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A screenshot is an image of what is seen on the screen. In OpenTTD screenshots are automatically saved to files in the game's installation directory. Screenshots are saved in one of the specified formats (PNG, BMP or PCX) in the Game options window. See Screenshot format for details.


Types of screenshots

Standard depicts only what is actually seen on the screen (including all open menus, windows, dialogs etc.).

The Giant screenshot, on the other hand, saves an image of the whole map at the closest zoom (excluding currently open windows); it does not matter where the user view camera is or what the magnification is. If the map is very large it will take a long time to save the image, and produce a large file.

Taking a screenshot

A message of a successful screenshot

There are two ways to take a screenshot:

  • Opening the Other (Other) menu and selecting Screenshot or Giant screenshot.
  • Pressing the Ctrl-S or Ctrl-G key combinations on the keyboard for normal and giant screenshots respectively.

A message will be shown once the screenshot has been saved showing the name assigned to the file, which is the name of your company followed by the in-game date.


OpenTTD has a screenshot function built into it and it can save in several file formats:

To take a screenshot press Ctrl-S or hold the Other button and select Screenshot.

Screenshots for forum posts

The preferred format for uploading to the OpenTTD forums is PNG, for the following reasons.

BMPs are rather large and do not make for good formats to upload to other players. Since PNG is not as well known as GIF or JPEG formats, the first instinct of many people is to convert the BMP to JPG or GIF. OpenTTD is not suited to these two file formats.

Let's look at why:

PNG format (256 color) - 11kb

The 256 color PNG screenshot currently has no image loss, because OpenTTD only uses 256 colors! This is the default PNG format output.

PNG format (16 million colors) - 30kb

The true-color PNG screenshot also has no image loss, but is larger because it does not index the colors.

JPG format (16 million colors) - 33kb

The JPG screenshot is not nearly as sharp. There is color loss so that makes Combo Signals and Exit Signals appear the same.

GIF format (256 colors) - 40kb

The GIF screenshot has no image loss, but the file is larger than PNG. GIF is always limited to 256 colors.

  • A third-party tool, pngout, can further compress the png images.

JPG is much better suited for photographs than for solid color art like OpenTTD.


PCX files are a legacy feature as the original Transport Tycoon could only save in PCX format. PCX files do not compress very much, the example above as a PCX is 233KB.

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