My Fave Chrome Tools

Are you using Google products?  Gmail?  Google Calendar?  Google Drive?  If you’re using Google products, you should also be using Google’s browser – Google Chrome.  They work best with Chrome.

And here are a few of my favorite features and extensions that make Chrome work even better for me.

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Chrome Settings

Chrome Settings

1. Signing in to Chrome

Hands-down, the best feature, in my opinion.  Sign in to Chrome and all of your bookmarks are synced.  Sign in and the tabs you had open on another device are synced.  Sign in and passwords that you saved on other devices are synced.  If you’re opening Chrome for the first time, it’ll ask if you want to sign in.  If you missed that chance, click the Settings button to the right of the omnibox (address bar).

2. Multiple Users

You can have multiple user accounts open on Chrome.  Want to separate the personal bookmarks from the ones that you need professionally?  Create a second (or third or fourth or…) user by clicking on the white head in the top righthand corner.  There are options to create a new user account.  You can also customize that icon and name your account.

Chrome User

Chrome User

3. Pin Tabs

Find yourself with 20 tabs open at once and half of them are ones that you need ALL THE TIME?!  Right-click on the tab and select “Pin Tab.”  The tab now merely takes up a large enough space the icon.  I have 6 tabs pinned all the time: Netvibes, my school e-mail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, my personal e-mail, and Facebook.  It keeps my Chrome window looking neat and tidy.

4. Manage Search Engines

Chrome takes Google’s site search to a whole new level.  You can go into “Manage search engines” in your Settings and set specific protocols for regular searches that you do.  I’ve changed mine so that simply typing the letter “a” into the omnibox and then hitting the space bar means that I’m doing a site search on Amazon for a particular book or product.  Other ones that I have set up and use with frequency: cc – Search Creative Commons, f – Flickr, i – Google Images, nt – NoiseTrade, and yt – YouTube.

Chrome Site Searches

Chrome Site Searches

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Thus far, the tools above are ones that Google actually provides for Chrome users.  However, there’s a couple more tools that I like that are extensions of the Google products.  Extensions can be found by visiting the Chrome Web Store.  Don’t let the word “store” stop you.  Both of these extensions are free!

Turn Off the Lights

I love using this tool in my classroom.  Turn Off the Lights blackens all on your screen except for the video that’s playing, allowing your students (or maybe you) to focus on the important.  There’s a little flashlight to help you navigate around the screen.

Turn Off the Lights

Turn Off the Lights

OneTab

This is a new discovery for me…as in this week!  Back to the age old problem of: “I have twenty tabs open, my browser is slowing down, and I actually don’t need these tabs until later this afternoon.”  Click on the blue funnel to the right of your omnibox and voila! all of your tabs in that particular window are condensed down to one tab.  You can restore all of them later or just open one at a time, as needed.  There’s an “export” option that I think would work very well for students who are working on research with a number of tabs open.  One word of warning: right now, OneTab doesn’t save your history so, when you restore your tabs, you won’t be able to use the back button.

OneTab

OneTab

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I’m always looking for ways to make the Internet work for me…and these features of and extensions for Google Chrome do that for me.  What are your favorite or go-to features and extensions?

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About msbecs

An incomplete but alphabetical list: Believer. Daughter. Friend. Learner. Librarian. Sister. TCK. Teacher. YA Literature Devotee.

Posted on 03.16.2013, in FPU, In the Library and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you! I knew about # 1 and #2, but not the rest. I will DEFINITELY share this with other Chrome users in my school.

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