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How to use Microsoft Edge, Windows 10's new browser

Mark Hachman | July 28, 2015
Microsoft's Edge aspires to be your browser for the modern Web, the board on which you surf the Internet within Windows 10. It's certainly functional. But how do you use it effectively? We can show you.

Web Notes allow you to "mark up" a webpage, scribbling notes and other digital graffiti on top of it. What Web Notes doesn't do, unfortunately, is leave the webpage "live." Instead, it's essentially a beefed-up version of the Snipping Tool: It takes a snapshot of the static page, then drops down a header with shortcuts to a digital pen, highlighter, and eraser. You can also add a typed note and even clip a bit of it. When you're done, you can either save the page as an image file to OneNote, to your Favorites, or to the Reading List.

Why would you want to do this? One of the examples that Microsoft developers have used is Edge's ability to create your own personalized recipe file: hunt down a recipe for blueberry scones, for example, then mark it up with your own tweaks and comments. Then, you can save it to your Reading list or to your own archive. Granted, you can do this with any browser in the world, Microsoft Paint, and a bit of grunt work. But, to be fair, Microsoft's goal is to make this kind of activity easier than it normally would be.

At press time, I noticed one bug that Microsoft hasn't thought through: Yes, you can leave a text comment attached to a Web page, but there's no apparent way to open it in OneNote--you'll merely see the an indicator that the note was left, but not the actual text. But OneNote notes as well as marked-up Web pages in Reading List will also take you back to the (original, unedited) Web page.

If you'd like, you can also share the original Web page using the Share icon and an app like Mail. It simply copies the URL into the body of the text.

A dive into the Settings

Microsoft's made a conscious effort to simplify the Settings menu in Windows 10, and that carries over into Edge. To access them, you'll need to click on that ellipsis menu at the far right-hand corner once again.

Note that there are a few options besides just the Settings: print, Pin to Start, and Open with Internet Explorer are the most interesting. It's doubtful you'll ever have to use the latter option. However, if for some reason Edge refuses to open a webpage, IE may save your bacon.

There really isn't that much to the Settings, so I'd recommend trying out all the options: tweaking Reading View, deciding which page to open a new tab with, and so on. Note that the Advanced Settings hides a couple of very interesting options: the ability to block popups, turn off Adobe Flash for security's sake, manage passwords, and so on. Note that Edge's lack of extensions does not allows plugins like LastPass to be used.

As noted in our review of Windows 10, Edge remains somewhat unfinished; we'd expect further customization options and plug-in support in the coming months. That should allow you to further tweak Edge, personalize it, and make it your own.


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