Clipping URLs in Microsoft Edge

This blog post presents suggestions using the Windows clipboard and keyboard shortcuts for working with URLs in the Microsoft Edge browser on Windows, specifically to copy the address of the current page to the clipboard and to load the URL in the clipboard into the browser. Implementation details may differ for other browsers and operating systems that likely offer similar functionality.

If you are not already in a browser, then you can press Windows+F1 to launch a browser, and then press Ctrtl+C to paste the URL or search term from the clipboard into the address bar. Unfortunately, if you are already in a browser, Windows+F1 opens a new tab, but does not move the focus to the address bar, hence requiring Ctrl+L between Windows+F1 and Ctrl+C.

Ctrl+Shift+L loads the URL or search term from the clipboard into the current tab.

F4, Alt+D, and Ctrl+L select the value in address bar. I have not identified any differences between the functions of these keyboard shortcuts. It seems that once in the address bar, ESC sometimes reverts focus to whatever had focus before the address bar or possibly something else, or other similar behavior may vary between these, as documentation indicates that Alt+D and Ctrl+L are for editing the URL but F4 does not specify this explicitly (Keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Edge). Anyway, I recommend Ctrl+L because it uses the last letter of urL and is consistent with Ctrl+Shift+L.

Keyboard shortcuts are most useful in sequences.

  • Ctrl+T,Ctrl+Shift+L: Open a new tab to the URL or search term from clipboard.
  • Ctrl+L,Ctrl+C[,Esc]: Copy URL from address bar to clipboard (there may be another shortcut for this), generally followed by Alt+Tab to return to another application.
  • Windows+F1,Ctrl+V,Enter: Open the URL or search term from the clipboard when you are not already in a browser.

When you copy the value of the address bar, the clipboard stores a link that includes the title of the page and its URL. When you paste into applications that support rich formatting, you get the link unless you explicitly paste the simple value, which gives just the URL.

If you know of any other tips for working with URLs in Microsoft Edge or any browser, please comment on this blog post.

Update 11.June.2021: In the address bar, select the URL, then unselect the last character (hopefully a slash), and copy that, and the clipboard will contain the URL without the title. Ctrl+L, End, Backspace, Ctrl+A, Ctrl-C.

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