Google Docs switching to canvas-based rendering to improve performance, might impact extensions

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 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.

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