If I take a screenshot, often the next action is to paint on it. Sometimes I paint a circle around something, sometimes I blank parts to anonymize them.

Below is an example of the window after the screenshot was taken:


It would be great if I could directly go to "edit image".

BTW, I use Pinta, not Gimp.

I guess this is impossible.

Off-topic but nevertheless relevant:

I know the terms "Wayland", "Xorg", "Gnome".

But my grand mother is a user, not a geek. She does not know these terms. And it would be great, if she could use ubuntu without learning these terms.

  • 5
    You may want to try Shutter: askubuntu.com/a/6570/480481 – pomsky Jan 10 '18 at 10:55
  • @pomsky I don't care for the name of the tool. In this context I am user, not a linux expert. I type "scre" in the autocomplete after pressing the window-key (I think this is called "dash"). I take the first matching tool and use this. IIRC there is a book about usability which is called "don't make me think". I have not read it, but I like the title :-) – guettli Jan 10 '18 at 15:15
  • 2
    your grandmother can live her entire life without knowing "those terms" AKA the display manager she's using or the Desktop environment, I've installed ubuntu for people like your grand mom and they're doing great. Anyhow I'll install ubuntu today on my new laptop and shutter and we'll see – Lynob Jan 16 '18 at 10:27
  • I edited my answer to include a third tool (possibly the best tool available) – Lynob Jan 16 '18 at 10:49
  • If you replace "gimp" by "pinta", this works askubuntu.com/a/758752/72216 – Jacob Vlijm Jan 16 '18 at 11:00

Pomsky is correct use shutter.

It has a screenshot tool, once you take your picture, it has a built in image editor, you can paint or whatever. Shutter is the easiest tool you want.

Thanks to Organic Marble for commenting, pointing that shutter is now available according to this article

Another option, if you ever decide to switch to gimp, it has a built in screenshot tool


I'd use shutter anyway, simply because it's the best tool for screenshots on any OS. You can even upload the image directly to imgur or several other photo sharing sites from within shutter.

There's also Flameshot, here's an article about it on OMG Ubuntu. I didn't test it, but if OMG talks about it, it has to be good, and indeed from the looks of it on Github, it seems pretty good, maybe even better than shutter.

enter image description here

The app lets take a screenshot of your whole screen or a specific section, annotate it, and then save it locally or upload to Imgur, with the URL automatically copied to your clipboard ready to paste elsewhere.

A powerful open source screenshot and annotation tool for Linux, Flameshot has a varied set of markup tools available, including:

Freehand drawing

You can customise the color, size and/or thickness of many of these image annotation tools.

There are also on-screen buttons to:

Move screen selection
Copy to clipboard
Save file
Upload to Imgur

Many of these options can be accessed by pressing keyboard shortcuts

I'm on ubuntu 16.04, unity, if you are too, follow this tutorial


That worked perfectly for me, just make sure to use sudo. The package included in Ubuntu 16.04 software center does not work, at least for me.

  • If this tool is great, why not make this tool the default in Ubuntu? – guettli Jan 10 '19 at 12:46
  • @guettli When I posted my answer, it was so new, that no one heard about it, secondly, Ubuntu developers aren't on the look for the best software to include them, for example shotwell has been released for ages and they still don't include it by default, I can think of many other examples. For instance chromium the open source is these days almost always faster than firefox and not included by default. I guess they stick with what the users are most familiar with and then the users can customize their desktop however they want – Lynob Jan 10 '19 at 12:51
  • Thank you for your answer. I don't understand why the best solution is not the default. Bandwith and disk-space is no more an argument today. If you want a minimal solution take raspberry. – guettli Jan 10 '19 at 13:09
  • 1
    Shutter cannot be used to edit in 18.04, and is no longer in 18.10. The official site just gives a 502. This project seems to be more or less dead. – detly Feb 13 '19 at 21:49
  • @detly Thanks for the info, I couldn't edit in 16.04 and I thought that something is wrong with my installation, I'll update my answer to say that – Lynob Feb 13 '19 at 21:52

I see that you would like to use keyboard shortcuts, but if you compromise a little, it is possible. You can just drag&drop the screenshotted image (left side in your own screenshot above) to your pinta window. That's it.

It's also mentioned in the documentation, under "Making a Screenshot".

  • If I see the window of above question, in this moment there is no pinta window open. .. if it needs documentation it is not a no-brainer. – guettli Jan 15 '18 at 15:14

if you want a "no-brainer" replace your current screenshot program with shutter. As already mentioned by others, It has built in: simple editor, photo share and save. It can take a full screen shot, window or an area (magnify is also available for an area shot. The print screen button launches it in full screen capture mode.


You don't mention the version of Ubuntu that you're running, but be aware that 17.10 now defaults to Wayland (no longer Xorg). Shutter, as others recommend (and a great application) currently will not work under Wayland. As I tend to prefer Wayland in general, I've forsaken Shutter for the Screenshot Tool Gnome extension, and it works quite well.

When Shutter eventually does support Wayland (or vice-versa), there will be much rejoicing.

  • My grand mother is a user, not a geek. She does not know the terms "Wayland", "Xorg", "Gnome". And it would be great, if she could use ubuntu without learning these terms. – guettli Jan 16 '18 at 8:45

Making it Work With Pinta

The original question implied that Pinta was the desired program to be used in editing the screenshot, so this is how you make that happen:

  1. Install CCSM and it's extra plugins with this command line: sudo apt install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins-extra
  2. Configure the Screenshot plugin as shown in the picture below
  3. To take a screenshot, hit Super+MouseButton1.
  4. The crosshair will appear, and you select the area of the window you want to take a screenshot of.
  5. After completing the selection, Pinta will open.
  6. Hit Ctrl-V to paste the screenshot into Pinta.

If you can figure out how to get Pinta/GIMP to open with the contents of the clipboard, then it is exactly what you want.

For others reading this post, if you want to use GIMP instead of Pinta, just change pinta to gimp, in the Launch Application setting as shown in the CCSM window below.

enter image description here


I tried editing the screenshot with Pinta in Ubuntu 20.04, but it kept crashing. Also, I wanted to use the screenshot functionality provided by Ubuntu and use a software to edit the screenshot since I find it quicker.

I used KolourPaint to edit screenshots in Ubuntu 20.04. KolourPaint gui looks similar to Paint in Windows. Since I am familiar with Paint, I was able to figure out things easily in KolourPaint.

Note : If KolourPaint doesn't work on older versions of Ubuntu, you can try editing the screenshot with LibreOfficeDraw. To take a screenshot, please see step 2) below.

Following are the steps I followed:

1) Install KolourPaint either via Ubuntu Software Centre or command line:

sudo apt update

sudo apt install kolourpaint

2) Take screenshot and copy it to the clipboard. Starting from Ubuntu 18.04,by default, pressing Ctrl+PrtScr does this. For more key combinations and for options in Ubuntu 16.04, you can browse this link: How to printscreen direct to clipboard

Then, open KolourPaint and paste it using Ctrl+V

3) Edit the image in KolourPaint. Click on the link below to view an image which I edited using KolourPaint:

Image edited using KolourPaint

Crop the image:

You can also crop the image using the selection tool.

Selection tool in KolourPaint

To crop, click on the selection tool, encapsulate the area you want, and press Ctrl+X to cut it. You can paste it in a new window of KolourPaint by pressing Ctrl+V. You can then save this image.

You can refer the article I wrote: How to take a screenshot of your desktop and edit the image (crop/annotate/encapsulate) using KolourPaint in Ubuntu


There is an Ubuntu Help page for this problem:


They also suggest to copy it to clipboard and paste it in your favorite image editing software.

  • yes, this work-around works. The question is about how to make it easy. – guettli Jan 15 '18 at 15:15
  • Then I agree with @pomsky to use Shutter: unixmen.com/learn-take-screenshots-edit-shutter-ubuntu – DamBedEi Jan 15 '18 at 15:19
  • Yes, I could work around this. But what about sane defaults. I would like my grand mother to use ubuntu. Installing a different tool for taking screenshots is too complicated. – guettli Jan 15 '18 at 15:41
  • You can define custom keyboard shortcuts for shutter. Then you can use your print-key as you are used to it: askubuntu.com/a/609060/393832 – DamBedEi Jan 15 '18 at 15:49

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