied, as does Windows when you press the button Print screen.

So, if you want to simply copy a screen capture (to insert it in an image editor, for example), observe the notification that appears above the system clock. Click on the button “copy to clipboard” and press Ctrl + V to paste the image where you want it.

Edit the screen shots

The screenshots made in Chrome OS, they are ready to share, but if you want to do a little more with them, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the built-in image editor Chrome.

Step 1: open the folder Downloads, double-click on the screenshot to open it in the image viewer,and

Step 2: next, click on the icon of the pencil that is in the bottom right corner of the window to enter the edit mode. The tools for the adjustments of cropping, rotation, and brightness will appear at the bottom of the window.

Step 3: when you are finished, you click again on the icon of the pen to finish the edits. The built-in editor does not save copies, for which you want to copy the image manually before working on it.

Use of external keyboards

If you are using a desktop Chrome (also known as chromebox) or you have connected an external keyboard to your chromebook, it is likely that the keyboard use a row of function keys standard. The good news is that the function keys do the same job: F1 back, F2 moves, etc.

The F5 button works as the button “Change Window” in the standard keyboards, so that the command screen-capture becomes Ctrl + F5.

Other tools

Fortunately, there are a lot of apps and extensions in the Chrome Web Store Google to help add additional features.

Here we leave some helpful tips:

Clipular: this application Chrome all-in-one that lets you save, edit, and annotate screenshots. Also allows you to save screen captures directly to Google Drive.

FireShot: save an entire page as an image without the need to make multiple screenshots.

File System for Dropbox: if you prefer Dropbox to the drive built-in Google Drive, this application will place your folder Dropbox in file explorer standard. As well, you’ll just need to copy your screenshots from the folder Downloads.

*Article updated December 7, 2018 by Daniel Matus.

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