Chrome allows you to link to and highlight text on a web page, no extension required!

In version 80 of Chrome, Google added an extension to the URL standard that it hopes will be accepted and supported in other browsers. Google calls the standard text fragments. Text fragments are links that contain not only the location of the document, but what text to link to in the document and highlight. Here is an example text fragment to the Wikipedia page about volcanoes.

This is what it looks like to the user after they’ve clicked on a text fragments link

The link is created by adding #:~:text= followed by the text to find and highlight. It creates some funky looking URLs, here’s the volcano link from above:

Creating the link could be cumbersome, but Google has got you covered with the Link to Text Fragment Chrome extension. Once installed, you can highlight text on a page and right click to bring up the Link to Selected Text  menu:

The link will be placed in the clipboard for you to paste where you want to share it.

Clumsy name, but pretty cool tech

Text fragment link is cumbersome to say, but the end result works well. You can start using it today as long as you and your students use Chrome. Text fragment links were added to Chrome version 80 which was released in February 2020. The current version as of June 2020 is 83.

If you send someone a text fragment link who doesn’t use a compatible browser, they will still be able to navigate to the page. The browser will not scroll to the selected text or highlight the text.

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