Here’s a peek behind the curtain of writing tech news every day: Sometimes the only suitable header image for the articles we write is a still frame from a web video. And that’s kind of a pain to collect — on YouTube I typically have to set the quality as high as possible, then slow the playback down to 25% and hit fullscreen to wait for the interface to disappear before taking a screenshot. Google just made that particular bit of my job a lot easier with the latest addition to Chrome/YouTube, the ability to quickly copy a single frame of a video when it’s paused.
Here’s how it works. Open up Chrome, or any Chromium-based browser that’s been updated recently (like Edge). Go to your favorite uploaded clip of 90s sci-fi sitcom Third Rock from the Sun starring John Lithgow. Or, you know, literally any other video. Pause it on the relevant frame, right-click the video interface, and click “Copy video frame.” Bam, you’ve copied the image into your operating system’s copy-paste function, ready to plop it into Photoshop or the image editor of your choice and make a news header image.
According to the latest post on the Google Keyword blog, this should work with any embedded video where the right-click menu hasn’t been suppressed, not just YouTube…but if that’s the case, it isn’t showing up anywhere else, as The Verge notes. That might change over the next few weeks, but even if it doesn’t, it’s a boon to me since YouTube is the de facto standard place for anyone who wants to show off nerdy stuff in video form. And unlike some other new YouTube features, it isn’t locked behind the Premium paywall. Much obliged, Google.