First, you might be wondering, what's wrong with using web browser's extensions? Here are issues with them:

1. Some of them could hog on your system resource, even while they're on idle. You can check this in the browser's task manager by diving in the browser's main menu, then More Tools > Task manager, or just press Shift+Esc.

2. Unusual permission request. For example, I'm not sure why TinySnap, an extension for taking screenshots on websites, would need to know my browsing activities, see its privacy practices. It's challenging to comprehend the ambiguity surrounding the permissions of various browser extensions.

3. Most extensions are close source. Meaning that it's not easy to verify or detect their malicious behaviors in time. Just last year alone, there were a few dozen malicious extensions with a combined 87 million downloads discovered after a year or two living in Google’s Chrome Web Store.

4. Using a browser extension make you prone to be fingerprinted. This extension detector will give you a glimpse of this issue. Note, it cannot detect every extension, see its list of known extensions.

These issues above make me realize that I should only use an extension when it's absolute necessary. Fortunately, taking screenshots of any kind on websites does not require the use of extension at all!

Without further ado, let's find out how to take various screenshot types in any Chromium browser without using an extension.


Full Page Screenshot

I believe most people install a screenshot extension because they want to take a full page screenshot, since the most popular screenshot extension named GoFullPage, which was a FOSS like 5 years ago, has around 8 million downloads on the store. So, I will cover this type of screenshot first.

To take a full page screenshot:

1. Right-click on any page, then select Inspect to open Chromium's DevTools. If the page blocks right-click, you can open DevTools by going to the browser's main menu, then More tools > Developer tools, or press Ctrl+Shift+I.

2. Enable the device toolbar, as shown in the screenshot below:

Pointing to the device toolbar toggle button in Brave's DevTools.

3. Choose Asus Zenbook Fold from the device list, then make sure to toggle the rotation to landscape mode. I find the screenshot is working best with this simulated device in landscape mode:

The steps to prepare for taking a screenshot.

4. Open the device toolbar's menu, then choose Capture full size screenshot from the menu, as shown in the screenshot below:

Finally, the steps to take a full page screenshot.

The good part about this is that you only have to set it once, and the DevTools will remember the setup!

Visible Screenshot

The steps are identical to those for taking a full page screenshot, except in the last step, now you choose Capture screenshot from the menu. It will capture a screenshot only from the visible area.

Area Screenshot

If you're using Brave, which I strongly recommend, there'll be a sharing icon at the end of the URL box. There, you can take an area screenshot, as shown in the screenshot below:

Using the sharing menu to take an area screenshot in Brave browser.

Unfortunately, this feature is not enabled in Chrome by default. Here are the steps needed in Chrome:

1. Enter chrome://flags in the URL box, then hit enter. You can enable the browser's experimental features here.

2. Search for screenshot feature.

3. Enable the Desktop Screenshots feature, as shown in the screenshot below, then relaunch the browser:

Chrome flags' Desktop Screenshots feature.

Since the sharing button has been removed from Chrome's latest UI refresh in 2023, to take an area screenshot, you'll have to access the sharing menu from Save and share in Chrome's main menu, as shown in the screenshot below:

Chrome's now hidden sharing menu.

At this point, Chrome users might be better using their system's screenshot tool (pressing the Print Screen button) to take an area screenshot. I'm using GNOME on Linux, and it's super easy to grab any area of my desktop screen, not just from within the browser.


This is all for today. I hope I covered this use case well enough. Please let me know in the comment below. Thanks for reading!


Cover photo by ShareGrid on Unsplash