How to take screenshots on Fedora Workstation

Fedora Workstation ships with a simple yet capable screenshot utility. It allows the user to take quick screenshots of your desktop, particular windows, or an arbitrary portion of the screen. The Screenshot utility (gnome-screenshot) application is designed to be a quick way to capture and save screenshots of your workstation.

Launching Screenshot

In Fedora Workstation, you launch Screenshot by searching for screenshot in the activities overview screen. You can also find it in the applications view. It is located in the Utilities subfolder.

Using GNOME Screenshot: Opening the application for screenshots

Screenshot modes

Screenshot has three main modes of taking a screenshot: grab the whole screen, grab the current window, and select area to grab:

Using GNOME Screenshot: Taking a screenshot

Note that if you are using multiple monitors, Grab the whole screen will take a screenshot of your whole screen, not just a specific monitor.

There are also a few extra options available for some of these modes.

Grab after delay allows you to specify how many seconds to wait before Screenshot takes the shot. It is useful for staging shots of things like items that appear on hover. Delaying the grab is only available on the grab the whole screen and grab the current window modes.

The grab the current window mode has the largest amount of options. It allows you to apply effects — such as a drop shadow — automatically after the screenshot is taken. When grabbing a window, you can also specify if you want the window borders and mouse pointer to show up in your screenshot too.

Taking screenshots

After setting the modes and options you require, press the Take Screenshot button in the top right of the Screenshot application window. Once you press the Take screenshot button the window will be hidden, so it won’t show in your screenshot.

If you are using the select area to grab mode, after you press the Take Screenshot button, your mouse pointer will change to a crosshair-style pointer. Simply click and drag to select the area for your screenshot.

Using GNOME Screenshot: Drag-and-drop screenshot

Saving the screenshot

After the screenshot is taken, the Screenshot application will show a Save dialog. Screenshot will generate a name for you based on the time. Simply change the file name to one you want and click save. Screenshot also provides a neat button that will copy the screenshot to your clipboard. This is great if you want to quickly paste it into another application like GIMP or Inkscape for further editing.

Using GNOME Screenshot: Saving your screenshots

Keyboard Shortcuts

If you want to just take a screenshot without playing with the settings beforehand, Fedora Workstation also has several keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots in different ways:

  • Printscreen key – grab a screenshot of the whole desktop and save it to your Pictures folder
  • Alt + Printscreen – Take a screenshot of the currently focused window and save it to your Pictures folder
  • Shift + Printscreen – Select an area to grab and save it to your Pictures folder.
  • Ctrl + Printscreen – grab a screenshot of the whole desktop and copy it to the clipboard
  • Ctrl + Alt + Printscreen – grab a screenshot of the currently focused window and copy it to the clipboard
  • Ctrl + Shift + Printscreen – Select an area to grab and copy it to the clipboard

If you have a keyboard that doesn’t have a printscreen key, you can change these shortcuts in the Keyboard preferences in the Fedora Workstation settings application.

Using Software


  1. Q-collective

    You could use this, rather clumsy, way of making a screenshot. Or you could simply press the printscreen button or the shift-printscreen combo to take a screenshot of your full display or of a selected area respectively.

    • @Q-collective: Good point, the PrtSc and Shift+PrtSc buttons perform those tasks well for people who have them available on their keyboards (not everyone does). Also, you can use Alt+PrtSc to screenshot only the active window. However, none of these key combinations offer a delay, which is sometimes helpful to arrange the screen properly.

  2. Joao Rodrigues

    Or with the keyboard, you can use the PrtScr key to take a screenshot:

    PrtScr – Saves a screenshot to the Pictures folder
    Alt+PrtScr – Saves a screenshot of the active window to the Pictures folder
    Shift+PrtScr, select area – Saves a screenshot of the selected area to the Pictures folder

    If you just want to copy the screenshot to the clipboard instead of saving in the Pictures folder you use Ctrl+[keyboard shortcut]
    Ctrl+PrtScr – Copy a screenshot to the clipboard
    Ctrl+Alt+PrtScr – Copy a screenshot of the active window to the clipboard
    Ctrl+Shift+PrtScr, select area – Copy a screenshot of the selected area to the clipboard

    You can also change these keyboard shortcuts, by going to Settings > Keyboard > Shortcuts tab and select the “Screenshots” section

    • Thanks! I forgot to mention the keyboard shortcuts in the post!

      I have updated it to include them!


  3. Taking screenshots have never been much of an issue on Fedora. But i hate the fact i cant just get my desktop icons or easily navigate to them from the panel Gnome 3.x is still an unholy mess as Linus Torvalds termed it. Lets think about having the fall-back-mode of Gnome as default. My opinion. Screenshots can be launched using a combination of keys if am not mistaken.

    • Steven Snow

      Have you checked gsettings command? I believe there is the ability to select whether you choose to have desktop icon or not, however I haven’t really investigated. Typing ‘gsettings list-schemas’ in a terminal should reveal the schema you are looking for. Then typing ‘gsettings list-keys ‘ should get you the info on what keys are available to modify.

    • Steven Snow

      The Gnome Tweak-ui tool if installed will allow you to graphically select whether you have icon on the desktop, although I haven’t tried it since I don’t like icons on my desktop.

  4. Leslie Satenstein

    I have used this tool to document most of the screens for anaconda. I am in the process of writing a guide for the Fedora 24/xx beginner.

    It has worked well.

  5. gnome-screenshot -a

    Is my favorite method for taking screenshots on Fedora.

  6. mike cox

    The problem I have on one PC is a wifi keyboard with no prt sc button. Any way round it ?

    • IIRC, In GNOME I think there is a short-cut that is


      Try that?

      • @Remy: I don’t think that shortcut exists in modern GNOME; however, using the Keyboard settings, it’s trivial to set up a shortcut to call

        gnome-screenshot -i


    • Just updated the post, to include this, but you can change the Keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots in the Settings app, in the Keyboard section.

  7. Onuralp S.

    Shutter also good option for fast editing and also making nice screenshoot out of it.

    • Maciej

      Shutter is absolutely the best option, this app is absolutely brilliant! I mean if someone cares about good designed GUI apps on Linux. ;P

    • I actually started writing a post about Shutter first, then figured that I needed to cover the basic way of taking screenshots first. The article on shutter is in the works still too 🙂

      My favourite feature of shutter would have to be the “redo screenshot”, so useful when taking lots of screenshots of a VM.

  8. Arnold Sutter

    I’m regularly using Screenshot and I like it too.
    Sometimes, I like to take several screenshots (like to document an installation for example).
    When I do this, I have to open Screenshot again after taking one. Is there an easy way to take several screenshots in a row?

  9. Balthazar

    Is it possible to simply use the Print Screen key ?

    • mike cox

      Its not when the KB aint got one , which is why this post was started and you clearly have not read it !

    • Yes! the printscreen key does work — just added a section to the article to cover all the default keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots.

  10. CA Fedora User

    I am a fan of Shutter, which supports blurring regions, adding highlights/annotations, and uploading to major image services.

  11. Klemen

    Just use shutter 🙂

  12. Cool! Thanks from Mexico!

  13. Arzillo

    Why if I change a folder to save screenshots in dconf-editor to /home/user/Pictures/screens (I also change settings there to capture a pointer) – nothing happens – Print Screen saves it to Pictures without pointer? Although, if I run gnome-screenshot from terminal folder settings works correctly.

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