When you need to highlight ab issue on your computer, one of the best ways is to take a screenshot to illustrate the issue. Better still, you can add annotations to it so the people helping you can easily understand the issue you are having. Let’s see how you can easily grab a screenshot of your desktop and annotate it with Ksnip in Linux.
The best way to get Ksnip is by using the Snap Store. If you are using an Ubuntu-based distribution that supports the Snap Store by default, you can find it in its Software Center.
If you’re a fan of the terminal, you can install it with:
sudo snap install ksnip
If you are using something like Arch or Manjaro, you will first have to add support for the Snap Store as we saw here, then issue the same command.
Take a Screenshot
The first step to taking a screenshot of something is to have it on your screen. Start by running the application, opening the document, or visiting the site you want to grab a screenshot of. We will use this site as an example.
To take a screenshot of a specific area of your screen, you can click on the “New” button. By default, you will have to define the area you want to capture. If you prefer to take a snap of your full screen or a specific window, use the accompanying pull-down menu to select your desired capture mode.
When it’s done grabbing your screenshot, Ksnip will open it in its main interface.
Add Some Text
To add text to your screenshot, use the text tool with the “A” symbol. You can click anywhere and start typing, or you can click and drag to define its bounding box beforehand and then start typing inside it.
On the bottom left of the window, right under the mini toolbar, you will see some options that allow you to customize how your text will look. Among other things, you can change the font’s color, size, the bounding box’s fill and border color, etc.
After some tweaks, your text will look different than when you first clicked and started typing. To readjust its position, select the transformation tool (first in the toolbar, with an arrow in a bounding box). Left-click on your text box and keep the mouse button pressed down, then drag it wherever you wish.
Arrows and Highlights
Ksnip offers two ways to drag someone’s attention to a specific point of your screenshot.
You can use the arrow tool (sixth tool in the toolbar, with an arrow icon) to point at something. Select it, left-click and keep the mouse button pressed where you want the arrow to start, then drag where you want it to point to and click the mouse button. This is much easier than using the arrow tool in GIMP.
Alternatively, you can use the highlighter tool (fourth in the toolbar, with a marker icon) to create a colored overlay over an area of your screenshot. It’s better for text, though, so you may not notice the yellowish tint in the screenshot below.
Like with the text tool, both the arrow and highlighter tools come with some basic options that, for example, allow you to change their color.
Blurring and Numbering
It’s almost a given that some of your screenshots will contain elements that you wouldn’t want to share with others. Fortunately, you won’t have to use a full-blown graphics editing application to remove anything from personal information to inappropriate advertising: you can blur it in Ksnip.
Choose the blur tool (seventh in the toolbar, showing dots in a “tic-tac-toe” arrangement). Use the only active option right below to define how “powerful” the blurring effect will be on your screenshots. Finally, define a bounding box with your left mouse button over the area you want to blur.
As a final step, if you have too many points of interest in the same screenshot, you can use numbers to prioritize them. Select the numbering tool (third in the toolbar, with the number 1 inside a circle), then click where you want your number to appear.
You can use the numbering tool’s parameters to change the fill, text, and stroke color. And you can use the transformation tool (first one, with the arrow inside a bounding box) on them, too, to move your numbers around or drag the edges of their bounding boxes to resize them.
Finally, use “File -> Save” to save your screenshot in a popular file format you can easily share with others, like PNG or JPG.
Although Ksnip excels as a screenshot and annotation combo, it’s lacking and feels somewhat buggy compared to more popular screenshot tools. If you’re not interested in annotating and only need a great screen-grabbing app, maybe you’d like to look at some alternatives.
Are you using a different tool to capture and annotate screenshots? If yes, which one, and why do you prefer it over other alternatives?
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