How do I Take a Screenshot on a Chromebook?

One of the things I do a lot of is take screenshots, and one question I keep seeing asked over and over is, “How do you take a screenshot on a Chromebook?” If you’re like me, you probably didn’t read the instructions when you first fired up that Chromebook and only gave the welcome window a cursory glance. That’s why you’re here.


Holding Ctrl + the Chrome OS “Page Flipper” button will take a screenshot.

It’s quite simple really. Press Ctrl + chrome_page_flipper and Chrome OS will take a screenshot of the entire screen and save it to your Downloads folder in PNG format. On the Chromebook Pixel and Acer C720P, Ctrl + Shift + chrome_page_flipper lets you draw a box using the touchscreen around a specific area you want to capture. You will receive a notification in the bottom right of your screen letting you know it’s ready, but there is an additional trick you can do.

Screenshot 2014-06-11 at 6.11.11 PM

First off, you can copy your screenshot to the clipboard. I personally didn’t make this connection when switching to Chrome OS and had always uploaded the image files. Being able to copy the screenshot to the clipboard allows you to paste your screenshot directly into other documents, say on Google Drive or into an online image editor’s canvas. If the pop-up notification goes away, you can expand your notifications and the option to copy to clipboard will still be there.

You can paste your screenshot right into Google Docs, GMail, or online paint apps

Otherwise, you can go into your Downloads folder, and crop it to size there, upload to Google Drive, share it on Google+, or pretty much anything else you want to do and have always done with image files. Screenshots are nothing new, but without the familiar Windows keyboard print screen button, I had to ask too. Chromebooks have a lot of potential to replace traditional PC’s, and the cut and paste thing is just one more trick to help you be productive.

What feature or short cuts did you discover the hard way? Let me know in the comments.

Have a tech question you want to see answered? E-mail me and it could become our next post.

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