On Mac OS X, there is a handy key combo for taking a screenshot of any arbitrary rectangle section of the screen(Command-Shift-4).
Is there something similar(maybe Compiz plugin) for Ubuntu/Gnome?
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Shutter is a good screenshot tool that has this feature, among others.
Press shift + printScr and then a click drag to select the area you want a screen shot of
It is possible that the key combination shift+PrntScreen may not be the short cut to do this, then -
Command line interface way( i.e through terminal)(you need dconf-editor for this) -
gsettings get org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys area-screenshotto get the key combination currently assigned to get a screen shot of an area.
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys area-screenshot "[<Shift>Print']"Simly replace
"[<Shift>Print']"with your desired key combination.
Note: I have tried this method on Ubuntu 13.04, and I remember using it on Ubuntu 12.10. I know very little about the possibility of using these ways in Ubuntu versions before that..
In KDE I like to use
KSnapshot Spectacle (renamed). It's much simpler and faster than Shutter, so it's useful in those cases where you don't need to edit anything (for which Shutter is way more powerful!).
Now, I you hit the shortcut, the cursor changes to a big +. Select an area, and the screenshot is saved to the clipboard.