Why it matters: Google’s text-highlighting feature could be incredibly helpful if widely adopted. I personally use Ctrl+F multiple times a day to zero in on specific text on a website. When following a text-targeting link, I would now be taken to the exact spot an author wants me to see rather than having to search the page for the specific body of text they are referencing.
Google has released a browser extension for Chrome that allows users to link to a specific block of text on a website, independent of the page’s formatting.
Appropriately dubbed Link to Text Fragment, the extension is based on a feature that was recently baked into Chromium known as Text Fragments. With the extension installed, you simply need to select the bit of text that you want to link to, right-click it and choose “Copy Link to Selected Text” from the context menu.
If successful, the link you just generated will take viewers to the target website where the selected text will be highlighted in yellow.
The text fragments feature is supported in version 80 and later of Chromium-based browsers. As of writing, Firefox and Safari have not said whether or not they plan to support the new feature.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that links don’t work when served across client-side redirects used by some services such as Twitter. Regular HTTP redirects work just fine, however.
Full technical details on the new feature can be found over on Google's developer website.
Masthead credit: Stephen VanHorn