Thursday, June 09, 2016

**RESOURCES** For Writers (Microsoft Edge)

I wasn't sure if I should tag this as a "Review" or  "Resources". Either way, this will be of interest (again) to note-takers, writers, students, and businesspeople. Okay, it's pretty much for anybody.

Microsoft Edge is the browser you can write on whether or not you have a touchscreen PC.

Courtesy a nephew, I happen to have a nice touchscreen PC, but with the Edge, you can use the mouse to utilize the write-on feature. There are other features that can work for you, depending on your needs. I'll go through the ones I have used up to now. WARNING: There are going to be a lot of screenshots in this post...

This is the landing page that I got. It's a little confusing because you really can't do any alterations here. Instead, you have to "turn on" the interesting feature.

Keep reading. We're going to get to the good part.

First thing I figured out is that I can't "write" on the Start (or landing) page. Refer to the photo below. When on that Start page, the options I want (on far right hand side) are greyed out and not available.

So, get off that page by going to the Google tab. Or you can just open a new tab with the + sign.

I decided to use the Google home page to test this out. Notice that now I have those options on the far right top.

When you get to whichever page/site it is that you want to make notes on (in this case, Google, for me), then the main two buttons you want to deal with are...

1 - The one that gives the option to "make a web note" (see yellow arrow)


2 - The one that gives the option of what to do with the web note -share, save, etc. - (see orange arrow)

You can write on the screen - with stylus or finger if you have a touchscreen, and with the cursor/mouse if you don't have a touchscreen. You can use the Text Box function to type on the page. Also, you can Highlight things or use the Eraser to delete what you've added.

Notice that you can change the sizes and colors for the Pen and the Highlighter.

Now here is where I get to tell you what I had a problem with. Maybe "glitch" is the better term...

When I was using my finger to circle items on the screen, I must have touched outside the "allowed" (or the edge, heh heh) part of the screen because my markings were interrupted and had blank spots. Writing on the center of the web page/screen was okay except my onscreen writing is super sloppy. I preferred to use the Text Box function.

The one thing I don't like is that, of course, searching from Edge defaults you to the Bing search engine. I really, really hate Bing.

Another irritation is that once you Save what you've done, the Eraser no longer works on your notations. In other words, if you make a hand note then hit Save, you can only erase what you do after that last save.

Overall, though, this is all pretty cool. For me, I like being able to use the features while researching stuff for my writing. I think that's something that just about anyone can find a use for.

Best of all is the ability to share what you've done. It's fast and easy. As you can see from the screenshot below, the most popular share spots are there. If you don't see one you're looking for, you can look for one in the Windows Store.

Last of all, if you do use Edge (even only when you want to use the features I mentioned), be sure to check out the Settings. I was able to change everything I wanted (except having Bing as the default search...).

I won't be using this constantly, but I am going to take advantage of what I need from it. I haven't yet done a lot with the Cortana (the "personal assistant" built into Win10)  feature. From what I understand, there's a way to link Cortana to Edge to enhance the experience. ~shrug~ The link I just provided explains more, but I'm not there yet.


P.S.: If I made any errors in this overview, you'll just have to remember that I'm an Edge newbie.