5 Ways Microsoft Edge Has Made My Life Easier as a Freelance Writer
The tools we use as writers shouldn’t just be in making sure our grammars are flawless. It’s also about making our work faster and more convenient.
I’ve advocated for helpful tools to stay on top of productivity ever since I started writing here on Medium. But Microsoft Edge deserves a post of its own due to the many benefits I’ve reaped in the past months.
This isn’t a sponsored post (ha, I wish!), but this productivity booster made me completely turn my back away from Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
Here are five features that made me appreciate this modern browser for work:
Enjoying organized and clutter-free research with Collections
The first reason I moved to Edge a few years ago is the built-in Collections feature. Collections allow you to easily collect information from different websites and organize them into manageable groups to pick up again later.
I had great appreciation for it while I juggled full-time work and part-time school. It allowed me to save sites and information from the web into collections organized according to the subject and topic. For example, resources for my marketing papers and readings for my business class are in separate collections. Since I use the same device for work, school, and personal life, this function allowed me to conveniently access each one without confusion.
Today, one of my greatest appreciation is the Open All function. One of my recent freelancing gigs requires me to stay up to date with news and trends in specific industries to write weekly newsletters. By saving sites where I gather different news, I can simply click the Open All function every time I check and have everything ready for browsing without cluttering up my favorites bar (the bookmarks bar equivalent in other browsers). I can also easily export my list to Excel, OneNote, Word, or Pinterest if I need separate documentation.
Using smart copy functionalities
How often have you tried copying something from the web that you ended up with ruined formatting when you paste? This one seems like the simplest feature, but it’s also when you add up these minor inconveniences that take up unnecessary time.
Edge’s Web select is an accessible right-click function (or Ctrl+Shift+X) you can use when you want to copy the rich web formatting, images, and links as-is.
The Web capture (Ctrl+Shift+S) on the other hand functions similar to the Snipping Tool. To recap, the Snipping Tool lets you take a screenshot but requires you to open the editing window first to add citations then save the image (or take another screenshot) before you can use it. While it only works on the browser, the Web capture enables you to take a screenshot, add markups, and paste it where you want it. It saves time when you want to share quick discussions with clients or customize screenshots you use for your articles without the extra steps and memory consumption from your PC.
Organizing my focus with tab groups
I’m one of the people who hate having too many tabs on my browser. It confuses me, making it difficult to search for what I need without clicking a wrong tab four times first. Edge added a function to organize your browser tabs into groups that you can rename and minimize.
Here’s how my browser tab currently looks like while I write this post:
And here’s how it can look if the group tabs aren’t around. Sometimes I have more tabs than this and it can easily become a nightmare.
Now, remember the newsletters I write for a client that I mentioned earlier? It also automatically groups the tabs from that collection when I open all of them, so it’s easy to navigate. But imagine how inconvenient it is to look for anything with that many tabs open all at the same time.
Glad it can be made simpler.
And it works as a vertical tab, too!
There’s really no better explanation than these screenshots.
Reading without distractions using Immersive Reader
Writing has a lot of research involved. Even with topics you already know, it’s best practice to still research to fact check and cite sources. Unfortunately, some publishers have a ton of ads on their page that becomes distracting to look at in your peripheral vision, especially if these are dynamic images that change frames and colors every second.
With the Immersive Reader of Microsoft Edge, you can read distraction-free with its simplified environment. It’s perfect for freelance writers who need to research but can be easily distracted by unnecessary web page elements.
Immersive Reader is also more accessible for everyone with a variety of tools to help personalize the experience, including adjusting the text size and the ability to hear the article using the Read Aloud function.
Hassle-free quick searches with Define and Sidebar search
Despite being a professional writer for almost a decade, I sometimes still encounter words that are either new to me, or I’ve forgotten what they mean.
With a simple right-click on the web and the Define function, I can easily find out what a word means without opening a new tab to search.
The Sidebar search function (Ctrl+Shift+E) also opens up Bing as a sidebar slide-in for quick research. It’s a straightforward feature that ultimately saves you the extra clicks required, especially if you’ve memorized the shortcut keys to use them.
When writing, it’s a handy tool for quick fact-checks without adding a new tab to your browser.
There’s no more productive writer than someone who maximizes technology to make work easier. Using Microsoft Edge has been a helpful tool for my job, and I hope it helps you, too.
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