You haven’t experienced true frustration until you’ve to select text with your mouse on an uneven surface or during a bumpy car ride. Thanks to modern technology, though, you don’t really have to. Caret browsing in Chrome, Edge, and other Chromium browsers helps you easily select words without using your text cursor by mouse or trackpad.

What is caret browsing in Windows 10?

Caret browsing is a text selection method that utilizes your keyboard’s arrow keys rather than a mouse. With it, you can select anything from individual letters to entire paragraphs in a few button presses.

Users typically use caret browsing when in niche situations such as when their mouse isn’t working. It can also help those with accessibility issues. In reality, though, you should probably be using caret browsing just to improve your typing speed. Moving your hand back and forwards between the mouse and keyboard typically interrupts your flow.

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If you want to give it a go, you can follow the tutorial below to find out how to turn on caret browsing in most Chromium-based browsers. In this tutorial, though, we’ll be using Edge, which received caret browsing capabilities a few years back.

How to Turn Off or On Caret Browsing in Chrome, Edge, and More

Though browser-makers rarely agree on things, you can turn on caret keyboard functionality in most major browsers with the same hotkey. 

  1. Turn on caret browsing with F7

    You can use the caret keyboard shortcut, F7, to turn caret browsing on or off in most browsers. They’ll usually give you a warning the first time you enable it. You can click “Turn on” to enable it, or “Turn off” if you already have it enabled.

    Optionally, tick “Don’t ask me again when I press F7” if you don’t want to see the warning pop-up every time.

How to Select Text with Caret Browsing in Chrome, Edge, and More

Once you turn on caret browsing, you’ll likely think nothing has changed. That’s because you need to make use of the caret navigation keys to start selecting text. Here’s how you can do that.

  1. Navigate to the webpage you want to select and use Shift + arrow keys

    Here are the key combinations you should keep in mind:
    – Shift + left: selects the character to the left of your text cursor.
    Shift + right: Selects the next to the right of your text cursor.
    Shift + up: Selects entire lines of text above your text cursor.
    Shift + down: Selects entire lines of text below your text cursor.
    Shift + Control + arrow key: Selects entire words to the left or right of your text cursor.

    If you found this tutorial useful, you may want to check out our other Chromium tutorials, including how to disable auto-play videos and use picture-in-picture mode.

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