Currently elementary OS Freya uses gnome-screenshot as its default screenshot utility.

This has an annoying bug were screenshots of active windows will show the background around the border.

I've found that screenshot-tool, an app built for elementary OS, solves this while integrating nicely with the system.

How can I change the default application that launches when PrtScrn is pressed, from gnome-screenshot to screenshot-tool?

To install screenshot-tool you can add its PPA, as instructed in the elementary-apps blog:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:fabiozaramella/screenshot-tool && sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install screenshot-tool

3 Answers 3


You can add a new keyboard shortcut:

First, open system settings and click keyboard:

Chose Custom, in the sidebar

Click the + button

Enter your command - in this case screenshot-tool

Click "Disabled", then press your chosen shortcut (in this case PrtScrn). You will have to accept it disabling the old shortcut, and then it will show up:

Finally, you have to log out and back in for the shortcut to be active.

  • Thanks for the answer Tim, but I already know how to set a custom keyboard shortcut. I asked how can I use the default shortcut to take a screenshot but re-direct it to this application instead of gnome-screenshot.
    – Gabriel
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 14:25
  • @Gabriel by reassigning the shortcut to the new application will do exactly that.
    – user3
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 14:28
  • @Gabriel You can use PrtScrn as the new shortcut - for screenshot-tool. As it is the same key, you won't have to change what you press
    – user3
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 14:46
  • @Gabriel - when you select the PrtScrn for the new program, you will be asked if you want to re-assign the shortkey
    – user170
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 16:53
  • So with custom shortcut assigned, its will disable the previous one, right? Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 17:54

You could make the gnome-screenshot command run screenshot-tool.

First, make a new file in your home area, called .bash_aliases, and edit it.

touch .bash_aliases
scratch-text-editor .bash_aliases

Then into it put the following:

alias gnome-screenshot='screenshot-tool'

and save it.

I'm not sure the system settings will listen to this however.


You can change what the binary /usr/bin/gnome-screenshot points to.

First, rename it:

cd /usr/bin
sudo mv gnome-screenshot gnome-screenshot-old

Then create a link from screenshot (the executable for screenshot-tool) to gnome-screenshot:

sudo ln -s screenshot gnome-screenshot

now when you run the command gnome-screenshot it will open screenshot-tool.

Note, however, that the shortcut PrtScrn may be assigned to gnome-screenshot -w (or with some option). It probably isn't, but if it is it will cause this solution to fail.

  • You would need to repeat this procedure after each gnome-screenshot update. Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 12:16

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