[Update: Native Integration] Google releases new Chrome extension for linking directly to specific text on a page

[Update: Native Integration] Google releases new Chrome extension for linking directly to specific text on a page

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Update 1 (09/29/2020 @ 05:31 PM ET): Google is preparing to natively integrate the functionality of the Link to Text Fragment extension into Google Chrome. Scroll to the bottom for more information. The article as published on June 18, 2020, is preserved below.

It’s not often that Google releases its own new Chrome extensions, but today it did just that (via The Verge). The company’s latest extension is called “Link to Text Fragment” and it allows you to link to a specific section of text on a webpage. Rather than linking to an entire article, you can share a link directly to a part on a page you want someone to read.

The Link to Text Fragment extension is very simple to use. Once installed in Chrome or a Chromium-based browser with extensions support, all you need to do is highlight some text on a webpage and right-click. You’ll see “Copy Link to Selected Text” as an option in the menu, which will automatically copy the link to your clipboard. When someone visits the created link in Chrome (or another Chromium-based browser like Microsoft Edge), the text that you selected will appear highlighted in yellow. It does work on Android as well.

The extension is using a feature that was recently added to Chromium called “Text Fragments.” It basically adds extra information to a URL after the “#” to navigate to a specific part. Google is already using this technology to link to specific parts of web pages from Google Search. The links created with the Link to Text Fragment extension will work in Chromium-based browsers version 80 and up. As mentioned, that includes the Chrome for Android browser.

You can download the Link to Text Fragment extension in the Chrome Web Store right now or view its source code here. Admittedly, this may be a niche extension, but it can be extremely useful for people who often share long articles. It’s super easy to use and you won’t realize it’s there until you need it. Check it out.


Update 1: Coming to Chrome Natively

Update by Mishaal Rahman

As reported by Techdows, Google is working to bake the functionality of the Link to Text Fragment extension into Chrome. In the Chrome Canary channel on Mac, Window, Linux, and Chrome OS, you can enable a flag called “Copy Link to Text” that “adds an item to the context menu to allow a user to copy a link to the page with the selected text highlighted.” This feature is currently under development, but once it rolls out, you won’t need to use the Link to Text Fragment extension anymore.