How to Stay Productive With Microsoft Edge

Sandy Writtenhouse 13-12-2016

Many people still have not made the decision to use Microsoft Edge as their preferred browser. However, for those who have made the jump or others still considering it The Firefox-Lover's Guide to the Microsoft Edge Browser Putting prejudice aside, is Edge any good? I decided to pit it against my personal favorite web browser, Firefox, to see how it compares. Here's what I found. Read More , it does have some great productivity features. From built-in tools to time-saving extensions, here are just a few than can help you stay productive.


Comment, Clip, and Save Quickly

The Web Note feature in Microsoft Edge has just the right number of tools for quick clips, notes, and highlighting. You can, of course, use other extensions like Evernote to clip articles, but with this handy feature built right in, it is simply convenient. So, you can color, comment, clip, and move on.

To use the tool, click the Web Note button in your toolbar. You will then see all of your options across the top including a pen, highlighter, and eraser along with commenting and clipping tools. The pen and highlighter tools let you choose from a variety of colors which great for contrast on the page.

web note clip microsoft edge

Once you have noted or clipped the part of the page you want, you can save or share it. The buttons on the right of the toolbar provide both options. You can save your item to OneNote, Favorites, or Reading List. You can also edit the name of the clipping when saving to Favorites or Reading List. Or, you can share to Cortana Reminders, Mail, OneNote, or Twitter.

web note save microsoft edge


Use the Handy Extensions

While there may not be a huge variety of extensions for Microsoft Edge 10 Best Microsoft Edge Browser Extensions You Should Try Today The latest Windows 10 Upgrade finally brings browser extensions to Microsoft Edge. We have examined the handful of extensions available and show you which ones are worth your time. Read More yet, there are definitely a few convenient ones. For quick navigation and fast file access, you are covered.

Mouse Gestures

For scrolling, navigating tabs, and moving forward or back in your browser, check out Mouse Gestures. This extension lets you use your mouse to control these actions in Microsoft Edge without any special equipment or a touch screen. You just hold down your right mouse button and then perform the action such as (drawing) an arrow.

mouse gestures settings microsoft edge

The cool thing about this extension is that it is customizable to your preferences. You can configure the gestures easily. So, if you want the down arrow gesture to close the current tab instead of scrolling down, it is a simple change.


You can also enable or disable settings such as opening a link in a new tab by dragging, showing action tips, and displaying gesture tracks.

mouse gestures advanced settings microsoft edge

Office Online

When you need fast access to view or create an Office Online document, the Microsoft Edge extension is a good one to keep handy. You can create a new document with Word Online, Excel Online, PowerPoint Online, OneNote Online, or Sway. When you make your selection, a new tab will open directly to the application website.

office online microsoft edge


When you first click the extension button, you will see a list of your most recent Office Online documents. This is super convenient to open a document quickly. Plus, you can open a file from OneDrive and also upload one.

Installing Extensions

If you have not checked out the extensions available for Microsoft Edge yet, you can do so on the Microsoft website. Alternatively, if you have the Microsoft Store installed on your computer, just click More (three-dot icon) from your toolbar. Then, select Extensions > Get extensions from the Store. Follow the prompts to download and install the extension.

get extensions microsoft edge

You will receive a notification once the installation is complete and then be asked to Turn it on. This action is necessary to begin using the extension Everything You Need to Know About Microsoft Edge Browser Extensions The one feature Microsoft Edge has been missing is extensions. Windows Insiders can now test the first official extensions and manually port extensions from Google Chrome. We show you everything you need to know. Read More .


Get Help From Cortana

Whether you use Cortana on your Windows machine Your Best Windows 10 To-Do List App Is Cortana + Wunderlist Cortana can handle task and to-do lists. She now also connects to your Wunderlist. We show you how you can manage all your lists with Cortana. Read More or mobile device, the application has wonderful features to help you save time right in your browser. You do not have to stop what you are doing or navigate away with Cortana’s help.

Ask Cortana Anything

If you are performing research or simply want more information regarding a topic, ask Cortana. To do this, just highlight the relevant text on the page, right-click, and select Ask Cortana from the context menu.

cortana ask microsoft edge

Next, a sidebar will pop open with Cortana’s suggestions on that topic. You can easily view the results while staying on your current web page. Just remember that selecting a link within the results will open the page within the same tab.

Tips From Cortana

When you land on a web page that perks up Cortana to help, the icon will automatically appear in your toolbar for you to click. Examples of these types of sites include restaurants, shopping, and music videos.

cortana tips tabs microsoft edge

For example, if you are on the Steak-n-Shake website, Cortana may pop up saying I have the closest locations for you. Then with a click of the icon, those locations will open in the sidebar along with a map and links for directions.

If you are visiting a shopping site, Cortana may let you know that there are coupons or offers available. Just click the item displayed in the sidebar and off you go to saving some money. Other offers may also display such as in-store discounts with no code needed.

When you are watching a music video, Cortana might ask if you would like the lyrics. Like the above options, those lyrics will then be displayed in the sidebar. With Cortana for Microsoft Edge, you will not have to pause the video and search yourself to sing along.

cortana tips microsoft edge

Note that to receive tips from Cortana when using Microsoft Edge, you may have to grant permission first. Depending on your current settings A Quick and Dirty Guide to Every Setting in Microsoft Edge If you decide to use Edge, the first thing you should do is set the browser up, which includes tweaking all of the settings according to your needs. Here's everything you need to know. Read More , you may need to allow access to your location, location history, and browsing history.

Make Your Tabs Work for You

Microsoft Edge has a couple of nice tab features that let you browse and get where you want to go quickly. You can keep the sites you use regularly close at hand and preview your other tabs without a struggle.

Pin Tabs

If you head to the same website every day, pin it. With the site open, just right-click on the tab and select Pin. Now, every time you open Microsoft Edge, that website will display on the same tab.

microsoft edge pin tab

If you decide to pin several tabs, you can easily rearrange them. Hold down on the tab you want to move and just drag it to its new spot. You can also move a tab to its own window by holding and dragging away from the browser window. Just keep in mind that if you do this, the pinned tab will no longer appear automatically when you open your browser.

Preview Tabs

You may have already noticed this, but when you hover your mouse over each tab, a tiny preview appears. Then, just click on the preview to pop over to that tab. This is a convenient feature for when you have multiple tabs open at once and want to navigate quickly.

microsoft edge pin tab preview

What Edge Feature Keeps You Most Productive?

Maybe the Web Note tool helps you capture notes faster, perhaps Cortana gets you information quicker, or maybe the extensions let you move around easier.

Which tool keeps you the most productive when using Microsoft Edge 17 Essential Bookmarklets for Microsoft Edge and IE11 One of the biggest issues for the Microsoft Edge and IE11 browsers is a lack of extensions. However, if you're sick of waiting, consider using these 17 bookmarklets in Edge or Internet Explorer 11. Read More ? Let us know in the comments!

Related topics: Browser Extensions, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft OneNote, Mouse Gesture, Productivity.

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  1. Dan Bergen
    December 14, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Why would anybody use the words productive and Edge in the same sentence?
    The most important feature to many users is search. A person wants to highlight a term, right click, and hit search. In a normal browser, this opens up a Google search tab, and you click on a few of the results. You can also change the search if you want. In Edge, you get a panel that you can only click on one result.

    A reverse image search is also a very useful feature that is omitted from Edge.
    Stability is another issue. If you have a large number of tabs open, occasionally it loses them when restarting.
    Edge also doesn't do as good a job at rendering SVG as the other browsers.