1. Tutorials

Live Sketch Your Educational Screencasts With Flameshot on Linux

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Flameshot is one of the best screenshot tools that work on Linux. The beautiful thing about Flameshot is that it allows you to do modifications on the screenshots that you just took in-place; Meaning that you don’t need to open the image in another image editing program to do your edits, as you can do them using Flameshot itself while it’s still taking the screenshot.

Flameshot is a word of beauty, it is one of the few open source apps that I am very glad to recommend to other people, and also one of the few apps that I am happy to be released as open source.

But you would be happier than me knowing that Flameshot can be used for more purposes than it was originally designed to do. You can, for example, combine it with any screencasting/screensharing application in order to create a fusion that allows you to create educational screencasts to other people.

  • Are you a teacher or a university professor? Use Skype or Zoom (And preferably one of the open source Zoom alternatives) to share your screen with your students, and then run Flameshot to enjoy the live drawing and text tools to explain any book/page/material that you want.
  • Are you a YouTuber? You can just run any screencasting program, and then run Flameshot on the parts you want to explain in a better way, and then use the drawing tools it provides to explain something.
  • Are you in need to create an educational video for people in your company or organization to explain something? Just start the recording process of your desktop and then run Flameshot to live sketch at the parts you want.

The even better thing about using this “fusion” is that you’ll be able to save the screenshots you took and modified; So you can also share them later with your students or colleagues whenever you want.

Live Sketching with Flameshot

The idea is quite simple to apply.

Just start your recording program (E.g Green Recorder or SimpleScreenRecorder), and then use the following command to run Flameshot:

flameshot gui

And then start writing and highlighting the parts you want from your screen:

Once you are done explaining, you can either:

  1. Press Esc key and discard all your drawings and texts.
  2. Save the modified screenshot into a specified folder.

For 2, you can even make the process easier by selecting which location to save the file into (So that you don’t get annoyed by the dialog asking you to choose where to save the image):

flameshot gui -p /home/mhsabbagh/Music/

Later on, you’ll be able to share your screenshots that you sketched to your other students as images:

5 educational screencasts on linux

You can use this method to analyze an online article, explain a book, highlight some important parts in a journal paper, write some math formulas… Many possible use cases come to mind.

Installing Flameshot & Keyboard Shortcuts

Flameshot is available in most Linux distributions’ repositories by default. Just search for the flameshot package and install it in your package manager.

On Ubuntu or Mint, that would be:

sudo apt install flameshot

After you have installed Flameshot, you should create a keyboard shortcut to launch the Flameshot command you want. For example, you can link the F12 key to the flameshot gui -p /home/<username>/Music/ command, so that you can launch Flameshot anytime you want using 1 key press.

Keep in mind that Flameshot supports a number of keyboard shortcuts by itself too, so for example you can increase/decrease the thickness of the lines you are drawing or the texts you are writing using Ctrl + Mouse Wheel. There are many other shortcuts that may help you in your screencast too.

For more information on how to do that, beside other installation instructions and other info on Flameshot, you may check our full review for it.

Conclusion

You should have seen now the result of using multiple tools together to create a product that wasn’t meant to be created by design for either of them. Normally people use Flameshot just to take random screenshots of their desktop, but its use cases can be very much more helpful than that.

Do you know any other similar “fusions” of software usage? We would love to hear about what you do in the comments below.

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