Google Chrome New Feature allows user to share a link that scrolls directly to selected text

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Users could soon share a link directly scrolling to the selected text.

Chrome developers are preparing a new desktop and mobile browser feature that allows users to share a link that takes the recipient to the exact word selected by the sender.

The incoming feature has been detected by Chrome Story and merged for future release into chromium source code. It is the text equivalent to sharing a link to a YouTube video that jumps to a pre-selected time.

As it is, Chrome does not have a tool to create a link to a certain location on a web page. A mobile browser also makes it difficult to find specific text using the fiddly’ Find in Page ‘ feature, which appears to be rarely used on mobile devices in Chrome.

The common answer to this problem is to take a screenshot of the relevant text and perhaps share a link to the page from which it originated. Or you can send a link and tell the recipient to find a word.

David Bokan, the developer of Chromium behind the feature, posted a GitHub page about the Scroll-To-Text project that explains why it would be useful and how it works. “If you follow a link to read a specific part of a web page, it can be cumbersome to find the relevant part of the document after navigation, especially on mobile phones, where it can be difficult to find specific content when scrolling through long articles or using the” Find in Page “feature of the browser.”

In order to enable direct scrolling to a specific part of a web page, we propose to generalize existing support for scrolling to elements based on the fragment identifier. We believe that a variety of websites (e.g. search engine results pages, Wikipedia reference links), as well as end users, could use this capability when sharing links from a browser.”

Boken proposes HTML adjustments to support the feature. As for the link, his project proposes to encode a text snippet in the URL with the prefix ‘targetText=’ followed by a keyword string. If a long phrase was selected by the user, the string would contain the start and end words.

The ability to send a link that scrolls directly to an image is one aspect that the project does not address. He also explores how users can highlight multiple text snippets to share.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.