Computing

How to Easily Capture Screenshots on a Chromebook

Taking a screenshot on a Chromebook is a breeze when you know the right keyboard shortcuts. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to capture screenshots on Chrome OS and provide some useful tips on what to do with them. So, let’s get started!

How to Capture a Full Screenshot on a Chromebook

To capture a screenshot of your entire screen, simply press the following keys simultaneously: Ctrl + Show windows. The Show windows key is usually located in the top row between the Full-Screen and Brightness down buttons. It’s marked with a rectangle followed by two lines and replaces the usual F5 key on standard keyboards.

A Chromebook keyboard with two keys highlighted in red.
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

How to Upload Screenshots to the Cloud

Once you’ve captured a screenshot, a notification will appear in the bottom-right corner, displaying a thumbnail of your screenshot. By selecting the thumbnail, you’ll be taken to the Downloads folder, where all screenshots are saved by default, making them accessible even when you’re offline. You can also access your screenshots by clicking on the blue Files folder-style icon on the Shelf and choosing either Images or Downloads.

Chrome OS automatically labels all screenshots with the date and time they were captured. However, if you want to save your screenshots to Google Drive, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Open the Files app and select either Images or Downloads from the left-hand menu.
Step 2: Choose the screenshot(s) you want to upload. You can either select individual screenshots by clicking on the Check icon in thumbnail view or select multiple screenshots by drawing a box around them in list view using your mouse or touchpad.
Step 3: Click on the Share button located in the top-right corner of the screen.
Step 4: Select “Save to drive” from the drop-down menu. You can also send the screenshot to other accounts, such as OneDrive and Dropbox. Check out our guide on how to use Google Drive for more useful tips.

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Chromebook Save to Drive menu option.
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

If you own a Pixelbook or another Chromebook with a 360-degree hinge, you can skip to the “Screenshots in Tablet Mode” section for an alternate touch-based method.

How to Capture a Specific Area for a Screenshot on a Chromebook

In addition to capturing the full screen, you can also capture a specific area by using the Ctrl + Shift + Show Windows shortcut. Here’s how:

Step 1: Hold down the Ctrl + Shift keys simultaneously, then press the Show Windows button.
Step 2: The screen will dim, and the cursor will turn into a crosshair. Use the crosshair to select one corner of the area you want to capture, and then hold down the mouse button or touchpad.
Step 3: Drag the cursor across the screen using your mouse or finger to create a box that covers the desired area.
Step 4: Release the mouse button or lift your finger to complete the box and capture the screen.
Step 5: The captured screenshot will be saved in the Images and Downloads folders, just like a full screenshot.

A Chromebook keyboard with three keys highlighted in red.
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

Note: If you’re running Chrome OS 88 or newer and have enabled the new Screen Capture utility, you’ll see a toolbar at the bottom of the screen with the Screenshot and Partial buttons selected by default. You can also switch to full-screen or Window modes using the toolbar.

Taking Screenshots in Tablet Mode

If you’re using a 2-in-1 or tablet device running Chrome OS, capturing screenshots is still a breeze, even without a keyboard. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press the Power and Volume down buttons simultaneously.
Step 2: Your screen will register the screenshot and capture an image of the entire screen.

A person holding a smartphone in one hand and a stylus in another.
Photo by PhotoMIX-Company from Pixabay.

How to Take Full-Capture Screenshots in Tablet Mode Using a Stylus

If you have a stylus, you can use it to capture full-capture screenshots in tablet mode. Just follow these steps:

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Step 1: Select the Stylus (or Pen) tool.
Step 2: Use the stylus to choose the “Capture screen” option. This will capture a screenshot of your entire screen.

How to Take Partial-Capture Screenshots in Tablet Mode Using a Stylus

If you only want to capture a specific part of your screen in tablet mode with a stylus, follow these steps:

Step 1: Select the Stylus (or Pen) tool.
Step 2: Use the stylus to choose the “Capture region” option.
Step 3: Hold your stylus on the screen at the starting point.
Step 4: Drag your stylus to the final point, creating a box.
Step 5: Release your stylus to capture the screenshot.

Editing a screenshot on a Chromebook.
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

Editing Your Screenshots

Screenshot editing is a breeze on Chrome OS thanks to the built-in image editor. Follow these steps to make quick edits to your screenshots:

Step 1: Click on the blue Files folder icon on the Shelf and choose Images or Downloads from the menu on the left.
Step 2: Open your screenshot in the Gallery app. If it’s not your default image viewer, right-click on the file and select Gallery from the pop-up menu.
Step 3: Along the top of the Gallery app, you’ll find a toolbar with various editing tools, including Crop & Rotate, Rescale, and Lighting filters. Each tool opens a side panel with adjustable settings. For example, the Lighting filters tool offers sliders for Exposure, Contrast, and Saturation.
Step 4: In addition to the editing tools, you’ll find undo and redo buttons to revert or apply changes.
Step 5: Once you’re done editing, click the blue Save button to save the edits to the original file. Alternatively, click the blue Down arrow icon to save the edited image as a separate copy.

Using External Keyboards

If you’re using a Chrome OS desktop (Chromebox) or have an external keyboard connected to your Chromebook, the keyboard may have a standard function key row instead of Chrome’s dedicated button row. In that case, here are the Chrome OS commands that replace the typical function key commands:

  • F1: Previous page
  • F2: Next page
  • F3: Refresh
  • F4: Full screen
  • F5: Show windows
  • F6: Decrease brightness
  • F7: Increase brightness
  • F8: Mute
  • F9: Decrease volume
  • F10: Increase volume
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To capture a screenshot using an external keyboard, press Ctrl + F5. For a partial capture, press Ctrl + Shift first, followed by F5. If you want to customize the shortcut, press Alt + Shift + S, then select Settings > Device > Keyboard to change the function of your keys.

Other Screenshot Tools

Although Chrome OS offers built-in screenshot tools, they may not meet everyone’s needs. Fortunately, the Chrome Web Store has a wide range of apps and extensions that can enhance your screenshot capabilities. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Lightshot: This beginner-friendly tool allows you to capture screenshots of specific sections of your screen and provides easy in-place editing options. You can then download or save your screenshots to the cloud.
  • FireShot: Save entire web pages as images without taking multiple screenshots. You can save screenshots in multiple formats and send them directly to OneNote or email.
  • Awesome Screenshot and Screen Recorder: This powerful tool gives you the option to capture both screenshots and screen recordings. It also offers annotation features and easy blurring.

Note: Remember to always verify the credibility of any third-party apps or extensions before installing them.

That’s it! You’re now equipped with all the knowledge you need to effortlessly capture and manage screenshots on your Chromebook. Happy screenshotting!

Read Next:

  • How to download music from YouTube
  • How to fix a dead pixel on your monitor or smartphone
  • How to pin a website to the taskbar
  • How to enable and disable notifications in the Chrome browser
  • How to connect AirPods to a Chromebook

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