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How To Take a Screenshot on the Galaxy S7

Posted by William Sattelberg on May 18, 2017

Taking screenshots on your smartphone has become a common function in the past few years. From saving your friends’ wild Snaps to capturing important information on your display, knowing how to quickly save a screenshot on your phone is one of the most important shortcuts to know on your phone. If you’re new to Android, or you’re switching to the Galaxy S7 from a different Android phone—one with an on-screen navigation bar—this shortcut may not seem immediately apparent to you. Taking a screenshot on the Galaxy S7 actually involves two separate methods, and even gives you a few choices on how to save or share your display. All of this can seem a bit complicated at first, so let’s take a look at all your options for taking a screenshot on the S7 or S7 edge.

Using the Button Shortcut

Like most smartphones, the S7 has a physical key shortcut for taking screenshots. However, unlike most other Android smartphones running Android, Samsung’s 2016 flagships use a physical home button and hardware keys for back and recent apps. This means that, unlike the traditional Volume Down+Power combination on Android, the Galaxy series uses a slightly different layout.

To save your screenshot, simply press and hold Power+Home. After a moment, your phone will make a shutter sound (if your ringer is on) and the screen will display a shrink-in animation. The screen will then highlight with a blue border, and for a few seconds, you’ll see several screenshot options at the bottom of your screen. Each of these options provide some form of functionality related to your already-captured screenshot.

  • Scroll Capture: Scroll Capture will allow you to capture a longer screenshot, covering additional portions of the screen you may not have been able to fit into one frame. This is incredibly useful for capturing text or chat conversations, long articles or notations, or anything else that wouldn’t be able to traditionally save in a 16:9 screenshot. If you select this option, the display will automatically scroll down to the next section for you, and capture an additional screenshot. The feature works well, and even in web pages that have top and bottom bars with site logos or sharing options, the screenshots will still only show the text of the article itself, as if it were captured on one very-long screen. When you take a Scroll Capture, the width resolution shrinks to 1080p (instead of the traditional 1440p), and the length depends on how many times you continue the screenshot. It’s also saved as a JPEG instead of a PNG.

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  • Draw: You can probably guess what this feature does. Draw allows you to scribble notes over your screenshots. You gain several different pen and eraser options, as well as color and size choices, and the ability to undo or redo anything you draw. The option is a bit shaky, and it works better if you happen to have a stylus for your phone, but if you need to circle or draw attention to something on your screen, Draw works well. Once you’re done with your masterpiece, you can share or save the newly-changed photo right from the display.

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  • Crop: Another great feature that happens to be a Samsung-exclusive, Crop allows you to select a portion of the screenshot you already took. This is great if you’re only trying to share a specific part of a conversation, webpage, tweet, or anything else on your display. It’s great for sharing specific pieces of information with friends, without sharing any additional information you don’t want them to see.

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  • Share: Like most of the options here, Share is fairly self-explanatory. From the screenshot display, you can immediately share a screenshot with a friend, on a social network, or inside an email. It’s a simple-but-convenient feature that makes sending information to others quick and easy.

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Once you’ve taken a screenshot, you’ll receive a notification that the shot has been captured. If you expand the notification, you’ll see a preview of your screenshot, along with three options: Share, Edit, and Delete. Share functions the same as noted above, and Delete is great for removing accidental screenshots. Edit will open the traditional Samsung Gallery edit display, allowing you to adjust the rotation or tone, and add effects or “decorations,” if need be.

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Using the Palm Gesture

Of course, Samsung also provides an additional method of taking screenshots, and this one doesn’t require you to push a single button. Samsung uses a palm swipe gesture to capture whatever’s on the screen at the moment, and it can be enabled in settings using the following method: Using either the settings shortcut in your notification tray or launching settings from your app drawer, scroll down to the Advanced Features listing. In standard mode (pictured below, left), it is under the Phone category of settings; in simplified mode, it’s near the bottom of the settings list (pictured center). Once you’ve opened Advanced Features, select the “Palm Swipe to Capture” setting (pictured right) and enable it. After that, you can close settings.

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The palm swipe gesture allows you to use your palm to swipe from one direction to another on your phone, which will automatically save a screenshot and allow you to perform the same options detailed above for a standard screenshot. This is great for users you might have their phone on a table or counter and want to quickly save what’s on their phone’s display, but in our testing, we found the feature to work inconsistently enough to not wholeheartedly recommend. If you don’t swipe with palm in just the right way, your phone won’t detect the gesture being initiated. Instead, your phone will detect a simple swipe or tap, moving or changing what your phone is displaying. For that reason, we recommend using the traditional two-button method if you’re trying to capture something time-sensitive, like a Snap.

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Still, it’s nice that the feature is included by Samsung; I just wish it worked a bit better in practice.

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Screenshots are an example of a small thing that, with the right tweaks made by Samsung on their flagship phones, becomes an essential part of using the phone. Being able to crop or extend screenshots is a feature that, once you have, you just can’t live without. Luckily, Samsung’s included nearly every feature you could ask for as part of their screenshotting abilities, and though the actual action of taking shots may be a bit different here than it is on other Android phones, the additional function more than makes up for it.

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