Best Free Screenshot Utilities for Windows and Linux

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Applications that let you take screenshots are valuable for making tutorials and how to articles or even otherwise (e.g. stealing images that cannot be directly saved or copied ;)).

For Linux

Shutter for Linux is probably the best utility that you can get for this purpose.

According to their website, with Shutter you can take a screenshot of a specific area, window, your whole screen, or even of a website – apply different effects to it, draw on it to highlight points, and then upload to an image hosting site, all within one window. Indeed you can get all that and more done with Shutter. It is as good as it gets when it comes to taking screenshots. Most of the screenshots used for the tutorials on  have been generated using Shutter.   The interface is very easy and simple to use, allows you to save your screenshots in various formats with complete control of the quality /size of the captured image. You can also apply various effects by running the plugins from the Screenshot menu. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed. It is available by default with most popular *nix distributions, be it Fedora, Ubuntu, Opensuse. Just use your software installer / package manager to install it from the corresponding repository.

For Windows

While there are tons of advanced paid screenshot tolls out there. Greenshot is a light-weight screenshot tool for Windows with the following key features, as mentioned on their website:

  • Create complete or partial screenshots quickly.
  • Easily annotate, highlight or obfuscate parts of the screenshot.
  • Send the screenshot to a file, the clipboard, a printer or as e-mail attachment.

The installation might require you to install some .net runtime stuff, which would of course get downloaded automatically for you. The application when launched sits in your taskbar and lets you take screenshots of windows, full or part of the screen and then opens in the in-built simple image editor to allow some basic annotations like, adding text, highlighting or drawing some basic figures etc. It also seems to support some kind of OCR (optical character recognition) on images captured. Over all it is not as feature rich as Shutter, but should get the job done in most cases.

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has written 346 posts on this blog.

Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

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