new Chrome extension

Internet search giant Google has released a new Chrome extension, called Link to Text Fragment. Link to Text Fragment lets you generate URLs to specific text on a web page, regardless of the page’s formatting.

“The extension allows for easily creating a special link to the selected text on a page via the context menu,” said Google on the Chrome web store.

With the extension installed, simply highlight the text you want to link to, right-click, and select “Copy Link to Selected Text.” This can then be shared and opened by anyone using a compatible browser.

The Google extension builds upon a new feature that recently added to Chromium called Text Fragments, which works by appending extra linking information to a URL after a hash (#). It’s the same technology that Google sometimes uses to link to a specific section of a webpage in search results. However, these URLs can be long and difficult to manually create if you’re linking to longer sections of text, or complex web pages section where the same words are repeated multiple times. This extension simplifies the formation process.

The links created by the new extension are compatible with version 80 upwards of all Chromium-based browsers, but they’re not supported in all Internet browsers. Clicking a link using those browsers will simply take you to the top section of the linked web page, without highlighting the text. Text fragments are a small but useful piece of functionality that makes it easier to find specific information on a web page.

At this time, Google says that neither Apple nor Mozilla has signaled that they will support the functionality in Safari or Firefox respectively.

That means that if someone using Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge sends a Safari or Mozilla Firefox user a specially formatted link, it won’t go to the highlighted section of the given web page.

The extension uses a feature called Text Fragments, which was first introduced with Chrome 80 back in late December in the year 2019.

The rollout of this new feature was confirmed by Public Liaison for Search on Twitter. “Clicking a featured snippet takes the user directly to the featured snippet text on the source web page. This happens automatically”, said Google on a support page.

You can download the Link to Text Fragment extension in the Chrome Web Store right now. 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.