Grabbing the Screen with KSnapshot

Want to take a quick photo of an image on your desktop? KDE has an easy tool to do exactly that.

by Hal Stanton

I'm a KDE user. When I decided to give Linux a try, I felt KDE was the desktop environment most like what I was used to using. Using KDE has not been hard for me, but there are many things I have done over the years that I have to learn again. One of those things is how to do a screen capture. I am beginning to think the hardest part of using Linux is deciding which program to use. There are so many choices.

I needed an easy way to capture screens on my desktop. I looked at various programs and decided to use KSnapshot. KSnapshot is amazingly easy to use and offers all the options I need. Below, I am going to describe how to use it, but knowing KSnapshot is there to be used probably is the most important point of this article.

I found KSnapshot in the Utilities->Desktop menu of KDE. It also can be started by pressing Alt-F2 to display a run box and entering ksnapshot in the box. If you come to use KSnapshot a lot, you can add it as a desktop icon.

When you start KSnapshot, it grabs an image of your whole desktop before it displays itself. If this is what you wanted, then all you have to do is select Print or Save. Many times, though, you want to grab a snapshot of a particular window on the desktop. Doing this is accomplished easily by setting the "Snapshot delay" option to three or four seconds and selecting the "Only grab the window containing the pointer" option. Then, click the New Snapshot button, move the mouse pointer to the window you want to capture and wait until the mouse pointer blinks.

If you elect to save the snapshot, you are offered format choices. Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), JPEG and PNG are the most portable formats among systems. You also are offered two Windows formats, icon and BMP; two X formats, X BitMap Image and X PixMap Image; and a few other options.

When you print or save the snapshot, the dialog boxes are the standard ones that you expect to see in a KDE application. Once you are familiar with these and other standard dialogs, opening a file is another example, KDE applications become very easy to learn.

Hal Stanton was a Windows user for too many years. Now he honestly can say that Linux is a lot more fun.

Originally published in Linux Gazette issue 98. Copyright (c) 2004, Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc.

Web Editor - Fri, 2020-09-30 19:39.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


Thanks for the info - I was using "import" for this, but KSnapshot is much easier - I like.

RichardM (not verified) - Sun, 2020-10-02 05:16.


I would agree that it is less daunting than using a command line, but not necessarily easier. It's very easy to open Konsole and type:

import -window root desktop.jpg

That works great for a basic capture. Other options are simple to add (type import -help to see them).

In any case, I know this magazine is for new users, but don't be scared to try a few things with the command line. You can see some interesting stuff. :) Try these:
- cat /proc/cpuinfo
- cat /proc/meminfo
- lspci
- dmesg | less
(dmesg shows detected hardware - hit space to advance pages, and q to quit)

Can't hurt your system with any of these commands. :) Enjoy Linux!

Todd Ly - s (not verified) - Wed, 2020-10-12 11:52.

Thanks for your comments.

Thanks for your comments. The Linux Developers are making life more meaningful for a lot of people, most especially where people are hungry for knowlege but they can afford the tools for getting the desired knowledge. All Linux Contributors, thanks so much. You will really make this world a happy place for us all.

Semako (not verified) - M - , 2020-10-10 11:32.