Sometimes it’s good things that look for you, not the contrary.
Shutter, formerly known with the unfortunate name of gScrot, is a nifty GTK utility to take screenshots. After a first look, I was happily surprised. As I am blogging more these days, I’ve becoming more and more frustrated about taking screenshots.
Problem is: taking screenshots wastes an awful amount of time. Usually you hit print screen, save somewhere (don’t even try to save in clipboard, that won’t work with GIMP), open gimp, select, crop, save. Upload. Uff..
What’s even more frustrating to me about the whole process is the number of window GIMP opens, that bring additional confusion in my already messy workspace setup (irc chat, firefox, terminal etc). I really hate that.
While the screenshot plugin of Compiz allowed me to slice through the gimp burden in some cases, it’s not feature rich as Shutter.
Shutter allows to take screenshots in 4 ways:
- Full Screen: takes a screenshot of the whole screen
- Window: makes a shot of a single window. While this can be normally accomplished with Alt+PrntScrn, Shutter is capable to grab window decorations as well. Furthermore, no background will be visible if your window decoration has rounded corners. Nice thing is it will even let you select the window to grab from a dropdown menu, without the need to even leave Shutter’s window.
- Section: will grab just a part of a window. After selecting the window you want to grab, the various components of the window (such as button bar, treeviews, etc) will be highlighted as you hover the mouse.
- Web: another cool thing. You can take the screenshot of a whole webpage. Just copy paste the URL (it will also auto-detect if you clipboard contains an URL) and you’ll get a picture of the whole webpage, tall as it is, without scrollbars or anything.
Along with usual and much needed configurable preferences (where to save, filename format and naming etc), there are also a bunch of other features worth mentioning:
- a bunch of plugins to make your screenshot look like a polaroid photo, have a shadow, have an edge etc. If you blog and wanna annoy your readers, that’s the path to go .
- an useful resize plugin, to let you resize your shots right from inside the program.
- an internal editor, to add annotations and basic shapes to your pictures. Goodbye Gimp !
- integrated upload. Imageshack, Ftps and your Places menu are at hand.
- pdf export (may be useful with webpages, maybe ?).
How to get it
Ubuntu repositories are available on launchpad for both the Stable and the development version.
To get the stable add those lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/shutter/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/shutter/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
sudo apt-get install shutter
Downloads for other distributions and further informations are available at their download page:
Of course Shutter is not perfect, even though is quite mature and has a fair amount of features. During my tests I experienced some sporadic freeze (which could be related to my nVidia driver btw, my MacBook+Ubuntu setup doesn’t really feel stable at the moment).
Also as Shutter gives me the strong sensation of being mostly feature complete, I’d really like it to refactor the user interface a bit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s evident that the UI got many attentions and much careduring the development process, but I really think some more polish and streamlining may be done. I really think that could be a nice goal for the next milestone.
Also other things I’d have liked:
- Crop plugin : currently only a resize plugin is available.
- Blog plugin: leveraging the XML-RPC format to upload images and insert a reference to them into your blog database. Well, that’s asking much, but ain’t I allowed to dream ?