Microsoft Edge Browser

Technology Overview, November 7, 2017

Microsoft has brought a whole new browsing experience for you!

Windows 10, the latest of Microsoft’s OS version is blessed with the brand new Microsoft Edge browser. Internet Explorer has by far been the default browser platform provided to users of Windows OS. Initially known as the Project Spartan, IE 11 may have been replaced by Edge from being the default browser but it is still functions from the backend. It won’t be right to completely abolish the browser, as it is part of many applications and business procedures.

However, Edge browser is nothing new but a transformation of the same browser with various new additions right from its look to its functionality. A few adjustments need to be made as long as changes are concerned. It is certain to spot some limitations when comparing to other established browsers. Thus, we are giving away some great tips to guide you in using Edge, the way that brings out its best!

Edge On Your Fingertips!

Internet Explorer UI had elements that served usage convenience to only those having keyboard or mouse input medium. Nevertheless, Edge gives you an edge by offering a touch-friend interface along with keyboard and mouse input support, either way browsing remains on your fingertips! The buttons provided at the address bar have been enlarged to make their usage easier on a touch device. However, the fattening of buttons hasn’t made any difference to the visuals. You can still use as much screen space as you did before. This made possible because tabs on Edge have been moved to the title, i.e. above the address bar and not next to it.

Wish to close to the tab in between two other?

That won’t be a problem, because the new tabs are equipped with a substantially sized ‘Cross’ button to close them. Moreover, an equally sized ‘Plus’ button is featured for opening a new tab. Meanwhile, the Refresh button is moved next to the buttons ‘Back’ & ‘Forward’.

Make Notes on the Web

If you are a vivid internet user then you must need this to make your browsing experience a little more fun and convenient. Provided on the top right corner of Edge are buttons for making Web Notes. These buttons enable a pen-like experience for your browsing. Click and drag the cursor to use it like a paintbrush for doodling on the webpage. Doing so on a touchscreen is more interesting and fun, just swipe your finger and make whatever you wish.

To add up to the fun, you get buttons for choosing a preferred color and brush size for your aimless drawing. Clicking on the leftmost will let you choose a color and size for your brush while the ones on the right let you choose a highlighter instead and the one next to it; eraser.

Eraser for most paintbrush using platforms swipe away the entire area painted whereas, the eraser in Edge only swipes only the entire stroke instead. Button next to that is another great addition to your browsing experience as it lets you add/remove annotation.

Want to save a highlighted area?

Just click on the Clip tool at the very end of the series of buttons provided and Edge will let you save the area selected on screen.

Weirdly you won’t be able to save your Web Notes as an image but can send them Microsoft OneNote or add them as Favorites.

Bookmarks: Using Your Favorites

Now that we have mentioned adding stuff to ‘Favorites’ let’s take a look at how to then access your favorites. Stuff on the web can be added to Favorites aka Bookmarks by pressing CTRL+D (as a quick way of adding bookmarks).

Apart from that, you get an option called the Reading List. Thumbnails along with captions are organized in this list like Pocket. Bookmark lists web pages on the other hand, the reading list offer the same in a more visible manner for instant navigation.

However, the unavailability of a search option like in other popular browsers makes it difficult to keep things organized. Therefore, a messed up arrangement is expect despite the fact that all added items are listed in a chronological order.

Right clicking on the favorites will let you either rename/remove/open it as a new tab. You don’t get all these options in the case of a Reading List. There you only get to delete the item. However, these in combination too, cannot compete with what IE11, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome offer.

Assign a Start Page & Set Tab Activity

Setting a page to the browser is one of our favorite activities. This lets us view something of our choice as the first thing on the browser. Nothing of great important as such, but can be used tactfully for quickening tasks.

You can set your favorite website as your start page or keep it blank. However, expecting Edge to open the webpage that you closed the last might take a little bit of your efforts. You may need to explore the browser settings.

Click on the button that looks like ‘three dots’ from the upper right corner of the window. Once inside ‘More Actions’, click on Settings from the bottom to begin.

NOTE that you can reverse your actions to default. Therefore, you might want to take a screenshot of the existing settings before changing them to revert them if required.

Now How to Do It: Under the Open With section on the Settings page; click on ‘Previous Pages’. This will enable opening last closed web pages on running Edge the next time.

On the same page, you can also change the way a new tab opens. While as per the default setting, Top Sites will open, which is a collection of your most visited websites arranged and displayed in a grid view (showing a glimpse).

Get Hold of Your Browsing History

The nearly universal key combination for accessing web history is CTRL+H, which is applicable on Edge, too must be used for accessing the history. To go there, following the most standard steps – click on the Hub button given next to the ‘Add as Favorites’ button (the star). In it, click on History button that looks like a counterclockwise moving circular arrow with an analog clock dial.

TIP: Hover over the button to know its name.

An X button on the right denotes deleting action for the entire history that is listed in the current categorization like; Last Hour/Day or Older.

NOTE that you won’t be asked for confirmation on this deletion of history so be very, very careful. Click on Clear All History does the obvious but in many different manners. A list of options will appear showing choices for deletion. Click on Show More to see more of clearing options however, not many choose to interfere with those.

For closing the History pane, click on the Hub button (with three horizontal lines) or any empty space on the currently open webpage. Also, remember that pressing CTRL+H won’t do any good.

Choose From a Range of Advanced Settings

Advanced may sound a little too much of technical but it isn’t as a matter of fact. You will find this button as you scroll to the bottom of the Settings pane. Settings as minor as the visibility or existence of the Home button can be adjusted. You can put an end to pop-up blocking or ask Edge to stop asking you to remember passwords as per the requirement.

‘Save Form Entries’ like options are advised to be turned off for maintaining privacy of personal information such as; credit card details, mobile numbers, etc. Otherwise, any unauthorized user if gets hold of your device can misuse the information by using it without your consent.

Bing is the default search engine used by Edge for belonging to Microsoft. However, if you don’t follow it and want Google instead – go to Google and open browser settings. In the Advanced Settings section find the drop down for ‘Search in the address bar with…’ and select <Add new> to choose ‘www.google.com’. Click on Add as default and you are done.

If you are looking for the ‘Show search suggestions as I type’ option, unfortunately opting out as a Bing user rips you off the advantage as well.

Finally, the last few options in the Advanced Settings section are quite fine with the default selections made to them. Blocking cookies will make it difficult for websites to remember your settings. It is important for Edge to send back your information related to browsing habits to Microsoft because ultimately prediction will only add up to your browsing experience by making it faster.

The information being talked about here is by far anonymous as per what is known.

Link Sharing – Sharing Browsing

Whatever you are looking at on your browser can be as interesting to your friend/colleague as it is to you. Therefore, mobile browsers are equipped with the function to share the URL of whatever website you are looking at via – text or email message.

What’s odd is that desktop browsers aren’t equipped with the option which makes it a little less user friendly. Nevertheless, Edge browser is an exception in this case it as it features the option on its top-right corner. You may not be able to spot it at first because it isn’t designed traditionally with a vertical arrangement of three dots but the same dots arranged in connection as a circle.

In the current Windows 10 installation there aren’t many options for sharing links. You get Twitter, Mail App, along with Microsoft Office OneNote.

This list can be expanded however; to do that one must have those particular apps on their Windows 10 device. Once the app is installed, it will appear in the sharing list of Edge.

Download Management

Last but not the least, management of downloads. We use the web to look for things. What good a browser is of if what is being looked at cannot be downloaded? Pressing CTRL+J will open up a pane, which lists the download done using Edge.

But like many popular and common browsers existing, you cannot change the download folder path on Edge from – C: drive – Downloads folder. So you will have to do with it and also keep a check on the folder. If it runs out of space, this will reflect on the success of downloads performed afterwards.

Just like the Favorites pane, you won’t get a search option to spot a particular download you did a few days back. The only hint we can give you is that the order of arrangement is set to reserve chronology. Another thing you will have to adjust with is that you can’t open the folder location with a particular file selected for easily distinguishing it.

Moreover, click on the X icon given against each download listed, and it will be removed from the list and not from the Downloads folder.

Final Words:
This was all about the Edge Browser by Microsoft, a replacement of the long used Internet Explorer. Appearing to be flawed, but with scopes of improvement, Edge could be the next big thing in the list of browsers with its provision of support for touch enabled devices and interesting new set of features.