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I ran a meeting on Google Hangout, and we took notes on chat. We all accidentally forgot to copy the chat text before all leaving.

Can I somehow retrieve a transcript of the chat during the hangout?

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I've read a number of threads on this in Google Product Forums and it seems like it's not currently possible. See Wanting feature for saving Google+ Hangout Group Chat transcripts – batpigandme Jun 10 '13 at 11:23

A workaround is to:

  1. Load the whole history by scrolling up
  2. Open Firebug and copy whole HTML to clipboard
  3. Paste it in a text editor and add on the very first line

    `<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">`
  4. Replace the contents of <head> with

    <meta content="IE=Edge" http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible">
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <style type="text/css">
    .tH, .bI, .lZ {
      display: none;
    div.Sn {
      float: right;
      clear: both;
      background-color: #80D4DF;
      margin-bottom: 10px;
      padding: 10px;
      -moz-border-radius: 15px;
      border-radius: 15px;
    div.pj {
      float: left;
      clear: both;
      background-color: #FEC56B;
      margin-bottom: 10px;
      padding: 10px;
      -moz-border-radius: 15px;
      border-radius: 15px;
    body {
      width: 50%;
  5. Remove any <script> tags form document

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There is a difference between the chat history that happens outside of the hangout window (which is what you get via the downloads from Google Takeout) and the conversation that takes place inside the video hangout.

The way google calls simple text messages chats "Hangouts" and the group videos as "Hangouts" confuses most people

I have a lot of meetings where we take notes there and the only way is copy/past or print to PDF to get that transcript??

If you do need a way to extract conversations from the outer chat, I did find this nifty parser that can extract conversations from the outer chats in text, CSV, and HTML format http://blog.jay2k1.com/2014/11/10/how-to-export-and-backup-your-google-hangouts-chat-history/

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Adding to the answer, you could download your hangout chats via https://www.google.com/settings/takeout/downloads

Won't change the gist of the answer, but will save you a lot of time scrolling.

I also use tags and regex to get the lines I want.

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https://www.google.com/settings/takeout/downloads that is the link to get all the information you may need,from all the google products that you are currently using.

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meta.webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/442/… may be of interest. – pnuts Sep 16 '14 at 18:55

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