DIY Automated Screenshot Collection from Web Apps

This article is the second of a 3 part series on different ways to capture screenshots of Web Apps. It covers how to automatically collect screenshots from Web Apps, using a DIY approach. In this series, we’ll review:

DIY Automated Screenshot Collection

It’s easier than it sounds to collect screenshots using browser automation, especially with tools that work on the devtools protocol like Puppeteer and Playwright, because they reduce the infrastructure requirements needed to get started.


Before starting this, you’ll need to install Python on your local machine. We recommend using the official installer for your platform. Once Python is installed, install Playwright like this from the command prompt:

pip install --upgrade pip
pip install playwright
playwright install

This installer should take care of installing prerequisites, and a browser that Playwright can control.


It takes a short stanza to navigate to start the browser, open a page, navigate to a URL, set the size of the viewport (which controls the size of the screenshot), and take a screenshot of the page.

Note the full_page=true option in the screenshot command, which will cause Playwright to capture a screenshot of the entire document. Omitting the full_page=true option will capture the scrolled content inside the viewport. In this example, omit full_page=true, and it will produce a screenshot that is 1280 x 720 px.

Also notice headless=False in the chromium.launchccommand . That means Playwright will open a visible browser so you can observe and debug what it’s doing. If you leave headless=False out, it will open the browser in headless mode, and do all the work in the background

from playwright.sync_api import Playwright, sync_playwright

def run(playwright: Playwright) -> None:
    browser = playwright.chromium.launch(headless=False)
    context = browser.new_context()
    page = context.new_page()
    page.set_viewport_size({"width": 1280, "height": 720})
    page.screenshot(path='screenshot.png', full_page=True)

with sync_playwright() as playwright:

This script will save the resulting screenshot to screenshot.png in the directory you run it from.

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