What Is Caret Browsing in IE8?


Although most of the navigation in Internet Explorer 8 is mainly performed using the mouse, caret browsing allows you to browse the Internet using the keyboard. Once enabled, this feature provides a list of tasks you can perform by pressing one or more keys. These tasks include highlighting text, copying and pasting content from one location to another.

About Caret Browsing

  • Caret browsing is a feature in Internet Explorer 8 that allows you to move within a webpage using the keyboard. Instead of using the mouse to move back and forth between text, buttons, images and menus, caret browsing allows you to use navigation keys such as the Home, End, Page Up or Page Down buttons to browse the Internet. This feature is especially beneficial for people who prefer using the keyboard instead of the mouse to perform browsing functions.

Enabling Caret Browsing

  • By default, caret browsing isn't enabled when you launch IE8. You need to enable it before using keyboard shortcuts to browse. To enable caret browsing, IE8 must be opened. Pressing the "F7" key and clicking the "Page" button opens a new box. From there, clicking "Caret Browsing" enables the feature. If you want to enable caret browsing for all browsing windows and tabs, clicking "Internet Options" from the "Tools" menu brings up the browser's options. From the Advanced tab, selecting "Enable Caret Browsing for new windows and tabs" under Accessibility enables the feature for all browsing windows and tabs.

Using Caret Browsing

  • After enabling caret browsing, holding the Shift key and pressing the the arrow keys allows you to select text. How much text you can select in one moment depends on the arrow key you press. Pressing the Home button moves you to the beginning of a document, while pressing the END button brings you to the end of a document. Pressing combination keys such as CTRL and S saves the current page. There are several keyboard shortcuts, so to maximize caret browsing, familiarize yourself with these IE8 shortcuts.

Disabling Cabaret Browsing

  • Even with caret browsing enabled, you can still use the mouse to perform standard navigation functions. However, if you're no longer interested in using the feature, you can turn it off by pressing F7 again or using Internet Options. You can enable it again anytime.

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