Collections is an upcoming feature in Microsoft’s new Chromium-powered Edge browser. Designed to make it simpler to collate information from webpages, Collections lets you copy text, images and links into a dedicated notes panel for later reference.
Collections is now available in the Edge Insider Canary and Dev channels. You still need to enable it manually, using a feature flag.
Launch Edge Insider and navigate to
edge://flags using the address bar. Search for “collections” using the searchbar at the top of the page. Use the dropdown menu to change the “Experimental Collections feature” flag to the “Enabled” state.
You’ll be prompted to restart the browser to apply the changes. When Edge is relaunched, you’ll see a new icon next to the address bar. Clicking the stack of cards will open the Collections sidebar.
With Collections enabled, you’re ready to start collating snippets of information from the sites you visit. Click the Collections icon to reveal the Collections pane. To get started, click the “Start new collection” button to create your first collection.
You can now drag and drop content from your webpage into the collections pane. Each item gets added into the collection for later reference. Clicking the “Add current page” button is a good way to begin – it will attach a link back to the webpage you’re viewing.
Collections simplifies several common tasks, such as highlighting important sections of an article for later reference. You can add text to the collection by highlighting it on the page and then dragging it into the collections pane. The same procedure works for images.
To refer to your collection in the future, open Edge’s Collections pane from the toolbar button. You can then select your collection and review the content it includes. Content is automatically linked to its origin webpage, so tapping a passage of text will open the page it was copied from.
Collections can be exported to Excel or Word. This allows you to use the feature to jumpstart work on a research document, without having to copy, paste and alt-tab between Word and the browser.
To export a collection, open it in the Collections pane. Click the share icon in the top-right of the pane and then choose the app to send it to. Although only Excel and Word are currently offered, it seems likely that more formats will be added over time.
Managing your Collections
Collections are managed by clicking the collections toolbar icon to reveal the collections pane. Here, you’ll see a list of all the collections you’ve created. You can create a new collection with the “Start new collection” button.
Tapping a collection will open it and reveal its contents. Right-clicking a collection lets you rename or delete it. To bulk delete multiple collections, use the checkboxes which appear next to each item when hovering. Select the collections to delete and click the trashcan icon which is displayed at the top of the list.
While still in development, Collections is an interesting feature which encourages users to store webpage content for later reference. No other browser offers a built-in experience quite like this, although it remains to be seen whether users will actually create collections. All things considered, curating a collection is a similar experience to copying-and-pasting into Word or OneNote. In fact, it has similarities with the old Internet Explorer-powered Linked Notes feature in the OneNote desktop apps, which also automatically linked passages of text to webpages open in the browser.