How to take and edit a screenshot on a Chromebook

Taking a screenshot on a Chromebook isn’t the most intuitive action to find but it’s a simple shortcut away. Or rather one of two simple shortcuts, depending on if you want to snap a full image of your screen or a partial image.

To capture the full screen, just press the ctrl and switch window (typically above the number 5 key) keys on your keyboard at the same time. Alternatively, you can bypass the hardware keyboard altogether and click More Tools –> Take screenshot from the upper right Chrome menu. In either case, the screenshot will be saved as .png file on your local storage; you can find it in the Files app.

Here’s an example of my full desktop on the Pixelbook:

Now what if you want to capture just part of the screen?

For this, you’ll need to use a keyboard combination. In fact, it’s the same ctrl + switch windows key combo but with the addition of pressing a shift key. Doing this creates a little cross-hair style cursor, similar to a mouse cursor, on your screen. By left-clicking on your trackpad and moving the cursor, you can dynamically select which section of the screen you want captured.

Here’s an example of a partial screen shot from the same web page in my above example:

This image also gets saved to your local storage and can be found in the Chrome OS Files apps.

Once you have your screenshot captured, it’s easy to do basic edits by opening the image file from the Files app.

Using the options at the bottom of the screen, you can crop, resize, adjust brightness and contrast, or rotate the image. Keep in mind that if you took a full screenshot and meant to take a partial one, you can just use the crop tool in the native editor. There’s no need to go back and take another screenshot.

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7 thoughts on “How to take and edit a screenshot on a Chromebook

  1. I can take a screen shot but I would like to see it and edit if I need to the right hand bottom of my screen does not come up any more after I have taken the shot I would like to be able to control size would like to trim and would like to see it before I post it!! help

    1. Julie, unless you have “Do not Disturb” enabled, which eliminates notifications at the bottom right of the screen, you should see a thumbnail of the screenshot briefly. And in any case, you can open the Files app and see the saved screenshot in your Downloads folder. At that point, double click the file to view it and/or edit it. Hope that helps!

  2. Hi Kevin, do you know how to edit a bit more than resizing, I mean like adding a red circle to focus on a word, or adding labels like 1, 2 , 3 for the action order in a procedure … things you can do with a screenpresso for example on windows ? For the moment, I do it pasting in slides but it’s quite a heavy process … Thanks!

  3. September 7 and I’m having the same problem – the ability to eg underline part of a screenshot has disappeared! Screengrabs seem to have become read only???? Sitting here on a new Chrome – but I could do all this just a few weeks ago – have I slipped into a different mode or something?

  4. I need to know how to move the screenshot I captured to a file. NOTHING HERE states how to do that! I don’t need to edit it, I need to move it to a paper! NOT HELPFUL

  5. I can easily take screenshots and edit or file them. I’m having a problem with the cursor appearing in the shot. I’ve opted to us the arrow if it makes a difference. Thanks!

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