O'Reilly

View Browser Repaints in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox

By on  

One goal of super-optimized websites is to prevent browser repaints due to changes in a block's style or content. There are numerous ways we intentionally (or unintentionally) trigger block repaints, but the browser does it so quickly we have trouble seeing when and where it happens. Recognizing the importance of allowing developers to micro-optimize their pages, the Chrome and Firefox teams have added features to their browsers to allow us to see those repaints. Here's how to do it!

Google Chrome & Canary

The repaint feature needs to be enabled at startup for Chrome and Canary with the --show-paint-rects config:

open ./Google\ Chrome\ Canary.app --args --show-paint-rects

Be sure to include --args in your command or you'll run into problems opening the browser. Repaints will display on each site you visit.

Mozilla Firefox, Aurora, Nightly

To view repaints in Firefox and Aurora browsers, you need to enable an about:config option. The option name is nglayout.debug.paint_flashing. Turn this option to true and you'll quickly see repaints as the happen!

At the time of publish, only nightly exposed this config feature.

I recommend you take a few moments to scope out the repaint frequency on your websites and see what you can do to improve performance!

Treehouse Learning

Recent Features

  • Send Text Messages with PHP

    Kids these days, I tell ya.  All they care about is the technology.  The video games.  The bottled water.  Oh, and the texting, always the texting.  Back in my day, all we had was...OK, I had all of these things too.  But I still don't get...

  • 9 Mind-Blowing WebGL Demos

    As much as developers now loathe Flash, we're still playing a bit of catch up to natively duplicate the animation capabilities that Adobe's old technology provided us.  Of course we have canvas, an awesome technology, one which I highlighted 9 mind-blowing demos.  Another technology available...

Incredible Demos

  • Implement jQuery’s hover() Method in MooTools

    jQuery offers a quick event shortcut method called hover that accepts two functions that represent mouseover and mouseout actions. Here's how to implement that for MooTools Elements. The MooTools JavaScript We implement hover() which accepts to functions; one will be called on mouseenter and the other...

  • PHP / MooTools 1.2 Accordion Helper

    The MooTools Accordion plugin seems to be the plugin that people seem to have the most problems with. It's an awesome plugin, so I can see why so many people want to use it, but I think that may be part of the problem....

Discussion

  1. It doesn’t look like the videos are working (in Rockmelt or Firefox)

  2. x

    Can’t see anything on Opera.

  3. so what am i supposed to do with this ?
    “open ./Google\ Chrome\ Canary.app –args –show-paint-rects”

    paste it in the command line or what? im in chrome://flags, in Canary and now what?

  4. Can’t see anything on Firefox, view repaints in Firefox and Aurora browsers

  5. Can’t see anything Chrome.you need to enable an about

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!