Screenshot Guidelines

A screenshot presents GNOME 3 to the outside world, and may be seen by hundreds or thousands of people.

Screenshots are an incredibly important part of how we promote GNOME, so it's important to get them right. Consistent, good looking screenshots will make your software look more attractive and will help to promote GNOME more generally.

The following are some guidelines for how to take screenshots of GNOME software. Please try and follow them whenever you put a screenshot online.

  • Use GNOME defaults - use the default wallpaper, font, visual theme. Avoid including your own tweaks or use of shell extensions in the screenshot.
  • Focus on one thing in your screenshots. Lots of overlapping windows make it hard for people to understand what you are showing them. Demonstrate one thing in each screenshot and don't show anything else at the same time.
  • Use the standard GNOME wallpaper as the background. If you need a background for your window, use the default wallpaper. In GNOME Screenshot this can be acheived by selecting 'Grab the whole desktop'.
  • Crop your image to exclude irrelevant detail but remember to leave a border to frame the image.
  • Screenshots often need to feature content, such as images, documents, web pages or videos. Try and use high quality content that contains positive associations, and which will have a broad appeal. There is a GNOME marketing Git repository that contains stock content that you can use.

  • Avoid content that might be considered offensive or controversial!
  • If the screenshot is supposed to be used for an international / unknown audience, try to use US English, otherwise, use the local language. But if in doubt, use US English.

How to do it

Examples of good screenshots:


A single window displayed on its own, using the default font and wallpaper. The video being shown looks great and carries positive associations; it is full of joy and happiness. This video, as well as other stock content, can be found in the GNOME marketing Git repository.


Only one window is shown and the default wallpaper provides an effective border.

Things to avoid

(No hard feelings towards the people who made these screenshots! You're not being picked on; we just needed some examples.)

Screenshots that could have been better:


The application is devoid of content. It also looks broken.


Non-standard, highly distracting background.


Uses a non-standard, small text size.


Overlapping or touching components don't look great and make the screenshot harder to read.


The screenshot doesn't have a background.


Not using the default font. Extra buttons have been added to the titlebar.

Engagement/ScreenshotGuidelines (last edited 2013-08-10 12:09:45 by AllanDay)