Google has released a new Chrome extension that uses special URLs to direct users to a specific part of a webpage.
You probably share links with people all the time in emails and on social media, but the URLs you share are limited; they only let you direct someone to a particular page online. If you're trying to point out a specific section of a page, this means the recipient has to search high and low for the relevant text.
Or at least this used to be the case. Google has come up with a solution that makes it possible direct someone to the precisely section of a website you want them to see. With a new browser extension it is possible to create links to a specific piece of text on a page and have the text highlighted.
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Google doesn't release a tremendous number of browser extensions, so you know that when it does release one, it's probably going to be something pretty special. And this is certainly the case with the new Link to Text Fragment extension. Since it comes from Google, it comes as no surprise that the extension is only available for Chrome (as well as other Chromium-based browsers).
The Link to Text Fragment extension (opens in new tab) is available in the Chrome Web Store, and it makes use of the URL standard called Text Fragments which has been support by Chrome since version 80. Once installed, you can use it to quickly and easily create links that point to a specific paragraph, sentence or phrase website.
Jump right to it
With the extension installed, you can create links that jump straight to the meat of an article – perfect if you want to highlight a particular quote or other feature of a web page. To create a link, just highlight a few words or a sentences, right click and select the 'Copy link to select text' option. The special link will be copied to your clipboard.
When you paste the link into an email, message or an app, you'll see that it's quite lengthy. Check out this link to a phrase in our news story about Google Meet in Gmail, for instance:
While you can only create these special links in the desktop version of Chrome, they are supported by Chrome 80 and above on all platforms – so the links you create can be used on a smartphone.
Google has made the extension open source, so you can check it out on GitHub (opens in new tab).
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Via Ars Technica (opens in new tab)