I am running Google Chrome 5. How can I select hyper link text using the mouse with, for example, CTRL or ALT keys?

8 Answers 8


As of Chrome v52, it now works the same way as Firefox:

Pressing ALT while selecting text prevents hyperlinks being followed, and therefore allows all or partial text in links to be selected and copied.

For older versions of Chrome:

Start the selection just above the text (not below). Just before the mouse cursor changes to a hand. This way you can drag to the right and don't need to mess with the left arrow (which doesn't seem to work anyway).

This unfortunately fails if there is selectable content immediately above the link text.

  • 14
    Press ctrl + alt if you're on Linux.
    – MageWind
    Nov 13, 2017 at 17:41
  • 1
    "Alt + Shift" works as well on KDE.
    – fywe
    Nov 16, 2017 at 9:24
  • 2
    anybody knows how to do this on mac? on mac opt+click downloads the file as of March2018 Mar 20, 2018 at 23:01
  • 1
    "cmd + alt" works for Firefox 61 on Linux with MATE desktop. The "cmd" is necessary or MATE will interpret your action as moving the window. "ctrl + alt" also makes it possible to select, but in that case releasing the mouse opens the link.
    – Zhiyong
    Sep 13, 2018 at 1:31
  • 1
    For osx, ctrl+left click brings up right-click menu. If you do this to URLs it will automatically select it. I find this much easier and less error-prone compared to right-clicking the link when using the trackpad.
    – Dogemore
    May 16, 2020 at 1:26

The answer is:

Put the mouse cursor below the hyper link just after the cursor changes to the arrow. Now press the left button and move the mouse until the required text is selected. If you put the cursor above the hyper-link it does not work in most cases.

  • 4
    my intuition told me to do this too. but this isn't working for me on chrome 38 on a mac. they made me use a mac. Nov 4, 2014 at 10:22
  • 4
    This does not always work. Nov 5, 2015 at 15:23
  • 4
    This does not allow selecting only a middle section of a link.
    – Louis
    Jan 26, 2016 at 12:58
  • 1
    This is consistently and repeatably not working for Chrome on OS/X. Safari works fine. Feb 25, 2016 at 15:17
  • This doesn't work. Try selecting google search results.
    – minseong
    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:33

Try this extension: Hyperlink Text Selector

  • 1
    How does this thing work?? I activated it within Chrome but depressing shift does not make selecting the text possible - at least in OS/X. Feb 25, 2016 at 15:26
  • 1
    Please quote the essential parts of the answer from the reference link(s), as the answer can become invalid if the linked page(s) change.
    – DavidPostill
    Sep 9, 2018 at 9:45
  • 1
    Please read How do I recommend software for some tips as to how you should go about recommending software. You should provide at least a link, some additional information about the software itself, and how it can be used to solve the problem in the question.
    – DavidPostill
    Sep 9, 2018 at 9:46

There is a chrome extension now called: ToggleLink: Select Text From Link

  • 1
    Tried that a while ago. Didn't work for me :( Feb 19, 2013 at 16:37
  • @OliverSalzburg This extension is not working on some page like Gmail. But most site appear fine. See introduction of the extension on Google Web Store for detail.
    – Tony Lee
    Feb 19, 2013 at 20:33
  • This works for me, it's a little bit tricky to use but it works. Just right click on the link and select ToggleLink(GetText) from context menu. Aug 19, 2013 at 7:13
  • Worked well for me - I just have to tap Shift and it removes the hyperlink so the text underneath is fully selectable just like any other webpage text.
    – Pat
    May 12, 2016 at 16:52

You can use the Google Chrome Copy Link: it will adds a copy link text in the contextual menu when selecting some text and right-clicking on it. It is rated 4.1/5 with 54 reviews and 7500 users on the Google Chrome store (vs. 3.3/5 with 89 reviews and 4300 users for Copy Link Name, and 3.3/5 with 20 reviews and 4850 users for Copy Link Text).

enter image description here

Permission requirements:

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  • Thanks but I can't stand with "Read and change all your data in the websites you visit" unless the author of the addon is Google. Does it really need this permission?
    – mmonem
    Feb 27, 2020 at 10:57
  • @mmonem idk, I'm not familiar with Chrome permissions. Feb 27, 2020 at 16:46
  • @mmonem It needs to be able to read the text in order to copy it.
    – Louis
    Oct 5, 2020 at 10:02
  • I think Google adds confusion here by calling HTML content data. What then can we call cookies and local storage for websites?
    – mmonem
    Oct 5, 2020 at 12:21
  • This extension, as well as its equivalent Copy Link Text, stopped working a few weeks ago. Nov 13, 2022 at 13:04

That's a problem with all browsers, because a click on the link executes it.

The workaround is to move the cursor a bit to the right or left of the link, until the cursor changes to its normal shape (not the link-type shape), then click and drag to select the text, finally using ctrl-c to copy the text to the clipboard.

  • 4
    Actually my concern is the text in the middle of a long hyperlink. I can't believe it is a missing feature in all browsers!
    – mmonem
    Aug 9, 2010 at 17:10
  • @mmonem: No way - need to select it all, then cut up using a text editor.
    – harrymc
    Aug 9, 2010 at 19:04
  • @harrymc, do ypu have any reference for what you say?
    – mmonem
    Aug 10, 2010 at 4:58
  • @mmonem: Only my personal experience. But as you can see, no other person on this forum has come up with another idea.
    – harrymc
    Aug 10, 2010 at 6:24
  • 2
    In firefox you can just hold <alt> and drag select text. It's annoying Chrome doesn't share this feature.
    – Morphit
    Oct 19, 2014 at 20:48

You can use built in Developer Tools to locate hyperlink in raw html code and select any part of it.

  1. Right click target hyperlink and choose "Inspect Element" from drop-down menu.
    Developer Tools window will appear in the bottom with hyperlink highlighted in html page code.
  2. Double click hyperlink text (the one between <a>,</a> tags).
    Edit box will appear allowing to select (or edit) any part of hyperlink text.

If your intent for the selection is to copy the link text then the best way to do it, which saves from doing the text selection altogether, is to install the following Chrome extension:

Once installed the extra entry showed below will be displayed when right clicking on a link:

enter image description here

The following two extensions do the same thing but as of today (13 November 2022) they are not working:

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