Samsung Galaxy S21 – How to Screenshot, Use Smart Select and Smart Capture

Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Galaxy S21

Samsung smartphones have been going through significant changes for some time now. As you read this, the changes that we are concerned about have to do with your new Samsung Galaxy S21. Of course, the same principles described here also work for the S20 edition.

If you’re interested in taking screenshots on the device, there is a better or a recommended way of doing it, as we will outline below. You want to pay attention to how you can be adept at using Samsung smart select and smart capture.

What can you do with Smart Select?

Let’s say that as you’re using your smartphone, you come across an interesting article or find a cool image that you want to have. Make sure you capture the screen using the Smart Select feature on the device. You can also draw on your phone screen with the S Pen and then use Smart Select to capture your drawing.

Use Smart Select to capture the screen

Samsung Galaxy S21 Smart Capture
Samsung Galaxy S21 Smart Capture

In case next time you come across something that you would like to capture and save, do the following:

  1. To capture content like an image, an article on a website, or the web page itself, remove your S Pen, then tap the Air command icon to open the command menu. After that, tap Smart Select.
  2. You can also tap a shape icon on the toolbar, it could be Rectangle, Lasso, or Oval. You could also create GIFs by tapping GIF or tap Pin to Screen to transfer the content to your device’s home screen.
  3. Drag the S Pen across the content that you want to select. Tap Extract text to copy or share the selected area on the device screen.

The following options are also available for you to use for smart select:

  • Auto-select: automatically changes the appearance of the selected area.
  • Draw: write or draw on a selected area with the S Pen if you need to write a note as a reminder.
  • Share: This allows you to share the selected area with others through Email, social media, or in other ways.
  • Save: The area you selected will be saved on your device. Find it in the Gallery in case you need to find it later.

Use Smart Select to capture video

If you want to capture a video using smart select, know that it can be done, although the maximum period to do this capturing is only 15 seconds. This also applies to creating GIFs. To create a GIF, all you need to do on a Samsung phone is capture part of that video with the S Pen.

Let’s get started with this.

  1. Remove your S Pen and tap the Air Command icon so you can access the menu. After that, tap Smart Select.
  2. Tap GIF on the toolbar, then resize and reposition the capture box just as you like. You have the option to choose between high quality or standard quality when capturing a video with smart select.
  3. Ensure that the video is playing, tap Record to capture your screen. Remember that when you do this, the sound is not recorded.
  4. Click stop on the screen once you’re done. All these must be in the bracket time of 15 seconds. Once you click stop, you’ve finished capturing the video. For this part of using smart select for capturing video, you have the following options:
  • Draw: write a note or draw a picture on the GIF to make it unique to you.
  • Share: You can send the GIF to friends and acquaintances by Email or social media.
  • Save: Yes, you can also store the GIF in Gallery on your device.

Screenshot using buttons on Samsung Galaxy S21

If your smartphone is Samsung Galaxy S20 or S21, you can rest assured that you have the opportunity of using the method of taking a screenshot by means of button pressing on the smartphone.

Take note of the following simple procedures:

  • Ensure that the content you want to screenshot is right there on the screen of the device.
  • Press the volume down and standby button on the right side of the device at the same time. This should be a quick press.
  • Once you do that, the screen will be captured, and it will automatically save the shot inside the “Screenshots” folder inside the phone Gallery.

This may not work exactly the same way in other Samsung phones that rely on other buttons to do the screenshot. Make sure you do a quick press and not a long press, as that will only launch the power controls, which means you have to start all over again.

Screenshot using palm swipe

Samsung Galaxy Palm Swipe
Samsung Galaxy Palm Swipe

You can also use a gesture to screenshot the screen on Samsung phones. Read on to see how this can be done.

  1. Go to Settings > Advanced Features > Motions and Gestures > Palm Swipe to capture the image or the web page on the device screen. For it to work, the option must already be switched on.
  2. Simply swipe the side of your hand across the display. It doesn’t matter whether you do it from the right or from the left. Both are effective.
  3. Once you do that, the screen of the device will be captured, and it will automatically save in the “Screenshots” folder of the Gallery.

Screenshot using smart capture

This procedure is also known as the screenshot toolbar. It is unique to Samsung phones, and if you’re having either the Galaxy S20 or S21, you’re good to go. The main advantage of using this method is that it lets you add some effects to your screenshot without waiting to go there and open it.

To use the smart capture feature, follow the next simple steps:

  1. Turn on smart capture by visiting Settings > Advanced Features > Screenshots and Screen Recorder.
  2. When you screenshot using the methods described above in this post, you will get additional options at the bottom of the page inside a banner. There will be options to draw, crop, or share. However, you may find that the most useful option here is the scroll capture, and this option is marked by arrows pointing down.
  3. Tap scroll capture to include or exclude parts of the display as much as you want.


You must have seen a little bit more about the power of the Samsung Galaxy S21. Some of the features explained above are fairly unique to Samsung. Once you master your own favorite of using smart select or smart capture, you will discover that you can do more and all – to your delight.