I use Google Chrome on OSX. Is there a way, within the browser, to get a text cursor that will allow me to navigate through text, selecting and copying text using only the keyboard?

I've looked at Vimium, Conkeror, and Vimperator, but as far as I can tell, they allow you to use the keyboard to navigate web pages (scrolling, visiting links) but don't provide a text cursor.

Is this possible?

Update: I have learned that this is called caret browsing or caret navigation. Is this possible in Chrome?

5 Answers 5


Recently Google Chrome introduced built-in functionality to browser with caret, just press F7 or go to Settings > Advanced > Accessibility and then turn on "Navigate pages with a text cursor" switch.

enter image description here

  • 2
    Oh my god, I thought I was crazy and this text cursor thing had always been there, but now I'm realizing my 3 year old turned it on last week while button mashing on my keyboard!
    – Kyle Hale
    Feb 3, 2021 at 22:00
  • I am convinced it was always possible to caret browse text on webpages, and that was removed without word some time ago. But I have been struggling so long without it since that I cannot be sure it was not a mere dream.
    – markling
    Jan 12 at 15:20
  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + J to open the console.

  2. Enter the following into the console and press Enter:


Now you get a cursor and can even edit the whole page.

  • 8
    Whilst this is useful (+1), it is very different to caret browsing. The content is literally editable and is no longer navigable (anchors are not active, etc.).
    – MrWhite
    Mar 9, 2013 at 23:35
  • @w3d: Humm, you're right. Let me see if I can offer something better :D Mar 9, 2013 at 23:36
  • @w3d: Seems like most people online only offer text selection as a replacement for caret browsing, I doubt that's what you want either. The best I could offer would be to turn content editing off while the mouse cursor is inside the page (move cursor to address bar to show the caret): $("html").hover(function(){document.body.contentEditable=false;},function(){document.body.contentEditable=true;}); Mar 9, 2013 at 23:43
  • The only problem with this way is that I also couldn't find a keyboard-only way to select "Console", when opening Ctrl+Shift+J. EDIT: Weird enough, it seems Ctrl+Shift+J sometimes open in Elements tab (and then I can't TAB to Console), and sometimes opens directly on Console (as wished). Thank you for the hint anyway. Nov 16, 2013 at 19:18

Vimperator has caret browsing. The default keybind for it is C.

  • 6
    And how does that apply to enabling caret browsing in Chrome? May 12, 2013 at 11:31
  • >I've looked at Vimium, Conkeror, and Vimperator, but as far as I can tell, they [...] don't provide a text cursor. Vimperator does provide a text cursor.
    – Raphael
    May 12, 2013 at 11:35
  • 1
    Fair enough. I'm a bit confused how he got it to work in Chrome though. May 12, 2013 at 13:14

So far, it is not yet implemented or planned:source. You can star this feature request and remain updated.


The chrome extension, Caret Browsing supports mode switching between the caret and the normal browsing.

enter image description here

I think many people'd like the caret navigation back/forward as well, but it hasn't supplied the feature yet.

  • Some guy down voted, kidding ?
    – Jeff T.
    Nov 30, 2018 at 8:03

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