05-20-2020 09:31 AM - edited 05-20-2020 09:37 AM
05-20-2020 09:31 AM - edited 05-20-2020 09:37 AM
Hello Insiders! We have heard your feedback and are excited to announce sidebar search - the first step in our evolution of contextual search in the new Microsoft Edge.
Sidebar search builds off the foundation we began with "Ask Cortana" in the previous version of Microsoft Edge and addresses feedback we received when "Ask Cortana" didn't meet your needs.
With sidebar search, you can highlight a word or phrase, right click, and select “Search in sidebar” from the context menu. Search results show up in a pane on the right side of the page showing you web results like definitions, web links, images, videos and many more Bing services which are related to the query.
We have added some new features to improve relevance and to provide user requested functionality that was absent in "Ask Cortana". In addition to the web results, you now see image and video verticals which show results related to the highlighted word or phrase. If you are signed into your azure active directory account at work, you can now see company results.
Sidebar search is a persistent pane in the tab in which it was opened, which gives you the option to close the pane or look up additional information related to other words using the search box. There’s more – if you want a full view of web results, you can now click on the “Open in new tab” button which opens the web results in a new tab.
You can expect to see sidebar begin to roll out in Microsoft Edge Dev and Canary channels very soon!
Thanks - Microsoft Edge Search team
05-20-2020 11:59 AM - edited 05-20-2020 12:05 PM
That is great news. I would like to see it in Beta soon too. Did you think about customization? For example user can decide if search will be opened in new tab or sidebar?
It can be redundant or confusing for some users to have two different options for the same think with different only displayed location. Feature called "Ask Cortana" was almost the same, but the name was nicer for the users. Especially in countries where "Cortana" is badly supported this feature was working like this new "search in sidebar", example county is Poland or Czech Republic.
Meantime, I am worry about size of context menu. It is yet another position added. I hope we will not repeat mistake from Internet Explorer where context menu was extremally fast growing. I loved in Edge that browser started with very compact context menu and there are only essential options. Some users I seen with 10-20 items in context menu in IE and older versions of IE. Where most of them never used like print or print preview under right click.
05-20-2020 01:22 PM
Hi @matt_bits , yes, I agree re: overcrowded contextual menu. I can't remember a time when I didn't have the attached in the menu, but I have no idea what they are. I assume they are for developers? It would great to be able to toggle certain elements to choose whether or not they appear in the menu.
05-20-2020 03:37 PM
@mayusuf I, for one, am so happy to see this. I loved Ask Cortana in legacy Edge because it gave you quick access to some relevant search about something in a webpage without navigating away from that webpage. That is what made it great. It doesn't really matter if it's powered by Cortana or not. Can't wait to try this out in the preview builds. Thank you guys. Sidebar search is yet another standout feature for Edge.
05-20-2020 03:47 PM
05-20-2020 04:48 PM
05-21-2020 03:35 AM
There is already an options which opens search in new tab.
Just select a word, right click and choose "Search the web for ...".
I also totally agree with you when it comes to the context menu. There are already options which are also in the ... (three dots) menu, e.q. Print and I would also remove "Open in Immersive Reader", because it can be accessed by the button in the address bar.
The toggle, mentioned by @Pete_FFC , for developers could be integrated into the F12 DevTools.
05-21-2020 07:54 AM
I really love the feature, I used this feature a lot in Legacy Edge. I would like to suggest in this feature that can we have the option to double-click a word and search that word in sidebar. This would make things easier to search words in sidebar.
05-21-2020 11:51 AM
Thanks, but that's what I'm using already.
The problem with the Find Popup is that it closes anytime you go to a new page, so searching within a site with multiple pages (1, 2, 3 etc.) is a mess, as you always have to reopen the Find Popup again.
It would be a big improvement if the find input-field stayed open (like in Edge Legacy) or even better if it would be part of the side bar, so you can easily switch between the different occurrences of your finds on this page (the up/down arrows are not very helpful if you have let's say 25 or more hits).
I think of a solution like the find sidebar in MS Word where all finds are listed. Imagine a large webpage (e.g. a whitepaper) where you have to find certain keywords or phrases and constantly need to switch between them to get a job done.
05-21-2020 01:42 PM
Hi @Neon01 . For me the Find Popup stays open even when I go to another page on the same website, and when I switch between tabs.
BTW, I'm still not seeing the option to search in sidebar. I just got updated to Version 84.0.523.0.
05-22-2020 06:10 AM
Thank you for sharing.
There is one of the feature I missed from Internet Explorer which is Accelerator and I added Accelerator for the following:
I believe sidebar search could be smart in integrate with Bing and let say , if my default language for Microsoft Edge is English and I select text in Spanish, automatically show its translation (it should be general detection based on any language with Microsoft Edge and check default one and the select text one)
For the map, from the type of text it should be o detect the location and this could be integrate smart into the Bing.
Such a thing could be expand and become smart integration with Bing and let say it has Currency convertor, math , etc. when user select a text and do a search. More research should be done on this and you could get help from insiders like us.
As for send mail feature, it was like you select text and then you select send with Windows Live, it would open Windows Live Mail (today it is Outlook.com) and compose new email and add text into it. This is different story and there is need for different discussion about emails and Microsoft Edge.
However, my point is , it shouldn't be just a search instead it should be smart search to show result based on what has been searched and not just list of websites.
05-22-2020 06:53 PM
@mayusuf I really like the sidebar so far! I've run into a few problems though.
1. I have to scroll left and right sometimes because the page doesn't fit in the sidebar. An easy fix would be to render code in the sidebar in mobile mode.
2. I can't close the sidebar. The only way to get out of it is to do Ctrl+K and close the tab with the sidebar in it.
3. There is way to go back to the previous page, for example if I hit the wrong link, I have to open the sidebar and do everything again.
05-27-2020 07:13 PM
@mayusuf If Microsoft Edge ships with this crap to bloat the context menu, without the settings to turn it off, I'll immediately stop using Edge and return to Google Chrome.
Stop shoving Bing crap into my browser, and stop hijacking my context menu.
05-27-2020 10:53 PM
@phmac That's actually not a bad idea. I remember hearing that this was one of the features in Netscape and one of the biggest reasons Netscape lost to IE was because it was bloated with unnecessary stuff. Edge should have an menu tab labeled something and contain features that could be turned off to speed up the browser.
05-28-2020 11:24 AM
05-28-2020 04:32 PM
06-04-2020 02:59 PM
@cjc2112 Thank you for your feedback! We're glad you're giving Sidebar Search a try.
In case you missed it, if you scroll up, you'll see a close button beside the search box. We have also added a right click context menu in sidebar search which includes close and back options. Right now, sidebar search should show only bing pages, please send feedback via the feedback tool in Edge with details on your experience on seeing non-bing web pages in sidebar search. We will look into those cases.
06-10-2020 12:33 PM
Hello, I have to tell you that I am an 83 years old veteran and to spend my time(alone) I like to try software. I really cannot help you except to say iit works or not, as I really do not master computers.
You may be better off using someone that is conversant with software. I really like the sidebar search. Plus you mentioned something about a Spell Checker that is something I really can use. I am a francophone but I like english better. My computer is in English but sometimes I need to send french email. If the Spell Checker will check spelling inn both languages that would be a really nice tool.
Keep up the good work, you are fantastic, also take care and wear a mask.
Regards Maurice Ledoux CD
06-11-2020 09:48 AM
Currently the spell-checker can check a large number of languages, but at the moment what it CAN'T do is automatically detect languages, so you have to change the proofing language manually every time. I have flagged this to Microsoft, so hopefully it will eventually be able to do this.
You take care too :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes:
06-13-2020 01:34 PM
@mayusufThe issue has been fixed. Another thing I noted was that you can't access web pages in the sidebar besides bing (they open in new tabs), but that brings it closer to what ask Cortana was before, but it was cool to be able to duel search on a tab while it lasted.
06-25-2020 01:52 AM
06-25-2020 02:29 AM
While I love this feature finally being available, I think the current implementation is jarring and I hope it's just a foundation for a better update in the future. There are in particular three issues that bother me:
1) First of all, I expected the Sidebar to be a flyout menu that stays above the current web page, instead it's the same container used for Collections, that pushes the webpage to the left, which is a very poor solution since it makes me loose focus on what I was reading
2) Once you summon the Sidebar, there's no visual feeback to close it, there's no close button and pressing shortcuts like ESC don't do anything. The only way to close it is to right click on the sidebar and press the Close button from the submenu
3) Using Google as the default search engine produces nasty results in the sidebar: I see the whole Google search page and I have to scroll it horizontally to see the search results. It should instead fit the sidebar width:
06-25-2020 02:58 AM
Really great feature. I can see me using this a lot. One thought for improvement... when viewing the sidebar results would it be possible to freeze the menu bar for the sidebar? Scrolling down the results in the sidebar is great but, unless there's another way, if a user wishes to close the sidebar they need to scroll back to the top of the sidebar to close it or to filter on image etc.
06-25-2020 07:05 AM
06-25-2020 11:42 AM - edited 06-25-2020 11:47 AM
@mayusuf Is this where we leave feedback?
I really missed this functionality. Back when it said "Ask Cortana" I was hoping we'd see it as system-wide feature.
FEEDBACK I don't see is having an easier way to open it. At one time MS Word let you CTRL+Double-click (?) a word to open "Smart Lookup". Something similar would be nice here.
Bing lets you click a magnifying glass when you highlight a word. Do something similar would help discoverability of the feature.