I am not going to write about extensions or apps that can enhance browsing experience in chrome. But purely using browser’s functionality one can make the best use of chrome to complete the task quicker. Google chrome has much built-in functionality that many of us aren’t aware of. Today am going to write about its lesser known features and how to get the best out of Google chrome. If you’re into chrome extensions and apps, in the past we had covered a lot.
Google chrome is one of the most used browsers in the world and most of our website visitors are using Google chrome. This article will highlight some of the forgotten feature of chrome that is less used by people. This small guide will list out the parameters and functions that chrome users need to use often. Google chrome is fast and efficient with many extensions and apps, but by default it has lot of functions and features that we forget to use. Let us see what they are …
Google chrome shortcuts, saves lot of time. For example: a new tab – ctrl+t , new tab in a new window – ctrl+n. if you want to quickly open incognito mode – ctrl+shift+n. Want to check the browser history – ctrl+h. For downloads – ctrl+j.
Ctrl + 1 to Ctrl + 8: displays the tab corresponding to number, Ctrl + 9 displays the last in the list.
Ctrl + Tab: Moves to the next tab. Add Shift to go back.
Ctrl + W or Ctrl + F4: Closes the current tab.
Alt + Home: Opens the home page in the current tab.
Alt + E or F10 or Alt + F: Opens the menu of Chrome, you can then you walk around with the arrow keys and select with Enter.
Ctrl + Enter after entering a term in the address bar: adds automatic www. And. understands the search term (practice!)
More shortcuts are listed here on the official page.
By default chrome doesn’t show the home button on the browser bar. Home button is most useful when you need to quickly open. You may set home page as Google or bing or any search engine. From the settings page, you can show home button on your browser bar.
Using ctrl+h you can view browser history, or if you just hold the back button on your browser bar for few seconds or right click the left arrow (back button) on the browser taskbar, it will list out the websites that you’ve visited. This is another useful trick.
How do you organize your bookmarks? You hit ctrl+d to add any page to your bookmarks on chrome. But, bookmarks will be saved and title of the page will appear on your bookmarks bar. It takes lot of space. To organize your bookmarks effectively, you can remove the title and just keep the icons alone. You can easily identify the website and also save lot of space. You can have lot of bookmarks in your bookmarks bar.
You can pin tabs that you use frequently. For example: I use Google reader daily to read feeds that is subscribed to. So I pin Google reader tab on my browser chrome. To pin tabs on chrome, you just right click the tab and select ‘pin tab’. It also works with Firefox.
Open multiple tabs in chrome
You can open multiple tabs in chrome. By default, you can set chrome to open a new tab page or your home page (Google search page). If you want, you can set chrome to open multiple pages. I use this option to open all my daily check websites. Normally, every day when I open Google chrome, I check Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and my blogs. So I configure chrome to open multiple pages at launch.
Open settings > start up pages > set pages by adding different URL’s into it. Now every time if you open chrome, all the websites that you’ve set will load on start up.
Drag tabs to desired location
When you open a link on the Google chrome, by default it opens in a new tab to your right. But guess what? You can simply drag and move the tab to your desired location. You can place the tab to anywhere on chrome by simply dragging it.
Right click search text
When you want to search a word or phrase found on a web page, simply highlight select it and right click and use the option “search Google for…” The search engine opens in a new tab. I guess many of you already know this trick. Similarly, if you highlight a website URL which isn’t hyperlinked, you can right click and visit the website directly. This trick saves lot of time. Instead of opening a new tab and pasting the text, you can simply use this to go the search page.
Quick calculations in the address bar
From the address bar of chrome, you can search any website; use it as a calculator too. If you’re too lazy to get out your calculator, chrome address bar can do simple calculations directly in the address bar.
Change default search engine
You can quickly change the default search engine on chrome. On the address, right click and select edit search engine. Or you can type this in your address bar – chrome://settings/searchEngines (this will allow you to change your search engines from Google to Yahoo or Bing).
Learn icons on the address bar
When you type something on the address, there are icons that appear while you type. You need to learn those icons. Here is the list below
It tells you the results are being part of favorites.
It refers to research, or similar search terms.
It refers to your browsing history and associated sites.
It refers to applications that you installed from the Chrome Web Store.
Uses of Chrome app store
The new tab page shows the most visited webpages’ thumbnails and when you move to the next page of new tab, you can find chrome apps. These chrome apps are shortcuts to your most visited sites. It saves some clutter form your bookmarks. You can explore chrome app store to find more of your favorite websites and apps. Even you can create a chrome app for your favorite website.
How to create chrome web app for my site?
If you’re a fan of madrasgeek.com, here is the tutorial how to create your own chrome app for any website. In this tutorial I have created a chrome app for madrasgeek.com where you can install it on your chrome new tab. It allows you to quickly visit your favorite website from the new tab page.
It is very easy to create chrome web app. Follow these 5 steps.
- Create a folder with the name of your application
- Create a file inside called “manifest.json” with this code
“Description”: “Internet apps, WordPress, How-to Guides“,
Replace black bold text with your own values.
- Add the folder icon in PNG format sized 128×128. The name of the png file should be 128.png
- In chrome, go to tools > extensions > check the box developer mode
- Click the load unpacked extension and browse the folder and upload.
Convert Bookmarklet into Chrome extension
You can even convert a browser bookmarklet into a chrome extension. Suppose if you have a bookmarklet to download videos from YouTube or any other website. You can use that bookmarklet and turn it into a browser extension. Read the tutorial here.
Stop chrome sync and clear data
You can sync all your data in chrome across computers that allow you to retrieve your chrome data like bookmarks, themes, auto fill data, profiles, extensions, passwords etc. If you want to clear out all the data from Chrome, go to https://www.google.com/dashboard under chrome you have options to clear out all the data that are synced to your account.
Chrome Advanced Settings
Some advanced settings under chrome aren’t shown in general settings page and can be accessed through Chrome://about – this shows the list of URL’s and the settings of it.
Chrome task manager
One of the useful features of Chrome is task manager, which helps to manage each tab in separate process; you can see the resources consumed by each tab. To open chrome task manager, go to browser top header and right click to find the option task manager or simply use the shortcut key Shift+ESC.
Chrome Inspect element
This has been a life saver for many developers. Just like Firebug for Firefox, chrome has the function built-in for analyzing the structure of web pages and change on the fly for testing. Simply right click on any element and use Inspect element to find development tools. It must be very convenient for developers.
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