Ubuntu “Print Screen” Bug – Create A Keyboard ShortCut For Screenshot To Avoid The Problem

By | 01/08/2013

The other day I was trying to capture screen-shot of a drop down menu of a program on my Ubuntu 13.04 box and I was shocked to note that the print screen key went completely inactive. Initially I thought that there could be some problem with the key itself but after some time I noticed that the problem was there only when drop down menu was active. I googled around and found that this is a bug which is not yet resolved.


Create Custom Keyboard Shortcut For Screenshots

Though I used gnome-screenshot command line utility to capture screen-shots but I was curious to know whether there is a way around or an unofficial solution to this problem. I googled around and learned that we can create a custom keyboard short-cut for print screen key so that a command line utility of user’s choice is invoked when print screen key is pressed.

As I have been using the command line utility gnome-screenshot as an alternative to print screen key, so I thought of creating a custom short-cut for print screen key invoking this utility.

These are the steps that you need to follow in order to create a custom keyboard short-cut on Ubuntu :

  • Go to system settings


  • Click on the Keyboard icon


  • Now click on the short-cuts tab


  • In this window you can see that there are various categories of keyboard short-cuts and when a category is selected, all the short-cuts under that category is displayed. For example, the following capture shows Screen-shots as a selected category and all the short cuts under this category.


  • Now, click the + sign present towards the bottom of the window. This should prompt you to create a new short cut.


  • Once done filling the name and command, click on apply button and a custom short-cut is added.


  • Though the short-cut is added but it is still disabled. To enable it and provide a key combination, just click on the newly added entry at the point where ‘Disabled’ is being displayed. Once you click there, ‘New accelerator’ should be displayed instead of ‘Disabled’.


  • At this point of time press the print screen key and you will see following warning message.


  • This warning is because the print screen key is already assigned to a short-cut named “Take a screenshot”. As this is what is required so go ahead and hit the Reassign button. Once you do it, the status of this short-cut is changed from disabled to the key name ie print.


  • Now, try capturing a screen shot of a drop down menu by pressing print screen key first and then opening the desired drop down menu and you will see that it works. Note that there will be a delay of 7 seconds in capturing a screen shot as we introduced it deliberately while filling up command in short cut details.



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