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stop saving image files as webp

  • 12 replies
  • 3 have this problem
  • 870 views
  • Last reply by jscher2000

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Firefox has been saving images from some sites as webp instead of JPG for a long time. There have been repeated threads on this subject which get locked and then pushed into the long grass.

Sure, I could botch a solution by installing an add-on to convert them, or I could use something like XnView (which I do, periodically, and in bulk) after the save event has happened, or I can edit about:info to tell Firefox not to accept webp - but this breaks functionality for some sites (like eBay), but I have found that in the end I have had to start switching to Microsoft Edge to do my browsing for a number of sites because Mozilla Firefox are ignoring repeated user requests to provide a simple option to STOP doing this.

I don't want to save any files as webp - save them as PNG if you like, or jpg, but I use an ancient copy (v3.24) of ACDsee (from the days of Windows 98) for my image browsing, sorting, viewing etc because it is perfect, blisteringly quick, has no extra editing or other functionality which I don't need or want, and it doesn't bloat up anywhere with thumbnail files... but sadly webp didn't exist back then so it doesn't support it. I have used a number of much more up to date browser-viewers, but there is nothing can touch this OLD version of ACDsee for basically brilliant design.

I'm not changing my image viewer. It's non-negotiable.

I WILL however change my web browser if I have to, if the developers of the browser continually kick into the long grass to lock, hide away and pretend there's isn't an issue which has been repeatedly flagged as an annoyance for so many users.

I have been using one form or other of 'Mozilla' family of browsers since the days of Quarterdeck Mosaic. I don't particularly want to switch my loyalty, especially to Microsoft, but if they are listening to what customers want and providing it, and Mozilla are not, what else is there to do ?

I am a retired systems developer. I cannot envisage this being SUCH a big ask.

Modern software treats its users like idiots and takes away control, doing everything it's assumes on their behalf that they will want.

It is not difficult to provide an option within settings for when saving webp files to save as webp, png or jpg with conversion if necessary. All you need to do is hear the screams and respond. :)

Modified by Ethan

Chosen solution

Hi Ethan, as you probably know from researching this issue, very few sites are intentionally designed to use WebP images. YouTube is the only popular one I can think of. What you mostly see is that servers add WebP compression on the fly to JPEG and PNG images because they know Firefox can handle that transparently. The problem comes to when you save: Firefox doesn't have a converter to turn the WebP image back into the original format, unlike Chrome, which has a converter in the Save dialog. Edge probably inherited that.

I don't know whether/when Firefox might get an image converter, so yes, currently people use various workarounds:

(1) Saving from the Page Info dialog's Media tab, Save As button

When Firefox re-requests the image for Save As, it does not signal to the server that it can handle WebP, so you nearly always get the original file without the extra compression.

You can try using right-click > View Image Info to trigger this option.

(2) Extensions

I actually have two different extensions aimed at different needs, if you decide to consider such options.

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I am sorry for your discomfort,

When you save an image usually you will be able to "save as" and then choose which file type you prefer in the dropdown (as shown in the attached image). EDIT: it says Irfanview JPG because I use Irfanview as an image viewer so that is just what the JPG filetype is called for me

If this is not the case then I don't know what the problem is except that maybe you have a condition set that automatically saves images as .webp files. If this is the case then you need to go to options > general > applications and change any conditions that are set there.

In all honesty, I have this issue sometimes that occasionally crops up when trying to save an image or copying it but I have always thought it to be a problem with the image and not with firefox.

Modified by BILL

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sorry - there is no option to save in an alternate file format, and besides I really wouldn't want to have to manually select that option from a dropdown menu EVERY time I save an image file, even if the choice existed, if I'm honest.

I tried amending options > general > applications to "always ask" but it doesn't ask and the only option is to save as webp.

Many software developers charge ahead with change and assume that everyone is just going to adapt. This is particularly true of companies that know they're big, like Microsoft, Google and Apple. I will, if I have to. To a different browser that doesn't force unpopular file formats upon me.

MOST other browsers cope with webp files better than Firefox.

Most other current or reasonably current browsers have other disadvantages - with IE it's just rubbish, slow, insecure and out of date, with Chrome its the outrageous amounts of bloat, with Opera it's clunky and ugly but otherwise quite good, then there's Edge which I'm starting to get used to, Dolphin and maybe three or four others that I have used, plus a few others on Android. I remember that IE, for instance, at one time, used to only save images as .bmp.

It's a design decision worthy of Google... but at least with Google, you know that eventually they will stop doing it because nobody wants it.

It's a very unpopular decision on Mozilla's part but it's very easy to resolve. It seems perverse to be willing to shed users because of sheer intransigence.

I hope that we will see more flexibility regarding this in some future update.

wee update on my original post, it's version 2.4 of ACDsee, not 3.24.

Modified by Ethan

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Chosen Solution

Hi Ethan, as you probably know from researching this issue, very few sites are intentionally designed to use WebP images. YouTube is the only popular one I can think of. What you mostly see is that servers add WebP compression on the fly to JPEG and PNG images because they know Firefox can handle that transparently. The problem comes to when you save: Firefox doesn't have a converter to turn the WebP image back into the original format, unlike Chrome, which has a converter in the Save dialog. Edge probably inherited that.

I don't know whether/when Firefox might get an image converter, so yes, currently people use various workarounds:

(1) Saving from the Page Info dialog's Media tab, Save As button

When Firefox re-requests the image for Save As, it does not signal to the server that it can handle WebP, so you nearly always get the original file without the extra compression.

You can try using right-click > View Image Info to trigger this option.

(2) Extensions

I actually have two different extensions aimed at different needs, if you decide to consider such options.

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hi there - thank you very much for your reply - I've just added the don't send webp add-on Firefox so I'll see how I get on with that :)

There was a previous workaround I tried which involved editing an about:config field to instruct sites that Firefox couldn't handle WebP but unfortunately it broke eBay basically - some pages (e.g. watch list) showed no images at all.

I've tested that add-on and so far, so good. Your efforts are much appreciated :) Thank You!

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Hi Ethan, yes, if you set image.webp.enabled to false in about:config, then when Firefox gets .webp images it shows nothing. I'm not sure the setting should work that way, but... that's a battle for another day.

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This is actually the only reason I still have chrome installed. Only thing needed is a converter like chrome does, I guess 99% of the people saving an image don't want/need the webp one. I cannot recommend Firefox to content creators friends with this issue, it makes no sense for them this functionality is not by default.

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I hate webp too for reasons similar to yours. What I do to get the original jpg file from the server rather than a clunky webp or oversized png file is use a User-Agent Switcher addon to pretend that my browser is IE 11.

Once installed, right-click the image you plan to save and click "View Image" to open the image by itself in the tab, then switch your User-Agent String to IE 11, refresh the page, and now when you go to save the image you'll be served the good old jpg file.

Modified by Vuca

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Vuca said

I hate webp too for reasons similar to yours. What I do to get the original jpg file from the server rather than a clunky webp or oversized png file is use a User-Agent Switcher addon to pretend that my browser is IE 11.

That's a good idea. I made that one of the options on the download menu for my View Image Info Reborn extension:

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Greetings...

Today, I just discovered that my Firefox version 88.0 no longer has the View Image Information in the pull-down menu when I right-click on a given image that I want to save as a .jpg file instead of a .webp file. For my intended purpose, I require images to be saved as a .jpg file exclusively.

Although I have reviewed the text for each of the four Firefox web browser add-ons that have been referenced in the above discussion thread, they each require broad permissions access that I am simply unwilling to enable for any web browser add-on that I use.

Regrettably, although I have been a long-time Firefox user, it appears that significant changes that have been implemented with the Firefox version 88.0 necessitate that I find an alternate web browser that will allow me to accomplish what the Firefox version 87.0 used to allow.

I simply do not understand what the folks at Mozilla/Firefox are thinking when they make changes such as this that negatively affect the productivity of their large and loyal user base.

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You can go directly to "Page Info -> Media" in various ways. You can use the Tools menu: Tools -> Page Info -> Media

  • you can tap the Alt key or press the F10 key to show the hidden Menu Bar temporarily

You can click the padlock icon at the left end of the location/address bar.

  • click the arrow to expand the security message
  • click "More Information" to open "Tools -> Page Info"
  • click "Media" to inspect media files used on the page

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TRBenjeski said

Regrettably, although I have been a long-time Firefox user, it appears that significant changes that have been implemented with the Firefox version 88.0 necessitate that I find an alternate web browser that will allow me to accomplish what the Firefox version 87.0 used to allow.

Then downgrade to 87.0 and just stick with that. Or even the 78.8 Extended Support Release. https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/78.8.0/releasenotes/

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TRBenjeski said

Today, I just discovered that my Firefox version 88.0 no longer has the View Image Information in the pull-down menu when I right-click on a given image that I want to save as a .jpg file instead of a .webp file.

A few notes:

(1) View Image Info was removed in Firefox 87

(2) View Image Info will return in Firefox 89 (you'll need to enable it in about:config)

(3) You can still use the Save as... button in the Page Info dialog in Firefox 87-88, but you need to call it up using Ctrl+i (assuming you are still on Windows) and find the image on the Media tab yourself. Understood that this is a huge pain.

(4) You can discourage servers from switching PNG and JPEG images to WebP images by making this change:

(A) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button accepting the risk.

(B) In the search box in the page, type or paste image.http.accept and pause while the list is filtered

(C) Double-click the preference (or click the pencil button) to display an editing field. Enter

*/*

then press Enter or click the blue check mark button to save the change.

Then test out saving the image to see whether you get the original format. In theory it should give you most of the functionality of my extension https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/dont-accept-webp/ but it doesn't seem to work for everyone.


Although I have reviewed the text for each of the four Firefox web browser add-ons that have been referenced in the above discussion thread, they each require broad permissions access that I am simply unwilling to enable for any web browser add-on that I use.

That is to make them convenient to use. I didn't think most people would want to give a site-specific permission every time they want to save an image or load information about it. I certainly wouldn't.

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