Taking Screenshots

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The purpose of publishing software screenshots is to introduce prospective users to the look and feel and to give them an idea of what to expect from the product once they have got it running. Therefore, screenshots should document common usage of the environment and applications, available to users with a standard hardware configuration.


  • Set the interface language to English, unless it's a localized screenshot.
  • Preferably, use the default Plasma settings (icons, color scheme, style, window decoration, application settings etc.).
  • Preferably, use compositing (Desktop Effects module in System Settings), but don't worry if your graphics card does not support compositing.
  • Preferably, use font "Liberation Sans" at 9pt.
  • If the screenshot shows parts of the desktop, preferably use the default background of Plasma. Include a margin (around 20 pixels) if possible, to ensure that window shadows don't look cropped.
  • Save as a PNG image.
  • If you are preparing a localized screenshot, use the same name as the original English one, with the language-code (the same as you will see on the page address) appended. Fx, a Spanish version of dolphin_open.png should get the name dolphin_open_es.png
  • If the screenshot is to update an existing one, use exactly the same name so that the update happens automatically (see Update an Image).


In this example Spectacle is used, but other screen capture applications work as well.

Capturing a shot of Spectacle using Window under cursor
  1. Start Spectacle
  2. Choose a Capture mode (1) from the following:
    Current Screen (only visible on a multi-screen environment)
    Everything on the single screen is captured, usually used for desktop screenshots.
    Full Screen
    This works differently, depending on whether you have a single screen or a multi-screen environment. For single screen users it captures everything currently on the screen. Multi-screen users will see it capture all screens into a single window.
    Window Under Cursor
    The content of an applications or dialog window is captured. usually used for application screenshots. Preferably, check the Include window decorations option (2).
    Only a region to be defined later is captured.
  3. Click on New Snapshot (3).
    Full Screen
    Current Screen
    Window Under Cursor
    Click anywhere on the screen to take the snapshot.
    1. Use the mouse to draw a rectangle around the region to be captured (for example around a window).
    2. Strike the Enter key or double click in the region to take the snapshot.
  4. Click on Save As... (4).
  5. Browse to the location you want to save the image, give it a name (name.png) and click on Save

To upload the image:

  • If you are making a new version of an existing image, see Update an Image
  • If you are making a new image go to Upload File under Tools in the right margin. That brings you to a page, where you can upload the image file.

Hints and Tips

  • The Snapshot delay option (5) makes Spectacle wait a given amount of time (given in seconds) before taking the snapshot. This can be useful in many situations, for example when taking screenshots of drop-down menus
  • It's often useful to create a separate user for taking screenshots to ensure a standard look with the default settings.
  • Use Type: Color in the wallpaper settings to get a white background.
  • By default, pressing Shift + Print Screen will directly take a screenshot, without Spectacle popping out.

See Also