First look at Microsoft Edge's new Web Capture tool

Microsoft added a web capture feature to the latest version of the company’s Microsoft Edge Canary web browser. The Canary version of Microsoft Edge is the cutting edge development version of the browser; it receives features first before they are pushed to Edge Beta and eventually to Edge Stable.

The option to capture a screenshot of the active webpage is not a new or unique feature, the old classic Edge browser supports it, and so do other browsers such as Vivaldi or Firefox natively.

The new web capture option in Microsoft Edge Canary should be available to all users who update to the latest version. Microsoft does run a lot of A-B tests in the browser and there is a chance that some users may not see it immediately, but most should at this point.

Just right-click on a loaded site and check the context menu to find out if “Web capture” is listed as an item of the menu.

edge web capture

All it takes then is to select the menu option to start the capturing process. The current implementation supports rectangular screen captures only that you draw with the mouse.

Tip: you may use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-S instead to activate the web capture tool in Microsoft Edge. Another option that Edge provides is found on the edge://settings/appearance page of the browser. You may add a button to Edge’s main toolbar by enabling “show web capture button” on the page. You may use the button to start a capture session from the toolbar after it has been added to it.

Microsoft Edge adds a gray overlay to the webpage in question when you active web capture to indicate that the capturing mode is active. Click and hold down the left mouse button and use the mouse to draw a rectangle on the screen. Edge captures the selected area once you let go of the left mouse button.

edge web capture 2

The browser displays two options that you may select: copy and preview. Copy copies the screenshot to the clipboard of the operating system, preview opens the image in a new overlay. It is here that you get the option to save the screenshot, to copy it to the clipboard, or to share it using the operating system’s share options.

Closing Words

The capturing works well in Edge but it is very limited when compared to other implementations, e.g. that of the Firefox web browser. Firefox users may also select the screenshot option from the context menu, but get additional capture modes. Users may save the visible part of the screen or the entire web page using the screenshot tool. While Edge users may save the visible part by drawing the rectangle across it, there is no option currently to save the entire web page as an image.

It is possible that work will continue to integrate more options, e.g. full web page screenshots or note taking, or basic editing options, but Microsoft has not confirmed that at this point.

Now You: Do you find screenshot tools in browsers useful? (via Techdows)

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