How To Crop the Window Capture in OBS

OBS Studio has multiple options that allow you to capture both the entire display and individual parts. For example, with Window Capture, you can screencast a single open window instead of the full screen. However, the feature doesn’t work well with tutorials and similar content since it’s limited to only capturing the main window and nothing else. That means if you want to record any pop-ups, menus, and additional panels, you’ll have to crop a standard Display Capture to fit the screen.

Luckily, there are several ways to do that with OBS Studio. Apart from a slew of built-in editing features, there are also third-party solutions for platforms like Windows. Window Capture works great with games in windowed mode, allowing you to record multiple monitors at once. However, there are some limitations to keep in mind. Mainly, you won’t be able to capture any pop-ups or menus.

If you want to make a comprehensive tutorial, your best bet is to crop a standard Display Capture to only show the open window. Then, you can pretty much cut out all the unnecessary parts, like toolbars, desktop icons, background, and more. There are three different ways you can do this: by applying the Crop/Pad filter, using the Edit/Transform feature, or with ALT Cropping.

How To Crop a Window in OBS on Mac or Windows PC

For starters, you can use the Edit/Transform feature to crop a window capture. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Scroll down to the “Sources” box and right-click on the Display Capture. From the pop-up menu, choose “Transform,” then click “Edit Transform.”
  2. A new window will appear. If necessary, press “Reset” to reconfigure the source settings.
  3. Enter the appropriate width in the field marked “Crop: Right.” The height field is labeled “Crop: Bottom.” If you don’t know how many pixels you need to crop, try subtracting the window size from the overall aspect ratio of the monitor.
  4. Once you’re done, close the window and go to “Settings.” Open the “Video” tab and set the Canvas Resolution to match that of the window capture.

Finally, you can crop a window capture the old-fashioned way: by using your cursor. There’s a nifty command that allows you to manually resize the screen capture in OBS. It’s probably the easiest method out of the four. Just follow these steps, and you’ll be able to crop or stretch the capture to your liking:

  1. Select the Display Capture source with your cursor. You’ll see a red outline with several small red dots placed at the top, bottom, sides, and corners.
  2. Hover your cursor over the red dots and press “Command.” For Windows and Linux Users, hold the “ALT” key.
  3. Left-click and move the red circles while holding the key to crop the Display Capture.

Linux

While Window Capture has its restrictions, it can still be pretty useful. For example, if you only want to screencast a single window without any additional content, the feature works like a charm. Also, it’ll save you the trouble of editing and resizing the capture, which is super convenient. So, here’s how to do a Window Capture in OBS Studio:

  1. Open OBS and scroll down to the “Sources” box.
  2. At the bottom-left corner of the box, click on the little “+” button. Next, select “Screen Capture” from the pop-up menu.
  3. A small pop-up window will appear. Name the source by typing in the corresponding field and click “OK.”
  4. Next to “Window” on the left-hand side, click on the tiny downward arrow to access a drop-down list. Select the window you want to capture from the list.
  5. Make sure you check the box that says “Capture Cursor.” Otherwise, your cursor will remain hidden during the recording. Hit “OK.”
  6. If the window capture isn’t the same size as the screen, go to “Settings.”
  7. Open the “Video” tab and set the Base Resolution to a lower value. It’ll shrink the canvas to fit the window capture.

Keep in mind that the window you want to capture can’t be minimized. You can have it run in the background, but it has to be open to appear on the list of available windows.

If you’re not happy with screencasting a single window, you can use Display Capture as the source and crop out the extra parts. OBS Studio has a built-in cropping filter that’s super easy to use. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Launch the OBS Studio app and scroll down to the “Sources” box. Right-click to access a pop-up options menu. Select “Add” and then click “Display Capture” as the source.
  2. A small pop-up box will appear. Name the source and then click “OK.”
  3. If you have more than one monitor, you have to select it manually. Scroll to the “Display” bar and click on the tiny downward arrow on the right-hand side. Choose the monitor from the drop-down list.
  4. Make sure to check the “Capture Cursor” box before you press “OK.”
  5. Scroll back down to the “Sources” box and right-click to access a pop-up menu. From the list of options, choose “Filters.”
  6. A pop-up window will appear. Click on the tiny “+” button in the lower-left corner. Find the “Crop/Pad” filter on the list and click on it. Hit “OK” to apply.
  7. Change the cropping parameters according to your needs. Then, in the corresponding fields, enter the pixel values you want for the capture. Once you’re done, click “Close.”

After you’re done, the window and OBS canvas should be perfectly aligned.

Additional FAQs

Why is OBS window capture not working?

OBS Studio is just as susceptible to occasional bugs and glitches, much like other streaming software. However, the most common issue Windows users face is the Black Screen error. There are several reasons why this can happen. To name just a few:

• You kept your computer on for too long.

• The OBS Studio version you have is incompatible.

• You haven’t downloaded the latest framework.

• OBS Studio doesn’t have administrative privileges.

• There’s an issue with the graphics card.

As you can see, you can fix most of these issues just by reinstalling the app or power cycling your computer. However, if the bug is caused by interfering graphics, it requires some more advanced troubleshooting measures.

Incompatible GPU and interfering graphics are usually the main cause of the Black Screen error, especially with laptops with multiple graphics adapters. Luckily, there’s a way to fix it. Just make sure to follow these steps carefully since you’ll be tampering with the processor:

1. Right-click anywhere on display to access a drop-down menu.

2. From the list of options, choose “NVIDIA Control Panel.”

3. Click on the “3D Settings” menu to expand it.

4. From the drop-down list, select “Manage 3D Settings,” then click “Program Settings.”

5. Find OBS Studio in the list of programs and select it.

6. Next, set the preferred GPU to “Integrated Graphics.” Finally, select “Apply” to save the changes.

7. Once you’re done, reopen OBS and check if the error’s been fixed.

If Something Else Crops Up

OBS Studio is wildly popular precisely due to its streamlined interface. While particular features like Window Capture have their limits, they’re still pretty useful. Furthermore, there’s a wide range of alternative solutions you can turn to instead.

You can use several cropping tools and features to resize a Display Capture to fit a single window. There’s also a third-party utility app that’s available for free. The catch is – it only works with Windows PCs. And even if a bug or glitch crops up, simply reinstalling the app or switching to a different GPU will do the trick.

Do you use OBS Studio for streaming and screen recording? What’s your preferred cropping method? Comment below and tell us if there’s another way to crop a window capture in OBS.

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