How to Use Greenshot: Blur & Annotate Screenshots on PC & Mac [2021]

Screenshots are ordinary satellites of work life. It’s the best way to show and explain things to your colleagues, students, Zoom or Slack-mates. Besides, screenshots help remember information quickly and get back to it later on.

There are many tools to make screenshots on Windows. For example, you can create screenshots with the “Print Screen” button and Microsoft Paint. Or you may download a special app for screenshot making called Greenshot.

What’s Greenshot?

Greenshot Windows Installer Additional Plugins

Greenshot is a free open source program for screenshot taking on Windows PC and Apple Mac computers. Unlike the default Windows Snipping Tool, Greenshot is a feature-rich application which is all-in-one solution for all screenshotting purposes. Using Greenshot you can make screenshots of all sizes, edit screenshots, save screenshots as JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, ICO, blur sensitive parts of your screenshot, add lines, arrows, speech bubbles, annotate your screenshots and highlight important parts of your screen captures with color. Besides, you can share your screenshots automatically to Imgur and send a web link with your pic into chats. Or you may install additional Box, Dropbox, Flickr, Jira plugins and upload your screenshots there from Greenshot. Being 100% GNU ver. 3 open-source software, Greenshot depends on donations, so if you like Greenshot app and want to help Greenshot to make money, please donate to Thomas Braun, Jens Klingen, and Robin Krom project.

Watch how to how to install Greenshot on Windows 10 below (quick start guide):

Greenshot is a cross-platform app. It’s also available for Mac OS user, here’s the download link from official website. Unfortunately, there’s no Greenshot for Linux, Ubuntu and Android OS.

As with other open-source freeware like GIMP, the question of Greenshot security bothers many users. People often ask Google: is Greenshot safe? Yes, Greenshot is safe, the source code is available on GitHub 24/7. Greenshot is not malware. But beware of tricky download websites which bundle Greenshot app without author’s permission. Please install Greenshot only from the official website (use the link above).

The tool motto says that Greenshot is optimized for productivity. And that’s certainly true. Greenshot is fast, lightweight and really simple to use. Even if your PC is quite old and has modest RAM memory, or you run a virtual machine, you still can use all Greenshot features. Moreover, Greenshot doesn’t request admin rights to install and run it. So you can use this free software almost in all situations, even on remote desktop.

How to Use Greenshot?

Greenshot Hotkeys Settings

How to get Greenshot to work? That’s easy. Install the application following Greenshot installation wizard step by step and click the “Print Screen” button, the screen image will be automatically created by Greenshot. If necessary, edit your screenshot in Greenshot Image Editor. Thus, you eliminate the need to deal with Microsoft Paint and can save fine screen pictures with a light-weight open source screen maker. Greenshot app allows you to create screenshots, save them as PNG or JPEG files, annotate, choose between the full window mode and the precise image area.

Here’s how to use Greenshot step by step:

  1. Download and start Greenshot exe file;
  2. Select installation language and additional plugin that you need;
  3. Indicate if you want to start Greenshot app with PC launch;
  4. Run the app;
  5. Click PrtSc button on your keyboard;
  6. Select an area with the help of your mouse;
  7. Release the left mouse button and select the next action;
  8. Choose what to do next: save screenshot, edit in Greenshot Image Editor, copy to clipboard, send to printer, open in Microsoft Paint, upload to Imgur, Box, Dropbox, Flickr, Jira or close Greenshot.
  9. If you open screenshot in Greenshot Image Editor, you’ll see the upper and left image editing toolbar where you can add signs, arrows, highlight text, white notes, etc.
  10. When you’re done working with Greenshot Image Editor, click the “Save” button and indicate the saving destination folder.

Please note that you can also start Greenshot using the tray icon. Besides, if you click the tray icon and go to the “Preferences” option, there you can tweak any Greenshot settings. As you can see on the screenshot above, you can always change Hotkeys as you want, or you can change Greenshot capturing settings. For example, not to show your mousepointer on screenshots, if you wish, see how here:

Greenshot Screen Capture Settings

Don’t forget to visit the Output tab in Preferences. There you can change your screenshot saving folder. And finally, you won’t be puzzled with the question “Where are Greenshot images stored?” All screenshot images will be stored in the folder that you indicate in Output tab in Preferences. Besides, here you can change screenshot picture saving format from PNG to JPEG or BMP, see my screenshot below:

Greenshot Screenshot Saving Options and File Destination

If you want to turn off Greenshot, go to Windows tray and hit the “Exit” button. It will turn up again on Windows start.

Now let’s explore several awesome advanced features of Greenshot Image Editor in details. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them.

How to Blur Part of Screenshot in Greenshot Image Editor?

How to Blur Part of Screenshot in Greenshot

When we make screenshots and share them from our PC, we might need to get rid of personal or sensitive data on the picture before sending our screen capture image. Here’s how to blur a part of your screenshot in Greenshot fast:

  1. Make your screenshot with Greenshot;
  2. Select the option to open in Image Editor;
  3. Greenshot Image Editor will open with your screenshot automatically;
  4. On the left menu find the “Obfuscate” icon;
  5. Select the area with you want to blur like center of my screenshot above;
  6. Save the blurred screenshot. Done!

As you can see it’s really fast and easy to hide and remove sensitive data from any screenshot with the help of Greenshot app.

How to Annotate and Highlight Screenshots in Greenshot?

How to Add Text on Screenshot in Greenshot

Another great thing that we sometimes need is to highlight important part of our screenshot or add text on our screenshot, so to say, to annotate our screenshot. So our viewer understands what we want to show better. Here’s how to add text to screenshot to annonate it in Greenshot:

  1. Make your screenshot with Greenshot;
  2. Select the option to open in Image Editor;
  3. Greenshot Image Editor will open with your screenshot automatically;
  4. Go to the top menu called “Object”
  5. Click the “Add text” option and write what you need on screenshot;
  6. Save the screenshot with text. Done!

Greenshot enables you to select text style, font, alignment and size, so it matches your screenshot.

How to Highlight Part of Screenshot in Greenshot

If you want focus viewer’s attention on some part of your screenshot, then you will need Greenshot’s highlight option. Here’s how to emphasize something on screenshot:

  1. Make your screenshot with Greenshot;
  2. Select the option to open in Image Editor;
  3. Greenshot Image Editor will open with your screenshot automatically;
  4. On the left menu find the “abc” icon;
  5. Select the area with you want to highlight with your mouse;
  6. Save the highlighted screenshot. Done!

Greenshot allows you to select highlight color and line thickness. Besides, you can magnify a part of your screenshot, if you want.

SEE ALSO: 10 Best Photo Sharing Websites & Online Storages

How to Capture Full Screen or Scrolling Window with Greenshot?

Greenshot has several screen capturing options:

  • make a screenshot of a part of your screen (called Capture region in Greenshot);
  • make a screenshot of an active window (called Capture window in Greenshot);
  • make a screenshot of full screen, only everything which is visible to you (called Capture full screen in Greenshot);
  • make a screenshot of a scrolling window for a web page which content is so long that cannot fit in your PC screen (works only in IE)

Unfortunately, you can make screenshot of full scrolling page only in Internet Explorer. Does capture of scrolling screen work with Chrome? No, unfortunately and that’s the biggest failure of Greenshot app. I hope developers of Greenshot will fix it soon. Still if you want to capture scrolling screen in Internet Explorer, here’s how to capture scrolling window with Greenshot:

  1. Launch Internet Explorer;
  2. Open a scrolling web page which you want to capture in IE;
  3. Go to tray and start Greenshot;
  4. Select Capture Internet Explorer option;
  5. Wait several seconds while Greenshot prepares screenshot of scrolling window. Please don’t close IE during
  6. Save the ready screenshot. Done!

Several my tests show that such screenshots have some artifacts like lines, so the quality of screenshots isn’t superb and processing speed is quite low. Here’s an example of Mashable scrolling homepage screenshot that I made with Greenshot:

How to capture scrolling screenshot using Greenshot

Can Greenshot Capture Video?

No, Greenshot can’t capture video.

Is Greenshot Better than Snipping Tool?

Greenshot Image Editor

As you can see Greenshot has tons of excellent features. Here’s a comparison table, so you can see if Greenshot is better than Windows Snipping Tool:

FeatureGreenshotSnipping Tool
Screen capture: area, window, full screen++
Capture long scrolling web pageonly in IE
Saving formats: JPEG, PNG, GIF++
Copy to clipboard, send by email++
Upload screenshot to cloud+
Inbuilt image editor+
Highlight++
Annotate+
Blur part of a screenshot+

Upon the whole, Greenshot is a superb Snipping Tool screenshot maker alternative based on open source code. It’s a speedy and user-friendly application that all of us can enjoy. Plus, the variety of features inside Greenshot deserves appreciation.

Final Review: Is Greenshot Any Good?

To sum up, Greenshot is a great free, open-source screenshotting app. It can be both simple quick screenshot maker and advanced app with many features. Moreover, the app isn’t overloaded with powerful tools, so you don’t have to fight with app interface to make just a screenshot. But if you wish to use all the hidden tools, you can do it. If you still hesitate, watch complete Greenshot video tutorial below and make the right choice:

So what do you think of Greenshot? Tell us in comments!

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