Over the next few months, Google Docs will update how it renders documents to improve performance and consistency across different platforms. In Docs migrating to canvas-based rendering and switching away from the current HTML approach, Google is warning of an impact to Chrome extensions.

Canvas-based rendering will specifically “improve consistency in how content appears across different platforms.” Besides performance improving, Google does not expect existing Docs functionality to be affected.

However, third-party Chrome extensions “may no longer work as intended.”

Some Chrome extensions rely on the way the backend of a Google Doc is structured or specific bits of HTML to function properly. By moving away from HTML-based rendering to a canvas-based rendering, some Chrome extensions may not function as intended on docs.google.com and may need to be updated. 

Enterprise administrators are advised to check extensions against a sample Google Docs that uses canvas-based rendering. There are no apparent user-facing differences.

Google recommends using the Workspace Add-ons framework to build tools for Docs, but edge cases are told to contact the company directly:

If your company has developed a private Chrome Extension that you believe will be impacted and you are unable to migrate to the Google Workspace Add-ons framework, you can submit this form to provide feedback and notify our team

This migration will occur “slowly” over the coming months.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com