If you didn’t already know, Microsoft has a new Edge browser, and it’s a lot better than what we’ve now come to know as the “legacy” version of Microsoft Edge. Based on Google’s open-source Chromium engine (the same engine that powers the popular Google Chrome browser) there are many features in the new Edge that Google Chrome lacks in its current state. Not to mention it’s faster, and optimized for the modern web when compared to “legacy” Edge.
If you’re on the fence about “switching” to the new Microsoft Edge and have been depending on Chrome over the past few years, we have a note for you with our latest piece. We’ll be looking at some reasons you might want to move your mouse down to the Edge logo and finally click on it. Here are five things that Microsoft Edge does great that Google Chrome can’t.
Thing 1: Immersive Reader
First on our list is the Immersive Reader. The Immersive Reader is a feature that’s designed to turn the webpages you’re reading into a more natural state. It’s useful for reading news articles, or longer research papers. You can get to it by clicking the book icon in the address bar.
Once you do that, you’ll see that Immersive Reader cuts out ads, spaces in a webpage, and gives you a clear view of what you want to read. You even can select text and have Edge read it to you, or select to see syllables, parts of speech. There are even options to change text size, spacing, and select new themes.
This is a feature that Google Chrome currently doesn’t have upfront. Instead, it’s hidden behind a flag via “chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode.” Even when enabled via a flag, Chrome’s Reader mode isn’t as feature complete as Microsoft Edge’s. There’s no read-aloud, no ability to see syllables or change spacing. In this area, Edge is ahead of Chrome by miles.
Thing 2: Collections
Next on our list is Collections. This feature is designed around helping your keep track of ideas and things you come across the web. It’s accessed by clicking the plus icon in the address bar, right next to your profile photo.
Once you click into collections, you can start one of your own. You can add any webpage you’re currently on into the collection, so you can save the webpage for later. You can even drag images into the collection too, or drag a link or highlighted text. Once content is added a card will appear. The card will have information at a glance, including a link. You even can add sticky notes to the Collection, too!
Keep in mind that since Microsoft Edge is cross-platform and is available on iOS, Android, MacOS, and even Linux, all items added to a collection will sync up across all your devices. This makes getting to your recipes and saved articles a lot easier.
Again, Chrome currently lacks this feature, and it’s only found in Microsoft Edge. You can add similar functionality with third-party extensions like EverNote, but keep in mind Edge’s integration is native, and requires no additional downloads.
Thing 3: Vertical tabs
Third on the list is vertical tabs. One of the newest features for Microsoft Edge, it is currently available in the Beta, Canary, and Dev versions of the browser. It’s also hidden behind a flag in the regular version of Edge (you can go edge://flags) by searching for Vertical Tabs. It’s planned to officially arrive to Edge stable soon, but this feature is something that’s designed for folks who have a lot of tabs open.
As the name suggests, you can move your tabs from the top bar in Edge to the sidebar in Edge. This will let you see tabs as tiles, and access controls more easily, like mute and close. You also can reorder tabs more easily, with drag and drop. it’s accessed via a button in the top left corner and will put tabs into a pane. Anytime you want to see this, you can hover over the pane to see the tabs.
Chrome doesn’t have this feature, but Chrome does have a “Tab group” feature which will let you combine multiple tabs into groups so that you can clean up the top bar when multitasking. Microsoft says that Edge is the only browser to offer built-in vertical tab navigation.
Thing 4: Inking and annotating PDFs
Landing in fourth on our list is the ability for you to Ink and annotate on PDFs in Microsoft Edge. This is available for you by just using Edge as your default web browser, and opening PDFs as you normally would when you download a PDF. If you’re already using Adobe reader, You can also set Edge as your default PDF reader. You can do this by going into Windows 10 settings, searching for default apps, choosing default apps by file type, and then choosing Microsoft Edge as default.
Anyway, Edge’s PDF ability is great. You can click the Draw button to draw anywhere on the PDF with your finger or a Surface Pen on touch-enabled devices. You also can highlight, too. It’s a really useful feature, especially for students. Best of all, the changes can be saved, so your inking can be viewed in other programs or even in Google Chrome.
Thing 5: Web Capture
The last thing we want to talk about is Edge’s Web Capture feature. This was one that was recently introduced to Edge, and is yet another unique feature, With Web capture, you’re able to take screenshots and capture content from across the web, directly from within Edge, without the need for any third-party tools or programs.
Web Capture works by clicking CTRL+SHIFT+S on your keyboard (or via the . . . menu in Edge.) Once clicked, you’ll get a selection tool to capture the content you want. You’ll then see the option to copy the image to your clipboard, or add notes, which let you annotate the screenshot and then add it to your clipboard or save it. Again, this is a really useful feature for research, building on the inking features we mentioned in “Thing 4.”
Google Chrome currently doesn’t have this Web Capture feature either. You can get similar features with extensions, but it’s not natively built into the browser.
Give Edge a try, it’s great!
Now that we’ve looked at five featured of Edge that Chrome doesn’t have, we hope that we’ve convinced you that Edge isn’t all that bad. In fact, Microsoft is planning to end support for the legacy version of Edge soon, which means that now is a good time as ever to try out the new Edge in favor of Chrome. New Edge has been surpassed Firefox in popularity as the second most used browser in the world, so it’s slowly on the way to the top. Trust us, you won’t want to miss out.