If you have a video for which you want to extract a frame of it as a picture, then VLC is the right tool for you. VLC allows you to take snapshots of your favorite parts of a video file. This way, that part of the video is exported as an image. You can use that image for your own purposes such as sharing, turning it into a wallpaper or just saving it in your folder.
VLC has an inbuilt option called snapshots and you will learn how simple it is to take one. Just click a button or hit a shortcut key. Your picture is automatically saved into a folder of your computer.
To take snapshots in VLC:
- Make sure that the video for which you want to take the snapshot is playing.
- When you reach the part of the video which you want to save as a picture, pause it if you want.
- Press the shortcut for taking snapshot. This method works the best. Default shortcut:
- In Windows: SHIFT + S
- In Linux: CTRL + ALT + S
- In Mac OS X: Command + ALT + S
- Instead of the above hotkey, on the menu bar you can press Video > Snapshot to save a snapshot.
- The option is also available by hitting right click on the video and from that menu selecting Video > Snapshot
- You know that taking a snapshot has been successful if you see a thumbnail of the snapshot on top of the player along with its saved file location and file name. This will fade away quickly.
Where are the Snapshot Files Saved?
Snapshot files are automatically saved to default locations based on the operating system that you use.
In Windows 7: Snapshots are saved in C:\Users\username\My Pictures
In Windows XP: Snapshots are saved in C:\My Documents\My Pictures
* Assuming that Windows documents folder or user folder is in C: drive.
In Linux: Snapshots are saved in $(HOME)/.vlc/
In Mac OS X: Snapshots are saved in Desktop/
Configuring Snapshot Directory and Formats
You can also choose where the snapshots are saved, its format (PNG, JPG TIFF) and the file name of the saved picture file. To configure this:
- Go to Tools > Preferences [CTRL + P]
- In Simple Preferences, choose Video and configure the following options under Video snapshots:
- Directory: Browse to the directory where you want the video snapshots files to be saved.
- Prefix: The file name prefix which is automatically appended with the date/time of the file creation. Check the sequential numbering box if you want to use numbers instead of current date/time.
- Format: Choose between png, jpg and tiff.
- Hit Save when you are done.