How to Use a Snipping Tool in Ubuntu 16.04?


Snipping Tool is a screenshot utility that allows users to capture all or part of their desktop screen and save it as an image file. While this tool was initially introduced in Windows operating systems, it is now available for use on Ubuntu 16.04 as well. In this article, we will explore how to install and use the Snipping Tool in Ubuntu 16.04.

Explanation of What the Snipping Tool Is

The Snipping Tool is a simple and effective way to take screenshots on your computer, whether you want to capture an entire window or just a small portion of your screen. It allows users to highlight specific areas of the captured image or add annotations like arrows, text boxes and shapes before saving them in various formats for later use.

Brief Overview of Ubuntu 16.04

Ubuntu is one of the most popular versions of the Linux operating system, known for its user-friendly interface, open-source nature and robust security features. Ubuntu 16.04, also known as Xenial Xerus, is one of its most recent long term support (LTS) releases that was introduced in April 2016 with updates until April 2021.

One significant benefit that comes with using Ubuntu over other operating systems like Windows or macOS is its high level of customization due to its open-source nature; you can customize virtually any aspect from boot-up screens to which typeface you prefer. With these two brief descriptions covered let us proceed with installing the snipping tool on our Ubuntu machines!

Installing the Snipping Tool in Ubuntu 16.04

Before we dive into how to use the snipping tool, we need to make sure it is installed on your Ubuntu 16.04 machine. Fortunately, there are a couple of easy ways to do this.

Open Terminal and enter command to install GNOME Screenshot

The first method is through the Terminal application, which can be accessed by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard or by searching for it in the Applications menu. Once you have opened Terminal, enter the following command: sudo apt-get install gnome-screenshot

This command will install GNOME Screenshot, which is a default utility for capturing screenshots on Ubuntu 16.04. It provides basic features such as selecting an area to capture and saving it as an image file. This option is great if you only need a basic snipping tool.

Alternative method: Install Shutter

If you want more advanced features such as editing and annotating captured images, you might want to consider installing Shutter instead of GNOME Screenshot. To install Shutter, you can use the following commands in terminal: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:shutter/ppasudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install shutter

This will add a Personal Package Archive (PPA) for Shutter and then download and install it from that repository. Once installed, you can access shutter from the Applications menu or by typing shutter into Terminal. Installing either GNOME screenshot or Shutter is relatively easy using these methods and will give you access to a powerful snipping tool that lets you capture images with flexibility and ease.

Using the Snipping Tool in Ubuntu 16.04

Now that you have successfully installed the Snipping Tool of your choice, it’s time to start using it to capture and annotate screenshots. The process is straightforward and easy, and you’ll be able to take advantage of all its features in no time.

Launch GNOME Screenshot or Shutter from the Applications menu

To launch GNOME Screenshot or Shutter, go to the Applications menu on your Ubuntu desktop. In the search bar, type in “Screenshot” for GNOME Screenshot or “Shutter” for Shutter. Click on either application to open it up.

Select an area to capture or use a delay timer for a specific window or menu

To select an area to capture with GNOME Screenshot, click on the “Take screenshot” button and then select either “Select area to grab” or “Grab current window.” If you want a delay before taking the screenshot, select one of the options under “Grab after a delay.” With Shutter, you have more options for capturing screenshots such as selecting menus and tooltips by clicking on “Capture > Window > Window.”

Edit and annotate captured images with tools such as text boxes, arrows, and blur effects

After capturing your screenshot with either GNOME Screenshot or Shutter, you can edit and annotate your image using various tools provided by both applications. For example:

  • Add text boxes: Use this tool if you need to add additional information about certain parts of your image
  • Add arrows: Use this tool if you want to draw attention towards specific parts of your image
  • Blur effects: Use this tool if you need to hide sensitive information present on the snip

The editing features of Shutter are more advanced than those present in GNOME Screenshot. In addition to the tools mentioned above, it offers image resizing, cropping and color adjustment tools.

You can access these options by clicking on Edit from the toolbar. With these editing tools, you can make sure your screenshots convey exactly what you want them to and look the way you want them to look.

Advanced Features of the Snipping Tool in Ubuntu 16.04

Configuring Keyboard Shortcuts for Quick Access to the Tool

One of the biggest advantages of using a snipping tool is its ability to capture screenshots quickly and with ease. However, launching the snipping tool every time you need it can be cumbersome and time-consuming.

Fortunately, GNOME Screenshot and Shutter both allow users to configure keyboard shortcuts for quick access to the tool. To configure keyboard shortcuts in GNOME Screenshot, navigate to “Settings” > “Keyboard” > “Shortcuts” > “Custom Shortcuts”.

Then, click on the “+” icon at the bottom of the window and enter a name for your shortcut (e.g., “Snipping Tool”). In the command field, enter “/usr/bin/gnome-screenshot -i” (without quotes) if you’re using GNOME Screenshot or “/usr/bin/shutter -s” if you’re using Shutter.

Assign a key combination for your shortcut (e.g., Ctrl+Alt+S) and click on “Add”. Now, you can launch your snipping tool with just a few keystrokes.

Saving Screenshots to Different File Formats and Locations

The default file format for screenshots taken with GNOME Screenshot is PNG. While this format is suitable for most purposes, sometimes you may need to save your screenshots in a different format such as JPEG or BMP.

Additionally, you may want to save your screenshots in a specific location other than your home directory. To change the default file format or location in GNOME Screenshot, launch the application from Applications menu then click on Preferences inside it.

From there you can choose desired file format like PNG/JPEG/BMP etc. To select different location other than home directory simply change default path from path option available.

Shutter also allows users to save screenshots in different file formats and locations. To change the default settings in Shutter, go to “Edit” > “Preferences” > “Main” and select your desired file format (e.g., JPEG) and location.

Using Plugins for Additional Functionality

Both GNOME Screenshot and Shutter support plugins that provide additional functionality beyond the basic snipping tool capabilities. For example, you can use plugins to add watermarks to your screenshots, upload them directly to image hosting services (like , or even create a GIF animation. To install plugins in GNOME Screenshot, open the Terminal application and enter the following command:

sudo apt-get install gnome-screenshot-plugins To install plugins in Shutter, go to “Edit” > “Preferences” > “Plugins”.

From there, you can select which plugins you want to install and enable them. With these advanced features, using a snipping tool in Ubuntu 16.04 becomes an even more powerful tool for capturing screenshots quickly and with precision.


Using a snipping tool in Ubuntu 16.04 is a straightforward process that requires little technical knowledge. Simply install the GNOME Screenshot or Shutter tool, launch it from the Applications menu, and select an area to capture. Once captured, edit the image with annotations and save it to your preferred location and format.

Advantages of Using Snipping Tool

The major advantage of using a snipping tool is its ability to accurately capture specific areas on your screen without capturing extraneous parts of your display. This feature is particularly useful when creating tutorials or demonstrating features on your computer, as you can quickly and easily highlight the relevant sections of your screen.

Another advantage of using a snipping tool is its flexibility in capturing screenshots for use in different contexts such as presentations, reports, or social media posts. With annotation and editing features built-in to most snipping tools, users can tailor their screenshots to their specific needs.

Future Scope of Using Snipping Tool in Other Operating Systems

While this article focuses on using a snipping tool in Ubuntu 16.04, many other operating systems offer similar tools for capturing screenshots with varying degrees of functionality. Furthermore, with the increasing demand for remote work and virtual collaboration tools during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely that there will be an increased demand for powerful screen capture tools across various platforms.

Using a snipping tool like GNOME Screenshot or Shutter can greatly improve productivity by simplifying the screenshot capturing process while also allowing users more control over what they choose to capture and how they choose to annotate it. With the future looking increasingly digital-first, expect more powerful snipping tools being developed for various operating systems over time.

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