What is Caret Browsing in Chrome, Firefox and Edge and How to Use It?

Besides using your mouse or trackpad, you can highlight and copy text on browser pages using various ways. If your computer has a touchscreen, you can use your fingers. For computers without a touchscreen, you can use Caret Browsing, a feature that lets you navigate and highlight text on webpages using your computer keyboard. Let’s take a dive to find out how you can get the most out of it for surfing and web browsing on Caret.

We will explain what Caret scanning does and how to use it in some popular web browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge).

What is Caret Scanning?

Caret Browsing (also known as Caret Navigation) lets you explore web pages using just the navigation keys on your keyboard. This type of navigation is commonly used in word processors (like Microsoft Word, Google Docs) and text editors (like Notepad and WordPad). With Caret Browsing, you can select huge amounts of text on web pages more accurately than using your computer’s mouse or trackpad.

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Compared to highlighting text with a cursor, which you sometimes have to drag across the entire length or width of your trackpad, Caret Browsing is much more precise.

Let’s see how Caret Browsing works in some popular web browsers in the market (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge).

How to Use Caret Scan

When you enable Caret Browsing, the arrowhead cursor disappears and a random caret (blinking vertical line) is placed between text on the web page.

Do you know: The Cursor is also referred to as the ‘Text Selection Cursor’, the ‘Add Text Cursor’ or simply the ‘Text Cursor’.

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You should note that using Caret Browsing does not disable normal mouse/cursor navigation. Your computer mouse or trackpad can be used to move the cursor between text or to specific locations on the page.

However, Caret Browsing is primarily optimized for using the direction (i.e., Up, Down, Left, and Right) keys and a few other keys on your keyboard.

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Caret Scan Navigation

Connection Opening

When you move the cursor to a link, the link text will be highlighted with a small border. This helps distinguish links from regular text.

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When the cursor is over a link, click Enter (for Windows) or Return (for Mac) to open the link in the same tab. Click Command + Return (for Mac) or Control + Enter (for Windows) to open the link in a new tab. If you want to open a link in a new Window using Caret Navigation, use the Shift + Enter hotkey.

Text Navigation

Using only the Left or Right arrow key moves the caret by a single letter. Hold down ‘Option + Left/Right’ to move faster in a line (horizontally). For Windows, use ‘Alt + Left/Right’ keys.

Highlighting Texts

To highlight texts, hold down Shift + arrow keys in the direction of the texts you want to copy. This copies the text letter by letter.

You can use ‘Option + Shift + Left/Right’ keys to highlight text word by word. If you are browsing with a caret on a Windows device, the shortcut to use is ‘Alt + Shift + Left/Right’. This is a much better (and faster) way to copy text horizontally in a sentence.

Use the ‘Shift + Up/Down’ keys to highlight text in different sentences, lines and paragraphs.

To instantly highlight all text in a (horizontal) line, move the caret to the beginning of the line and press ‘Shift + Option + Down’ (or ‘Shift + Alt + Down’ for Windows).

Alternatively, move the cursor to the end of the line and tap ‘Shift + Option + Up’ (or ‘Shift + Alt + Up’ for Windows) to highlight text on that line.

Note: In Caret Browsing, you can only highlight (and copy) the anchor text of hyperlinks, not the link URL. To copy the URL of a link, you need to right-click on the link using your mouse or trackpad and select ‘Copy Link Location’ (for Firefox), ‘Copy Link Address’ (for Chrome) or Copy Link (for Microsoft). Corner).

Caret Browsing in Chrome

There are two ways to enable Caret Browsing in Chrome:

1. Use the keyboard shortcut: Press the F7 key on your keyboard and click the ‘Open’ button at the confirmation prompt.

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2. From Chrome Settings: Go to Settings > Accessibility (or chrome://settings/accessibility in the address bar and press Enter/Return) and turn on ‘Navigate pages with text cursor’.

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You can disable the feature at any time using the F7 hotkey or from the Chrome settings menu.

    Caret Browsing in Firefox

    In Firefox, you can enable Caret Browsing with just a hotkey. Press F7 and click Yes to open Caret Browsing. Do the same to disable the feature.

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    Caret Browsing in Microsoft Edge

    Enabling Caret Navigation in Mircosoft Edge follows the same process as Firefox.

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    You will have to rely on the F7 hotkey to turn Caret Browsing on or off in Microsoft Edge.

    Caret Scan Demystified

    That’s all you need to know about using Caret Browsing. Some popular browsers, such as Safari and Opera, do not support caret navigation. Surprisingly, Internet Explorer does. If you have any questions or have difficulty using the feature, leave a comment below.

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    Moyens Staff
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