Firefox Screenshots integrated in Firefox Nightly - gHacks Tech News

Firefox Screenshots integrated in Firefox Nightly

Firefox Screenshots is a new upcoming feature of the Firefox web browser that enables you to capture screenshots or entire websites in Firefox.

Firefox has supported the capturing of screenshots straight from the Developer Toolbar for about five years already, but the feature was never promoted in any way by Mozilla.

While some Firefox users know about the functionality, the majority does not probably. Mozilla began to test a Test Pilot extension called Page Shot in September 2016 to find out if users would be interested in built-in screenshot support.

Firefox Screenshots is the name of the new screen capturing feature that Mozilla plans to integrate in Firefox natively. The first version of the feature landed in Firefox Nightly recently.

Firefox Screenshots

firefox screenshots

Firefox Nightly users will notice the new screen capture icon in the browser's main toolbar after the update. This icon powers Firefox Screenshots.

When you activate the icon for the first time, a short intro is displayed on the screen that informs you about the functionality that it provides.

Once you have clicked through the screens of the intro, you can start using the functionality. A click on the icon paints a transparent gray over the website. This indicates that you are in selection mode.

Firefox Screenshots supports two modes currently: full page and selection. Full page captures the entire page while selection only the area that you draw a rectangle around. Actually, there is also an option to save the visible part only as well (without drawing the rectangle around the area first).

Screenshots captured this way may be saved to the local system, or shared online on https://screenshots.firefox.com/.

The option to save the screenshots online is optional. You can open the screenshots that you have captured in the past with a click on the "my shots" option when you activate the Firefox Screenshots feature.

firefox screenshots my shots

Note: The URLs the screenshots are posted on are not protected. This means that they may be opened by anyone with knowledge of the URL.

Mozilla plans to release Firefox Screenshots for Chrome as well in the near future according to the official website.

Why? One reason may be that it is easy to do as Chrome supports WebExtensions as well. Another, that it may promote the Firefox name to the Chrome audience.

Disable Firefox Screenshots

Update: We have published an updated guide that explains how to enable or disable the screenshot tool in Firefox.

Firefox users who don't need Firefox Screenshots, for instance because they are using a different screen capturing tool or don't take screenshots at all, may deactivate the feature in the following way:

  1. Type about:config in the Firefox address bar and hit on the Enter-key afterwards to load the interface.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful if the warning screen appears.
  3. Search for extensions.screenshots.system-disabled.
  4. If the value does not exist, right.click in the main area and select New > Boolean from the menu.
  5. Name it extensions.screenshots.system-disabled.
  6. Set the value to true to disable Firefox Screenshots, or to false to enable it.
  7. You can change values with a double-click on the preference name.

Verdict

Firefox Screenshots is an upcoming feature that is currently available as a beta version for Nightly. If things go planned, it will land in Firefox Stable eventually. Firefox users who don't need it can disable it. It is unclear right now if an option to disable it will be added to the preferences, or if it works similar to disabling Pocket (remove icon from Firefox toolbar).

Now You: Do you plan to use the feature when it lands? What's your take on it?

Summary
Firefox Screenshots integrated in Firefox Nightly
Article Name
Firefox Screenshots integrated in Firefox Nightly
Description
Firefox Screenshots is a new upcoming feature of the Firefox web browser that enables you to capture screenshots or entire websites in Firefox.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Robert G. said on May 28, 2017 at 2:57 pm
    Reply
  2. Tom Hawack said on May 28, 2017 at 3:15 pm
    Reply

    Quoting the article, “Firefox Screenshots supports two modes currently: full page and selection”. The visible portion of the page would be welcomed. The ‘Firefox Screenshots’ page mentioned above explains that “The Save Visible button will capture the area you can view without scrolling” but that very button doesn’t appear on their very picture! Maybe is this option planned which would explain that at least two Mozilla engineers have worked on that page without concerting each other before, typical IMO of the Mozilla way of proceeding.

    Of course such a page saver feature is welcomed. It’ll allow to dismiss a dedicated add-on, such as ‘Screengrab’ which I use myself.

    The Web s all about discovering, learning and saving. Be it a page’s image, a site’s text, images. All supports are welcomed. Maybe a “Save as PDF” would be interesting as well.

  3. angry_former_aoluser said on May 28, 2017 at 4:15 pm
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    Mozilla spends all their time removing features and copying Chrome and this is what they come up with? This feature already exists as an add-on. Feature creep, Reinventing the wheel. Talk about wasted talent.

    Who is this catering to anyways? Has facebook told grandma’s that they take screenshots instead of pictures. Are millennials really that lazy? Is the Firefox user base dominated by a bunch losers infatuated with making internet memes. What’s wrong with “print to PDF”, “Save as …”, or copy + paste. Simply put, you’re going to have to run that shit back through OCR. you’re making it unnecessarily harder for you self in the long run, idiots.

    1. Clairvaux said on September 7, 2017 at 10:17 am
      Reply

      – What’s wrong with print to pdf : unwieldy when you just need a screen grab.

      – With save as : there are a thousand possible formats (espacially with extensions added), and you never know whether the lighter ones will render that specific Web page correctly. You always need to check after saving. Or, you decide to always save huge files with very little information in it.

      – With copy/paste : most of the time, you need to keep more information than that.

      Screenshots are very much needed as an alternative means of scraping information off the Web. They are not always appropriate to the task, but at times they are the best option and will save your bacon.

      1. Essam Khairullah said on October 17, 2017 at 6:23 pm
        Reply

        Sure, screenshots can be very convenient. Personally I prefer a screenshot utility that I can use system-wide instead of having one that can only take screenshots of Firefox. The whole point of having the Extensions system is that those people that actually want something as limited to this can do so without crufting up the entire Firefox build with crap that 90% of people have no use for or already have something better. To add insult to injury, you have to go digging in about:config and manually add new settings just to disable it. Just wait; a year from now, those settings will stop working and then everyone will be forced to use it.

        First Reader View, then Pocket, and now Firefox Sreenshots. Every one of these “features” belong as optional Extensions. The handful of people that actually want them can install them and the rest of us can marvel at how streamlined Firefox has become without all the useless cruft.

  4. DustInTheWind said on May 28, 2017 at 4:31 pm
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    WOW! Now that’s progress!
    A screenshot program. Miraculous. I’ve been waiting for almost 20 years for a program like this to be created!
    What’s next?….Maybe….hold on, now…..get ready for it….a digital clock built into the browser saving me the time it takes to have to get off my chair and go into the kitchen to check the time on the stove/range clock! I’m a genius!

    1. Duk said on May 28, 2017 at 8:03 pm
      Reply

      You shouldn’t try out Opera or Vivaldi.

  5. Júnior Silva said on May 28, 2017 at 4:45 pm
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    I hope they also natively add the Snooze Tabs, very good this experiment.

  6. Paul(us) said on May 28, 2017 at 5:03 pm
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    Absolutely than I am going to use it. There is for people who have more than one screen of course the option alt print scrn, but I have a sneaky feeling that this option is going to be smoother.
    Hopefully I can delete before the 14 days all the taken screenshots.and I can really find information or I can save the shots standard, on any give place on the hard disk?

    1. Caspy7 said on May 29, 2017 at 6:11 am
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      Yes, you can delete immediately: http://i.imgur.com/glZHPsK.png
      (I highlighted the trash button.)
      You can also choose from a number of options for the expiration/delete date: http://i.imgur.com/kUHdssX.png

      When taking a screenshot, if you choose to save locally, it will download immediately to your default downloads folder (and show up in the Downloads list). If you click the Download button from the hosted site (seen in my screenshot) it will present you with a Save As dialog.

      1. Paul(us) said on May 29, 2017 at 10:43 am
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        Thanks Caspy7, For this Cristal clear well written explanation.
        When those by Martin mentioned features are on-board with the stable release it will make it even more attractive.

  7. Yuliya said on May 28, 2017 at 5:06 pm
    Reply

    Shift + F2
    screenshot –fullpage

    Remove –fullpage to capture the visible area only. A simple button for this built in function would have been better imo. No need for an extension.

    1. asd said on May 28, 2017 at 10:16 pm
      Reply

      Shift + F2
      screenshot –fullpage

      or

      Ctrl + Shift + i
      Camera icon

      lol what a useless development. whatever, I don’t care since I will be switching to another browser when most of the addons break because of WebExtensions

  8. CHEF-KOCH said on May 28, 2017 at 6:37 pm
    Reply

    Another useless feature … takes 2 second to press the print key and then ctrl + v to copy it into ms paint ….

    Dunno what Mozilla tries here but such features are not a reason people would switch from other browsers. Especially because all people which regular using a lot of screenshot already using addons or mostly other external programs which offering more functions.

    Another question is if it automatically can remove exif infos if you save it as .jpg.

    1. Tom Hawack said on May 28, 2017 at 7:17 pm
      Reply

      The print key copies the entire user’s screen, doesn’t limit the copy to the the visible portion of the screen, doesn’t allow to print the entire page (some go sometimes to several thousand pixels of height) nor a selection. It’s not comparable.

      I believe as i said that this initiative is so welcomed because it answers to an obvious user requirement otherwise handled by a dedicated add-on.

      OK to criticize Mozilla but when the critic is so unfounded it appears to me as bashing, which is a great fashion nowadays : bashing, russian-bashing, you-name-it bashing, and when you ask why the answer is always the same : “because”. Because what? Bashing is the tool devoted to poor brains to let them participate to demagogy. relevant because performed by so many of the high degree of intellectual and psychological imprisonment of a wide, wide, wide array of the population. Society? You bet! Individual stupidity, period.

      When Moz does one thing right, why not say so?! And then people criticize binary politics when they do themselves exactly the same thing! Misanthrope I am, misanthrope I remain.

      Sorry for a sunny Sunday’s speech, but sometimes I really get irritated (by myself as well, by the way).

      1. CHEF-KOCH said on May 28, 2017 at 7:47 pm
        Reply

        Alt + print key only captures the current window, in this case Firefox. It takes another two seconds to resize or cut the specific areas you want, exactly the same like with every other tools.

        Don’t get me wrong but this feature is to win possible new users, cause all others already know this or they simply using (as said) addons/external software [which works exactly the same – even MS own ‘snipping tool can do this].

        The thing is no one really needs it and I have huge doubts that such features are designed to keep the security aspect in mind. Like I’ve said I doubt that metadata aka exifinfo’s are removed or that this offers an option to do that. Another problem is that this can (maybe) abuse by attackers to silently make screenshots and then send it back to an C&C server. I personally not want that, remember same was done several times with the pdf-viewer feature. There are bunch of other scenarios.

        I’m not saying that this can’t be useful but I have doubts that this offers really a benefit. The browser become more and more an all-in-one solution and I switched to Chrome because half of the features are broken/insecure/not maintained and and and. Remember Opera and it’s awesome Mail feature which was dropped because copyright fights and because no one wanted to maintain it.

        With every new feature security problems can happen (especially on browsers) and it takes more memory….

      2. positive said on May 30, 2017 at 11:34 pm
        Reply

        As the article describes the screenshot capability has for years already been there “under the hood”. This only makes it more visible and hopefully quicker to use. I use another screenshot tool but to screenshoot the full page (think of a long page that scrolls and scrolls) a browser based tool is needed. I think Mozilla is on the right track with this one.

    2. Tony said on May 28, 2017 at 7:19 pm
      Reply

      I respectfully disagree.

      Pressing a single toolbar button is much more convenient than going through all the steps necessary to use paint:

      1. Press ctrl+c
      2. Open paint
      3. Press ctrl+v
      4. Press save
      5. Type in a filename
      6. Go back to firefox

      And of course, if the page is more than a single screen, you have to spend time stitching multiple pages together.

      I welcome this new feature from Mozilla, especially if it can properly handle pages with fixed elements and absolute positioned elements.

    3. Duk said on May 28, 2017 at 8:08 pm
      Reply

      > Another useless feature …

      The fourth most popular Firefox extension is Easy Screenshot. Sounds like some people enjoy the feature.

      I am of mixed feelings about adding non-essential features to the stock browser, but if speed concerns related to the size of the codebase can be addressed through smart software architecture I’ve got nothing to oppose. I think Mozilla’s priority is speed over built-in shinies like Opera or Vivaldi though, so I’ll be trusting them on this.

      Shinies should be add-ons. Firefox can make them very easily discoverable if for example, the icon in Martin’s screenshot actually downloaded and installed an add-on on first click, while displaying the how-to-use notice.

  9. anonymous said on May 29, 2017 at 4:50 am
    Reply

    I’d like to at least see some basic editing options like blurring and blackout.

    1. Caspy7 said on May 29, 2017 at 6:33 am
      Reply

      This is something the devs working on it would like as well.
      https://github.com/mozilla-services/screenshots/issues/1849

  10. Rick A. said on May 29, 2017 at 7:11 am
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    The whining Firefox people are crying….. on a Firefox article….. Why are they on a Firefox article to begin with ?

  11. Ben said on May 29, 2017 at 9:04 am
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    Is it possible to draw the selection downwards to more than one visible page?

    1. positive said on May 30, 2017 at 11:36 pm
      Reply

      That would indeed be useful!

  12. duri said on May 29, 2017 at 12:53 pm
    Reply

    I really like Shift + F2 screenshot –fullpage feature, but common users probably doesn’t use it, didn’t know about it.
    And PageShot is among most popular Test Pilot extensions (500k+ users). I just hope that Mozilla add an option to auto save screenshot to HDD and omit cloud backup at pageshot.net. Filename presets would be nice too.

  13. Ben said on May 29, 2017 at 1:51 pm
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    They could also fix the limitation to 32k pixels height that is in there like forever. Really annoying.

  14. insanelyapple said on May 29, 2017 at 3:48 pm
    Reply

    I just tested this feature in latest nightly and it seems it won’t make screenshots of certain sites – I’m at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/ and after pressing screenshot button I’m getting elusive message that says: This isn’t a standard Web page, so you can’t take a screenshot of it.

    Martin has already reported that feature places screenshots on dedicated site and doesn’t prompt user where to save file directly – just copies it into OS clipboard; seems that data mining is the thing here – each screenshot is saved with original site address in own url).

    Why I have feeling that this new feature was baked first of all with thinking how to keep user from taking screenshots of stuff they shouldn’t be able to capture?

    Full Web Page Screenshots extension never had a problem with any site – unless Flash elements were present which was resulting in empty spaces in preview window and saved file.

    1. positive said on May 30, 2017 at 11:39 pm
      Reply

      Weird. Could just be a bug or work in progress kind of thing? The already built in command line screenshot feature works on the webpage you linked. To try it do Shift+F2 and type “screenshot –fullpage” without the quotemarks.

  15. Clairvaux said on September 7, 2017 at 9:59 am
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    The icon for this feature has just popped up on my vanilla Firefox edition. I use screenshots very much and have experimented with many programs (most of them awful). I want to say I’m sick and tired of the dishonesty, deviousness and sneaky mores of Mozilla, which are not different from the rest of the so-called industry — but that’s not an excuse.

    When you click a button to “save” your screenhsot, what Firefox does in fact is upload it on some server on the other side of the earth, where every Tom, Dick and Harry can view it, provided they have the link. There’s no warning or explanation of any sort, no account to create, no password to type, nothing.

    Let me repeat this : I’m online with my bank account, I have all my confidential information on-screen with my account number, name, date of birth, balance, whatever, I take a screenshot of that because in many cases it’s the most convenient way to keep trace of some transaction, I supposedly “save” it with Mozilla’s new contraption, and what it does is steal my extremely private information from me unannounced, and post it on the Web for the whole world to see it.

    Mozilla, when I say “save”, it means save on my goddam computer, not on yours. This is called lying in my face and stealing my data.

    Of course, you can purportedly “download” the screenshot you’ve just taken (download ? from where ? this is supposed to be happening on my computer, in my home !), and you can also “delete” it — but what guarantee do you have that it’s actually deleted ? And by the way, the first time I asked for such a “delete”, Firefox flatly refused, no reasons given.

    Oh, and while I’m at it, how does Firefox know who I am ? How does it identify my own trove of screenshots, since there’s no login procedure of any sort ? How does it access them during the 14 days it’s supposed to keep them ? (Also, how can you pretend to “save” something when you delete it automatically after two weeks ?) I have never created a Firefox account for sync, nor used Pocket.

    I thought the competitive advantage of Firefox (apart from add-ons) was privacy ! And by the way, where is the EULA and privacy statement for this feature ?

    I gets even better : the “My shots” button does not work. It produces a server error. So Firefox steals my data, puts it unencrypted on the Web for everybody to see, and forbids me to access it.

    All this stinks to high heaven. Use Windows 7 Snipping Tool (almost perfect) or Pic Pick (more powerful, and free).

  16. atleta said on October 23, 2017 at 3:47 am
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    Except it doesn’t work. When I click the scissors icon, it shows the gallery icon, but the others that would allow me to choose to shot the whole page (as opposed to the visible part). I can get my head around it why it’s such a big issue, but none of the extensions I’ve found so far works. At leat not on linux.

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