Google Chrome users: You'll soon be able to share links to specific words on websites

Users could soon be able to share a link that scrolls directly to selected text.

Snail's pace no more: Chrome working on faster browsing feature Google is trying out a 'Never-Slow Mode' for speedier browsing.

Chrome developers are preparing a new feature for the desktop and mobile browser that will let users share a link that takes the recipient to the exact word the sender has selected. 

The incoming feature was spotted by Chrome Story and has been merged into Chromium source code for a future release. Dubbed 'Scroll-To-Text', it is the text equivalent of sharing a link to a YouTube video that jumps to a preselected time. 

As it is, there's no tool in Chrome for creating a link to a certain spot on a web page. Finding specific text is also difficult from a mobile browser using the fiddly 'Find in Page' feature, which apparently is rarely used in Chrome on mobile devices. 

The common answer to this problem is to take a screenshot of the relevant text and maybe share a link to the page it was from. Or you could send a link and tell the recipient to search for a word.  

David Bokan, the Chromium developer behind the feature, has posted a page on GitHub about the Scroll-To-Text project that explains why it would be useful and how it works. 

SEE: How to build a successful developer career (free PDF)

"When following a link to read a specific part of a web page, finding the relevant part of the document after navigating can be cumbersome. This is especially true on mobile, where it can be difficult to find specific content when scrolling through long articles or using the browser's 'Find in Page' feature. Fewer than one percent of clients use the 'Find in Page' feature in Chrome on Android," he writes.

"To enable scrolling directly to a specific part of a web page, we propose generalizing the existing support for scrolling to elements based on the fragment identifier. We believe this capability could be used by a variety of websites (eg, search engine results pages, Wikipedia reference links), as well as by end users when sharing links from a browser."

For the feature to be useful to all users, Scroll-To-Text would also need to be supported by Firefox, Safari, Edge and others. Boken is proposing adjustments to HTML standards so the feature is supported. 

As for the link, his project proposes encoding a text snippet in the URL with the prefix 'targetText=' followed by a string containing the keywords. If the user has selected a long phrase, the string would contain the beginning and end words.       

One aspect that the project doesn't address is the ability to send a link that scrolls directly to an image. 

He's also exploring how it could be possible for users to highlight multiple snippets of text to share.

Previous and related coverage  

Microsoft security chief: IE is not a browser, so stop using it as your default

Internet Explorer is a 'compatibility solution' and should only be used selectively, warns Microsoft exec.

Opera desktop browser gets a new look, dark theme gets darker

Opera shuffles around buttons in its forthcoming release with re-design inspired by photography.

Google: We've open-sourced ClusterFuzz tool that found 16,000 bugs in Chrome

Google's automated bug-finding tool is now available to all software developers.

Faster Chrome? Google tests 'Never-Slow Mode' for speedier browsing

Google is trying out a feature for Chrome that aims to deliver a consistently quick browsing experience.

Google Chrome could soon kill off most ad-blocker extensions

Ad-blocker developers fear their Chrome extensions will be wiped out by proposed changes to Chrome APIs.

Google Chrome to get warnings for 'lookalike URLs'

Chrome to show warnings when accessing mistyped domains.

Google Chrome to add drive-by-download protection

Firefox and Internet Explorer already have this feature, since at least 2015.

Google releases Chrome 71 with a focus on security features

Google improves Chrome's ability to filter abusive ads and detect shady mobile subscription forms.

Google Chrome 72 removes HPKP, deprecates TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1

Google security engineers also fixed 58 security bugs.

How to enable and test the new Google Chrome dark mode on Windows 10

Google Chrome's dark mode is currently under development. Expected to arrive later this year to the Chrome stable branch.

Microsoft confirms that Chrome extensions will run on new Edge browser

Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge browser could close the extension gap.

Google: Here's how our Chrome ad blocker is killing off pirates

And Google makes the case against using search copyright takedowns to combat piracy.

Google restores 'www' to Chrome URLs after user backlash

But not for long - they will be gone again by Chrome 70.

Google cuts fake ad blockers from Chrome Store: Were you among 20 million fooled?

Bogus ad-blocker extensions in the Chrome Web Store trick millions of people into installing them.

What enterprises need to know about the new Chromium-based Edge browser TechRepublic

How will Microsoft be able to maintain its own browser priorities once it no longer controls the destiny of its own browser engine? 

Google cracks down on malicious Chrome extensions CNET

A more rigorous review process that includes more humans seeks to better scrutinize extensions that demand lots of power.