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 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.
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
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:
- Type about:config in the Firefox address bar and hit on the Enter-key afterwards to load the interface.
- Confirm that you will be careful if the warning screen appears.
- Search for extensions.screenshots.system-disabled.
- If the value does not exist, right.click in the main area and select New > Boolean from the menu.
- Name it extensions.screenshots.system-disabled.
- Set the value to true to disable Firefox Screenshots, or to false to enable it.
- You can change values with a double-click on the preference name.
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).
May 28, 2017