This tutorial is only intended for users running the Microsoft Edge browser on Windows desktop operating systems.
If you’re anything like me, most of your books and magazines are littered with written notes, highlighted passages and other scribblings. Whether it be to accentuate an important paragraph or to underscore a favorite quote, this habit has stayed with me since grade school.
As the world transitions away from traditional paper and ink towards a virtual canvas when it comes to reading, the ability to add our own personal graffiti is seemingly lost.
Although some browser extensions offer functionality that helps replace this to a certain extent, there are limitations. Enter the Web Note feature in Microsoft Edge, which allows you to type or write on a Web page.
By making the page itself a digital drawing board, Web Note gives you free reign to treat Web content as if it were rendered on an actual piece of paper. Included are a pen, highlighter and eraser, all accessible from the Web Note toolbar and controllable by your mouse or touchscreen. You are also given the option to clip specific portions of the page.
All of your clippings and doodlings can then be distributed in a number of ways via Web Note’s Share button, which opens the Windows Share sidebar and lets you email, post to Twitter, etc. with just one click.
The Web Note Interface
Whenever you want to make a note or clip a portion of a page, click on the Make a Web Note button to launch the toolbar.
The button, located in the upper right-hand corner of the window on Edge’s main toolbar, features a broken square with a pen in the middle of it. It is typically positioned directly to the left of the Share button.
The Web Note toolbar should now be displayed at the top of your browser window, replacing the main Edge toolbar with the following buttons and highlighted by a dark purple background.
The buttons below are listed in their order of appearance on the Web Note toolbar, positioned left to right.
- Pen: Turns your mouse pointer, finger or stylus into a customizable pen. While enabled, you can draw or write anywhere on the current Web page. To change the color or size of the pen’s virtual ink, click on the white mark located in the bottom right-hand corner of the button.
- Highlighter: Lets you highlight words, sentences, paragraphs, or any other portion of the active page. As is the case with the pen, you can also modify the highlighter’s color and size through the same method.
- Eraser: Quickly removes markings made with the pen or highlighter just by clicking on them. You can also remove everything in one fell swoop by clicking on the bottom right-hand corner of the Eraser button and selecting Clear all ink from the drop-down menu.
- Add a Typed Note: Creates a text entry box wherever you click on the page, providing the ability to type short or detailed notes in said location. These notes are numbered by their order of creation and can be deleted by clicking on the accompanying trash can icon.
- Clip: Turns your mouse pointer into crosshairs, allowing you to select and copy a portion of the page via drag-and-drop functionality.
- Save Web Note: Allows you to save the active page to OneNote, Edge’s Favorites or the browser’s Reading List directly from a pop-out menu.
- Share Web Note: Opens the Windows 10 Share interface, which provides the ability to send the current page through email or messaging, directly to OneNote, or to a number of other installed apps such as Twitter or Facebook.
- Exit: Closes the Web Note interface and returns you to a normal browsing session.