Microsoft Edge's intelligent new form-filling tool could be a huge time-saver

Microsoft Edge
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Edge is getting a new time-saving tool for online forms that will let you search for previously-entered text, and instantly complete forms that don't usually support autofill.

Filling in online forms used to be a massive pain that involved continually typing the same details time and time again. Thankfully web browsers gradually adopted automatic form-filling features which dramatically sped up the process of entering information frequently asked for by websites – such as name and address.

But, for numerous reasons, these features don't always work. To help overcome the problem of websites that make use of usually formatted forms, or those for which autofill has been disabled, Microsoft is adding a great new time-saving feature. The company refers to the feature as "user-initiated search for autofill suggestions".

Over on the Edge development roadmap Microsoft describes the feature: "Today if you have your information saved on Microsoft Edge, autofill suggestions pop up automatically and help you save time while filling out forms. But in cases where autofill misses a form, or if you want to fetch that data in forms that don't typically have autofill (like temporary forms) – you can explicitly search for your information and fill it easily."

What does this mean in practice? With its description, Microsoft is saying – in a slightly roundabout way – that it's possible to manually search for saved data to fill in forms that aren't working with autofill for whatever reason. While not quite as fast or efficient as normal automatic form-filling, it should still be faster than typing everything out manually.

Search and fill

At the moment, the new autofill options are available in the Canary and Dev builds of Edge; these versions of the browser can be downloaded from the Edge Insider website. There is nothing you need to do to activate the feature as it is enabled by default, and it will eventually make its way to main release version of the browser.

To make use of the feature, you just need to type a / (forward slash) in one of the fields of a form, and this will give you this option to search through form data that you have saved in Edge previously. For example, if you type / followed by the first letter or two of your address, you'll be able to select it from a drop down list and have the rest filled in for you.

Via MSPoweruser

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Sofia Elizabella Wyciślik-Wilson
Freelance writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 25 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

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