For years, Microsoft’s built-in option for browsing websites was Internet Explorer. With the introduction of Windows 10, however, we now have a new built-in option, Microsoft Edge, for perusing all our favorite web content. Here are some tips for making the most of Microsoft Edge, including a close-up look at some exciting new features that set Edge apart from other browsers.
Get access to the websites you want
As with Internet Explorer, if you find a website that you like and you want to access it in the future, you can add that website to your favorites list. Simply go to that website and then click on the star at the right end of the address bar. You’ll get an option to either add that website to your Favorites or to your Reading List.
Add a website to your Favorites
Already have a list of favorites in Internet Explorer that you’d like to see in Edge? Open the Hub, look for “Import Favorites”, and you’ll be surfing your old websites in no time.
Import favorites from Internet Explorer
Another convenient option for accessing websites again in the future is to add a new tile to your Start menu. The great thing about this is you’ll be able to arrange your tiles in groups, resize them, name them, and get them set up in whatever way is most efficient and effective for you. The best part about pinning a website to Start, though? The website can take advantage of the live tile feature that allows content to be displayed on the surface of the tile, so you can get quick, easy access to the information you care about without even having to open up the website where the information is coming from.
Pin a website to Start
You Read My Mind…
One of the best things about accessing online content like news and articles is the amazing access to such a vast array of information. Unfortunately, this great advantage is coupled with a major annoyance: all the ads, links, and other distracting content typically displayed around the news and articles. Microsoft Edge includes an innovative Reading View feature that makes reading online much more enjoyable. To activate Reading View, click on the book symbol at the right end of the address bar.
Activate Reading View with the book icon
You’ll immediately notice a number of significant changes to the layout of the website. First, all of that extra fluff (to put it nicely) like ads and links is gone. The background has been changed to off-white, instead of the typical harsh, bright white background that’s not so easy on the eyes. Also, the article, if it wasn’t already, is centered on the page, and the text is in a different, clearer font, larger size, and wider spacing. Overall, the page is optimized for reading, more like what you’d expect on an e-reader than a website. You can even send the page to the printer as-is, to cut down on wasting ink, or liquid gold, as I like to call it.
Reading View looks more like an e-reader, less like a website
Still not exactly as you’d like it? Click on the three little dots in the top right of Edge to access the menu, then click on Settings. There, you’ll find options for customizing the Reading View, such as changing the background color or making the font larger or smaller.
Customize Reading View with a few easy clicks
I’ll make a note of it…
See something in the article that caught your eye and you want to make a note of it? Now you can actually take notes right there on the screen thanks to Edge’s Web Note feature. To access your tools, click on the icon that looks like a little piece of paper with a pencil near the top right of the window.
Activate Web Note by clicking the paper-&-pencil icon
A bar appears across the top of the screen with a number of tools, all for your note-taking pleasure. You can choose different colors for the pen and the highlighter and use them to single out important parts of the article or write notes off to the side. And we’re not saying you make mistakes, but just in case, there’s also an eraser to get rid of the evidence if you do. You can also add a typed note somewhere on the screen, or use the snip tool to capture a specific part of the screen and then save it as a photo.
Web Note gives you several useful tools
If you have a touch-screen device, you can use a stylus or your finger to actually write right there on the screen, just as if it were a piece of paper in front of you. Don’t have a touch screen? No worries, as you’ll still be able to take full advantage of the Web Note feature just by clicking and dragging your mouse pointer to do your highlighting or trace out the notes you want to write.
Highlight and write your notes right on the webpage
Ready to save it all, or better yet, share the notes (and the article with it) with a friend? Click or tap on Share in the top right of the window to see which options are available.
Select Share to see which options are available
Select Mail, and you’ll see a brand new email appear, already set up with an attachment that is a snapshot of the entire webpage that you were looking at. The attachment is essentially just a photo, but it’s a long photo that contains not only the webpage but also all your notes that you added. And the best part is that because it’s just photo, your recipient doesn’t need to be using Microsoft Edge, or even a Windows device, in order to receive and take a look at your notes.
Share your web notes by email
Whatever websites you enjoy surfing, hopefully you’ll find that the new features available in Microsoft Edge give you some great new options for accessing, reading, noting, and sharing the webpages that are important to you.
-Jessica Roehrig, on the beautiful Nieuw Amsterdam