Shutter in lieu of mate-screenshot, as quickly as possible

Shutter is a very powerful capture software that allows you to do the majority of things you could do with mate-screenshot, except it's more feature-packed and has lots of extra goodies built into it, so there's no need to install additional software for basic editing, and it also has the facility to capture menus and tooltips.

There are a lot of features, none of them which I will cover. The aim of this guide is to integrate shutter into your desktop workflow as quickly as possible, so you can use it, over mate-screenshot should you want to.

This is quick and painless, as you can get it right now from the Ubuntu repos;
sudo apt install shutter

Shutter comes with its own editor and notifications, but if you want a more powerful image editing tool, add gimp if you don't have that already, and configure that until you are content prior to editing any image with it.

###From within shutter
Right away, open shutter and go into Preferences, under the Edit menu. To make it feel more integrated into your system, look in the Behaviour tab and change the Notification agent to Desktop Notifications. Optionally, to make Shutter act more like mate-screenshot, enable Present main window after taking a screenshot.

To further make it act like mate-screenshot, under Main tab change Filename to Screenshot at %Y-%m-%d %T. Else, hover over the field to see what wildcards you can use for screenshots.

The Actions tab allows you to make Shutter do certain other things after taking a screenshot; some users might be interested in making Shutter open another application aside from the built-in editor. Change to your liking, or disable by unchecking the box next to the dropdown menu.

###Keyboard shortcuts
There are two different sets of instructions depending on what window manager is in use; Marco or Compiz.
Go into mate-keybinding-properties and scroll down until you see the two entries Take a screenshot and Take a screenshot of a window. Click on those two entries and press Backspace to disable them. Create new shortcuts to use Shutter, using the commands provided after Compiz, below.

If you have not already, install ccsm;
sudo apt install compizconfig-settings-manager

Then run ccsm and see under General MATE Compatibility. Change the two options for Screenshot command line and Window screenshot command line. Use mate-keybinding-properties for additional commands as necessary.

This section will present two kinds of commands;

  • Full
  • Disable Shutter window from showing (-n)
  • Exit after screenshot (-e)
  • Hide cursor (-C)
  • Output to ~/Pictures (-o '~/Pictures/...')
    Also, output with date (-d) and time (-T).
  • Basic
  • Use Shutter as-is, with minimal commands as required
  • Act just like mate-screenshot

These are not the only things you can do; these are just quick references that you can copy as commands, and there's a bunch more you can do if you execute shutter --help via terminal. Both sets will appeal to different people, which is why I am presenting them both instead of giving commands people might not be interested seeing; choosing how you want things to work is part of the Linux experience, after all.

Because of certain application commands being used, dash (via sh) is used to execute shutter with these additional commands normally unusable when shutter is used alone.

  • Capture the display
    sh -c "shutter -n -e -f -C -o '~/Pictures/Screenshot at %Y-%m-%d %T.png'"
    (-f captures the whole display.)
  • Capture a window
    sh -c "shutter -n -e -a -C -o '~/Pictures/Screenshot at %Y-%m-%d %T.png'"
    (-a captures the active window. An error may occur; see caveats for more information.)

These commands don't care how shutter acts, and will perform a lot like mate-screenshot, except you will be allowed to have all screenshots for the current session of Shutter kept in different tabs, which may be great for gathering a bunch of images for later editing, without being prompted about saving them immediately.

  • Capture the display
    shutter -f
  • Capture a window
    shutter -a

Due to a lot of built-in extras beyond taking a screencap, this program may take more space and require more packages than a user may be comfortable with. Bear that in mind while using low-capacity media.

If you intend to keep Shutter open, use of -a will cause errors if shutter is already open. You can use -w instead to initiate the window picker, which will then save as screenshot or use the alternative commands below to prevent these errors;

  • Full command; capture a window (appended)
    sh -c "killall shutter && shutter -n -e -a -C -o '~/Pictures/Screenshot at %Y-%m-%d %T.png'"
  • Basic command; capture a window (appended)
    sh -c "killall shutter && shutter -a"

Shutter makes a lot of terminal output upon execution because some functions are dependent upon existing software that isn't installed with the shutter metapackage. This can be safely ignored if you don't need those functions which are broken because said dependencies are missing.

Is Shutter worth it? If you're already used to taking a screencap, defining where to save it every time then opening GIMP to later edit it, maybe not. Shutter includes some things most users may not need, and some might not be interested in automating the whole process of saving, editing and uploading an image.

Else, if you're a control freak who likes heaps of automation and the possibility of uploading your images from within a screenshot tool, then this one's probably for you.