Did you know Google Chrome had a screenshot editor? While the tool was never formally launched, it was developed in the background for quite a while, until recently when Google pulled the plug on it entirely.

First discovered back in 2021, the screenshot tool and accompanying image editor in the desktop version of Google Chrome started out simple, and was fleshed out over time. Eventually, it had the ability to add text boxes, crop images, and annotate with drawings, shapes, and emoji.

While things were clearly progressing, it seems Google has decided the feature wasn’t ready to go.

As of late January, developers had confirmed via Chromium commits that the screenshot editor for Chrome wasn’t “polished enough to ship” and that it wouldn’t be salvageable without a “big rework.” As such, all components of the screenshot editor would be removed from Chromium, which has now happened as TechDows points out. The feature will likely drop out of the early release channels of Google Chrome itself in upcoming releases, if it hasn’t already.

Notably, the screenshot tool in Chrome hasn’t been removed, only the editor tool. This also doesn’t appear to affect the screenshot editor available in Chrome for Android.

But in the end, this will have virtually no impact on the end user. Since Google never formally launched the feature and it was hidden behind a flag, most folks didn’t even know that Chrome had a screenshot editor. However, we certainly hope that Google will revisit this idea in the future. Microsoft Edge introduced a “web capture” tool back in 2020 which is fairly robust, and it’d be nice to have the same functionality in Chrome.

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Ben Schoon

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