Google Docs will now use canvas based rendering: this may impact some Chrome extensions

What’s changing 

We’re updating the way Google Docs renders documents. Over the course of the next several months, we’ll be migrating the underlying technical implementation of Docs from the current HTML-based rendering approach to a canvas-based approach to improve performance and improve consistency in how content appears across different platforms. 

We don’t expect this change to impact the functionality of the features in Docs. However, this may impact some Chrome extensions, where they may no longer work as intended. 

Who’s impacted 

Admins and developers 

Why it’s important 

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. 

Admins should review the current extensions deployed in their organization. See this file for an example of a Google Doc using canvas-based rendering and to test out your extensions.

If you are building your own integrations with Google Docs, we recommend using Google Workspace Add-ons framework, which uses the supported Workspace APIs and integration points. This will help ensure there will be less work in the future to support periodic UI implementation changes to Docs. 

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

Getting started 

  • Admins and developers: 
    • To see an example of a Google Doc using canvas-based rendering, please see this example file. We strongly recommend reviewing the current extensions used in Google Docs that are deployed within your organization.
    • To ensure any Chrome extensions you build in-house continue to work as intended, we recommend migrating them to the Google Workspace Add-ons framework
  • End users: No action required. 

Rollout pace 

  • Google Docs will be migrating slowly from HTML to canvas based rendering over the course of the next several months.