What Is Caret Browsing and How Does It Work?

Caret browsing is an accessibility feature baked in to most browsers. Here, we take a deeper look at what it does and how to use the feature.

You might have heard about caret browsing; it’s one of the many accessibility features that are built into browsers. But what exactly is caret browsing, and how does it work? We explain it below.

What Is Caret Browsing?

Caret browsing or caret navigation is an accessibility feature that simply lets you navigate the web using your keyboard. It comes in handy for those who have disabilities, prefer to use a keyboard, or have a damaged mouse/touchpad.

The feature is available in most browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. But the notable exceptions are Safari and Opera.

Besides caret browsing, there are a number of ways to browse without a mouse.

How to Enable Caret Browsing

Enabling caret browsing is quite simple. Just open your browser and press the F7 key. Your browser might ask for confirmation, so select Turn on or OK. To disable the feature, you can press F7 again.

Caret browsing lets you move around the webpage, select text, and open links. And if you don’t want to use the keyboard, you can browse using your voice, thanks to these extensions.

You can also turn on caret browsing from settings in Google Chrome. To do so, go to Settings > Accessibility and toggle on Navigate pages with a text cursor.

If you’re a Vivaldi user, enabling caret browsing is unfortunately not as simple as pressing F7. However, you can type “chrome://settings/accessibility” in the address bar and turn on Navigate pages with a text cursor.

What to Do With Caret Browsing

There are three main things you can do with caret browsing:

  • Navigating webpages: To navigate through webpages, you can use the arrow keys and move your cursor on the screen.
  • Opening links: To open links, first, bring the cursor over the link with your arrow keys and then press Enter. For opening a link in a background tab, use Enter + CTRL.
  • Selecting text: The easier way to select text is to turn on caret browsing, hold the Shift key, and use arrow keys for selecting text.

Browse With Your Keyboard

Thanks to caret browsing, you’ve got an easier way to navigate the web. Of course, it’s helpful for people with disabilities, but can also be useful if you prefer a keyboard or have a malfunctioning mouse.

Besides caret navigation, Chrome comes with various advanced settings, including several accessibility features.

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