For me, taking screenshots is an essential, daily practice. Sometimes it’s easier to show someone rather than try to explain it! Fortunately, taking a screenshot on your Chromebook is built-in and super easy!
Capture your entire screen
If you want to capture everything on your screen, all you need to do is press ctrl + overview key (the funky key on the top row of your keyboard where F4 or F5 would normally be). As soon as you press this key combination you should see a notification appear in the bottom right corner of your screen that confirms your success!
Tip: If you don’t see a confirmation, make sure notifications are enabled.
Capture a specific portion of your screen
I’ll be honest – I rarely take a screenshot of my entire screen. Most of the time I want to capture a specific portion of my screen. To capture a specific area of your screen, press ctrl + shift + switcher. You will notice your screen dim and your cursor will turn into a cross-hair. Click and drag to select the area of the screen you wish to capture.
How to find and use your screenshot
Ok, great! You took a screenshot…but where did it go? Screenshots (and any other file you download) are automatically saved to your download folder which you can access from the Files app. Just click the launcher (circle in the bottom left corner of your screen) and search for “files.”
Tip: I “pin” the files app to my shelf for easy access. To do this, right-click on the app and look for “pin.” This will permanently place the files app icon on the shelf at the bottom of your Chromebook screen.
You took a screenshot…now what? 🤷🏼♀️
For quick things, like capturing a confirmation number or documenting an error message, all you need is the screenshot. Sometimes, however, you may want to annotate or markup your screenshot. 🖍️
I do this all the time for my blog posts, presentations, and even my book!
There are two different tools that I use for annotating my screenshots:
- Google Keep – for quick annotation, Google Keep has everything you need. I just upload my screenshot and use the annotation features to draw on top of the image. Download the file and you are ready to go!
- Chrome Canvas – if you need more precise drawing tools, check out Chrome Canvas which offers more writing tools, pressure sensitivity, and layering.
Tip: if you have a Chromebook with an integrated pen (like the Pixelbook or Chromebook Flip), you can specify a default note-taking app by visiting Chrome Settings and navigating to “device.”
As a former high school science teacher, I understand the power of showing something rather than trying to explain it. That’s why screenshots are so useful. If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, a screenshot is worth 10,000!
BONUS: if you are a teacher, check out this post I wrote with 20 different ways you can use screenshots and screencasts in the classroom.