Microsoft is currently testing a new feature in its Edge web browser that allows users to edit images before they are saved to the local system.
Spotted by Reddit user Leopeva64-2, the new feature enables basic image editing functionality, including the ability to crop, add tags, make adjustments or apply filters.
The new feature is currently being tested in Microsoft Edge Canary, but only certain Edge instances have it enabled. There doesn’t appear to be an experimental flag at this point to unlock the feature.
Edge users who have it enabled in their browser see the new option when they right-click or hover over an image. The context menu shows the “edit image” option as a new entry, and the mouse-over option a new icon under the “visual search” icon. Activating the icon brings up a menu with the edit image command and others, including an option to hide it on the active site or on all sites.
Windows users looking at the image editor may notice that it looks like the editor Microsoft has built into the Windows Photos app. The interface is similar, with just a few changes here and there.
The four main options of editing, cropping, adjusting, filtering and tagging are in one place. Save and undo swapped locations with zoom, and the bottom control bar with its rotation and other image editing options looks identical.
Even the available editing tools submenus are similar. Clicking on Settings brings up the same sidebar for changing settings related to image light and color. When you select markup, you’ll notice that the available markup tools are displayed on the left, not the bottom. Other than that, the tool still gives you options to use pen or highlighter directly on the image.
Do web browsers need image editing functionality?
Edge users who wanted to edit found images in the browser have until now had two options: save the image and open it in an image editor or use the built-in web snipping tool. The latter is very basic, as it only supports drawing on images.
Image editors are more powerful than what the Photos app or Microsoft Edge offer, but they may not be needed all the time, for example to quickly highlight part of an image or crop it. Still, most Edge users may not have any use for editing the images they upload.
Some might say that Microsoft adds too many features to Edge, which bloats the browser. The function can be deactivated on the other hand, so that it no longer gets in the way.
Now you: in-browser image editor, yes or no?