Microsoft has made incredible strides with its Edge browser, and for all the right reasons. Fast, lightweight, and with enhanced security and privacy, it’s rightly the default browser for millions of Windows users. While browser bookmarks have been around forever, Edge’s introduction to collections is truly unique. So how do collections and bookmarks all fit together? We will take a look.
What is a collection?
If you’ve always wanted to keep track of ideas while browsing the web, bookmarks can quickly turn into a black hole of links that you can easily forget. While collections are somewhat like bookmarks, a collection is more geared towards tracking ideas on the web. This is especially true if you are shopping, collecting research notes, planning a trip, etc. Collections sync across all of your Edge devices, including various computers as well as Android or iOS versions of the Edge browser.
For example, let’s say you’re shopping for a trip to Disney. Collections will allow you to set up different collections for parks, hotels, transportation, food, etc. You can build a collection for each category of travel that will help you stay more organized while having quick access to everything. Inside each category, you can add images, videos, webpage links, or one-page snippet without needing the whole site.
How to access the collections
To access the collections, the functionality is integrated directly into the Microsoft Edge address bar.
1. You can find the logo at the top right by finding the “+” icon.
2. Click or tap on the icon, and it will open a sidebar on the right side of the browser.
3. When you open the Collections window pane, you can rename it as you want.
4. With the shutter open, you can:
- Add current page to save an entire web page to a collection
- Select or drag an image into the collection
- Select and drag a link from your address bar as well as some highlighted text from a page into the collection.
On mobile devices like an iPhone or Android device, you can only add a webpage to a collection.
What is a bookmark?
A bookmark, or better known as a “favorite” in Microsoft Edge, is a collection of saved websites that you want to access later. Essentially, bookmarks are a quick and easy method that creates a shortcut for quickly accessing a website in the future. Instead of typing a full URL in the address bar, you go to your bookmarks, click on the website you want to visit, and go straight to that page. Just as collections can be organized into separate categories, so can favorites. With Edge, favorites can be organized in a number of ways, including adding them to your “favorites bar”, which can be located just below the address bar. It’s a great way to get to your most used sites quickly.
Adding a site to your favorites is as easy as clicking (or tapping on a mobile) on the star icon that is at the far right of the address bar. It is a star with a small “+” symbol. When you click on the star icon, Edge will give you the option to know where this newly added favorite may live. This is where you can create new folders, add to your favorites bar, add to an existing folder, etc.
In addition to that, favorites also have keyboard shortcuts that can be used on a desktop:
- Ctrl + re to add your current site as a favorite
- Ctrl + Change + B to show or hide the favorites bar
Since bookmarks (favorites) have been around forever, chances are most internet users are at least familiar with them, while collections are something new.
Which one should you use?
If you are wondering whether you should use Collections or Bookmarks, the answer is both. Each serves a different purpose and they can live together harmoniously. Chances are, for most people, Favorites will be familiar, so they will lean towards using this feature more frequently. Collections are definitely a great addition to Edge and a differentiator from Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc. It’s a great way to organize trips or projects, but it’s not a must-have. You can easily do the same with Favorites. however, in a less visually exciting way.
The challenge with favorites / bookmarks is that things can quickly get out of hand as you add more. Due to the visual nature of collections, it is less likely to appear disorganized. Having said that, if organization isn’t a big concern for you, bookmarks should be your default way of saving links / websites to come back to later.
Edge has already shown its potential, and adding new and exciting features like Collections is a great way to encourage new users. Despite all its popularity, Chrome has been slow to add new features, while Microsoft Edge is moving quickly to consolidate its market share and not give Chrome another thumbs up.
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