What You Need to Know About Caret Browsing in Microsoft’s Edge Browser

Microsoft, after giving up on the internet explorer, the long stayed companion for Windows operating systems have introduced a new browser with a name ‘Edge’ with Windows 10. As they have been saying that their new Spartan project is going to bring a light weight web browser, have brought a really new browser with really needed simple features.

Edge has an option in Settings > Advanced settings called caret browsing. It allows you to copy down text on the webpage with your keyboard. It might not sound familiar but, there is something else you need to know about it.

All about Edge’s caret browsing

According to Wikipedia,

caret navigation is a kind of keyboard navigation where a caret (also known as a ‘text cursor’, ‘text insertion cursor’, or ‘text selection cursor’) is used to navigate within a text document.

When you are copying down the text from the webpages on Google Chrome, you cannot put your cursor somewhere and just copy text by using Shift+Arrow Keys. Some part of the text, say a word at least must be selected in order to activate the Shift+Arrow Keys combo.

Where as in Microsoft’s Edge browser, if ‘Always use caret browsing’ is turned on, you can get the blinking cursor (caret cursor) by just using F7 to toggle the functionality on/off.

Using it, you can just click to place you cursor anywhere on the webpage and use Shift+Arrow Keys combo to select the text.

Mozilla Firefox has has the same functionality but, it won’t display a blinking cursor on the page. You can still just click in the middle of the text on a webpage and copy the text freely.

Watch this video demonstrating the caret browsing functionality.

Caret browsing also allow us to copy text in forward of backward direction using the navigation keys (arrows keys). Google chrome lacks this feature yet. You can get this feature by installing this chrome extension which is not so cool compared to Firefox and Edge browsers.

This somehow proofs the work of Microsoft on Edge all these days. We should appreciate them for making the default browser of the operating system really usable.


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