Print screen on Chromebook: how to take a screenshot

Print screen on Chromebook - Screenshot featured

A print screen on Chromebook is actually child’s play, but you just need to know how to do it. We explain below how to take a screenshot on a Chromebook with a simple step-by-step plan.

In this article, I explain how to print screen on a Chromebook. We have explored this for Chromebooks that are used as laptops, but also for when you want to take a screenshot in tablet mode. In addition, there are two different types of screenshots. But don’t worry, we’ll explain everything!

What is a print screen?

Taking a print screen is really nothing more than taking a (digital) print of your screen, nowadays also known as screenshot. This can be done in a number of ways, where you take a screenshot of your entire screen, or just a portion. Maybe you want to capture more than just what’s on your screen and capture an entire website or document, those are all possible options.

Each system has a different way of taking screenshots, for example it works differently on a Mac, Windows and a Chromebook. In this article I explain how to print screen on your Chromebook and what you can do with the file afterwards.

There are many different Chromebooks on the market, some of which you can also use as a tablet by folding it in half. In this first section, we’ll assume you’re using the Chromebook as a laptop, so with the touchpad / mouse and keyboard.

Then there are two different options for taking Chromebook screenshots. For example, you can capture the entire screen, but it is also possible to make a selection of the screen and thus capture only a small part.

Before we start, there is one keyboard key that is necessary when taking screenshots that I would like to ‘explain’ first. That is the so-called ‘show windows’ key that you can see in the picture below.

Print screen on Chromebook - show windows
Show windows on Chromebook

Full screen screenshot

To take a full-screen screenshot on your Chromebook, there’s a simple key combination that will do it for you.

  • Press Ctrl + Show windows and then a print screen will be created.

It can be that simple. Before I explain further all the options you have after this, I’ll explain how to take a screenshot of a part of the screen.

Print screen on Chromebook - full display screenshot
Screenshot full display

Screenshot of part of the screen (selection)

To capture part of the screen as a print screen on your Chromebook, there’s another key combination you need.

Below is a brief roadmap.

  • Press Shift + Ctrl + Show windows
  • Drag with your mouse the area you want to capture in the screenshot

So by pressing ‘Shift’, you can choose which part of the screen to actually capture.

Print screen on Chromebook - screenshot selection
Print screen selection

Useful option after screenshot: copy

After you’ve taken a screenshot, there are a few more handy options, including sharing and copying the print screen. Below we explain how this works.

Once you’ve taken the screenshot, you”ll be given the option to view it in the lower right corner, but also to copy it.

If you choose that option, the screenshot will be placed on your clipboard and so you can paste it somewhere. This can be for example in a messenger like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, but also in an email, document or any other program. This way you can send screenshots even faster from your Chromebook.

This is a feature I personally use very often.

Where can you find screenshots on Chromebooks?

Have you taken a screenshot and accidentally clicked away the window, or are you just looking for your saved collection of print screens on your Chromebook? If so, fortunately it’s extremely easy to find them again.

  • Go to the launcher at the bottom left corner of your display
  • In the search bar, type: ‘files’
  • Open the ‘Files’ app
  • Select ‘Downloads’ here
  • Voila: here is (apart from perhaps some other files) an overview of your screenshots

By default, ChromeOS names the screenshots as follows: ‘Screenshot<date> at <time>.png’. This way you can always retrieve the time the screenshot was taken if that’s important.

There are also more and more people who choose a Chromebook with touchscreen. In some cases you can also use it as a tablet by folding it completely in half. This also means that you have no keyboard and the above key combinations are therefore not available.

Fortunately, there’s still a way to print screen on Chromebook. For people with an Android phone, this may seem familiar, as the key combination is actually identical (may of course be slightly different depending on the brand).

  • Press Volume down + Power button

It can be that simple! Once again, you now have a screenshot (of your full screen) taken in tablet mode on a Chromebook.

That covers the possibilities of taking screenshots by default within ChromeOS, but there are many more options available, which can be implemented by third-party apps or extensions. Below I have made a short list of apps/extensions that I have had good experience with for taking screenshots on Chromebooks.

Screenshots on Chromebook with an extension

Taking screenshots with an external app or extension generally offers a bit more options in terms of editing and sharing the captured images. The two apps I discuss below are widely used and therefore come with the necessary features.

Lightshot (Chrome-extension)

Advantages Lightshot
  • Taking screenshots is user friendly
  • Easy editing and adding annotations
  • Easy sharing on eg social media
  • Small, light tool (extension)
Disadvantages Lightshot
  • When sharing screenshot via link, it is publicly accessible
  • Works only in Chrome browser

Lightshot is installed as a Chrome extension and has been on the market for years. In fact, I even used this tool once, when I was a kid, on Windows.

With Lightshot you can easily take screenshots on your Chromebook, of the full screen, but also choose a selection. Subsequently, you have all kinds of options to edit the screenshot and, for example, easily add an arrow to point out something.

If you’re satisfied, then it’s again easy to share it, this can be done in two ways:

  • Sharing via cloud service from Lightshot – This involves uploading the screenshot to Ligthshot, then getting a link that you can forward. When someone clicks on the link, they will be able to see the screenshot.
  • Save the screenshot locally on your Chromebook.

Am personally quite enthusiastic about Lightshot as a screenshot tool, but I always choose to save it locally. My screenshots don’t necessarily need to be publicly available online.

How exactly Lightshot works, they explain themselves in this video.

Nimbus Screenshot & Screen Video Recorder

Advantages Nimbus
  • User-friendly creation of screenshots
  • Easy editing and adding annotations
  • Many possibilities
  • Recording of videos (screen recording)
  • Screenshots of entire displays
Disadvantages Nimbus
  • Only works in Chrome browser
  • Features can be a bit overwhelming at first

Nimbus is a particularly comprehensive Chrome extension and therefore offers many more features than Lightshot.

Here it is also possible to use all the functions of Ligthshot, including taking partial or full screenshots of your display, but there are also options to record your screen, for example.

You can then edit these (video) recordings, convert them to MP4 or GIF and share them with multiple different channels. In terms of sharing, Nimbus also has many options: for example, sharing directly to Google Drive, Dropbox, but also services such as Slack.

The developers of Nimbus have also created another tutorial on how to record your screen on your Chromebook in Chrome.

In conclusion

There are many options for taking screenshots on a Chromebook. You can do this through the built-in features, but if you need more features and capabilities, there are plenty of options with extensions.

If you’re looking for more tips and handy tricks, then check out our Chromebook tips.

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