I seldom use the word ‘best’ when it comes to reviewing apps, but when it comes to Shutter, it really is the best screen capture tool that I have ever used in Linux.
Shutter (previously known as Gscrot) is just like a swiss army knife for all your screen capture tasks in Linux. There are plenty of features packaged into the software: some allow you to perform screen capture easily and quickly, while others enable you to process the screenshots more efficiently. I am surprised that it even contains features that are not found in some commercial software.
Screen Capture Ability
In Shutter, there are plenty of options that you can use to capture screenshots. Under each option, there are sub-options for you to choose from. Be it taking a snapshot of your screen, an application window or a web page, you will never run out of ways to capture the image.
As its name implies, this option allows you to take a screenshot of a selected region. There are two modes to this: Simple and Advanced. The simple mode is simply dragging your mouse across the screen to highlight the region that you want to capture. In the Advanced mode, a lightbox overlay is displayed on the screen instead and you can mark out the region you want to capture.
Shutter Selection advanced mode:
Most, if not all, screen capture tools allow you to capture full screen images. What is different in Shutter is that you can select which virtual desktop that you want to capture.
For example, if you are on the first desktop and you wanted to capture the screen of the fourth desktop, you just need to select the Compiz x:3,y:0 option and it will automatically move to the fourth desktop, take the screenshot, and return back to the first desktop with the image.
Assuming you have opened several applications and you wanted to take a snapshot of the application window, this is where you would go to select the window you want to capture. The default option is to capture the last active window.
This function supposedly allows you to select a section of the window. Despite trying it out several times, I still do not understand how it works. Hopefully the developer can provide more documentation on this section.
If you are thinking of taking the full length screenshot of a web page, but are hindered by your screen size (most webpages are longer than your screen size), then this Web feature allows you to easily grab the screenshot of any webpage without you having to open your browser and view the page.
Inbuilt image editor
If you think this is the end of Shutter, then you are wrong. Shutter also comes with a simple inbuilt image editor that you can use for image editing. Don’t expect it to be like Adobe Photoshop, but it is definitely good enough for simple touch ups.
One of the features that I love in Shutter is the plugin system that allows you to add image manipulation to the images. Some of the plugins include raised border, jigsaw pieces and many other interesting plugin scripts that you can use.
Another nifty feature about Shutter is that once you have captured a screenshot, it is automatically copied to the clipboard so that you can immediately paste it to your favorite image editor (such as GIMP) for editing.
Yes, there is a upload feature where you can upload your screenshots to several image hosting sites. One thing though, I have not heard of or even used any of the image hosting sites that it supports. Hopefully it can integrate with Flickr, Picasa or Photobucket in the future.
What I mentioned above is only some of the best features in Shutter and there are still plenty of options for you to explore. Compared with all the different screen capture applications that I have used in Linux, this is really the best that I can recommend. If you have not tried it, get it now.
If you have tried any other Linux screen capture software which you prefer, please do share it with us in the comments.
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