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How To Get The Most Out Of Chrome

Posted 12th February, 2014 by Aliysa

Google’s Chrome is our favourite web browser here in the Tsohost office. Its clean, simple interface beats Firefox and Internet Explorer for us. And we’re not alone - since its inception in 2008, Chrome has boomed in browser market share to a global leading 37%. The key reason for Chrome’s success is that users’ browsing experience sits at its very core, with an array of features and functionalities.


1 Pin Tab:

It’s really easy to move tabs by drag-and-dropping them, but sometimes you might want to keep a tab fixed. You can do this by right-clicking the tab and selecting ‘Pin Tab.’ The tab shrinks in size, displaying just the website’s icon, which is handy if you have lots of tabs open.


2 Reopen Lost Tabs:

Ever accidently click the ‘x’ and close a tab? Me too. This used to be a really annoying problem, but Chrome has a solution. Click the menu (‘hamburger’ shape) button, hover over ‘Recent Tabs’ and you can reopen a list of your recently closed tabs.


3 Incognito Mode:

You can browse the web without Chrome saving information such as cookies and visited pages. Click the menu button and select ‘New incognito window’ to use this feature.


4 Create Shortcuts:

To save time when going to your most-visited websites, create shortcuts in the Start menu, Desktop and pin to the task bar. On your chosen web page, click menu in Chrome, select ‘Tools’, ‘Create application shortcuts,’ choose from the shortcut options and click ‘Create.’ *Windows & Linux only


5 Go Fullscreen:

Focus entirely on a web page by going full screen. Hit F11 on your keyboard.


6 Task Manager:

Keep your tabs in check with the task manager tool. Click on ‘Tools’ from the menu options and ‘Task manager’ where you can see how resource intensive your tabs and extensions are. You can also kill off problematic tabs from here, by selecting the tab and clicking ‘End process.’


7 Omnibox:

Chrome’s omnibox - i.e. the search bar at the top - is a great time-saver, that mean you no longer need to visit search engines websites. It’s functionality doesn't end just at a normal search. Enter mathematical calculations in the search bar and you’re instantly returned with the results. You can also ask questions such as ‘How many kilograms in a stone?’ and it will spit the answer out.


8 ‘Continue Where I Left Off’:

Want to see your pages that were open when you last closed Chrome? Change your settings under the Chrome menu, ‘Settings’ and click the ‘Continue where I left off’ radio button.


9 Resize Text Fields:

A nice feature when filling in forms, drag-and-drop the bottom right hand corner of a text field and size it to your choosing.


10 Themes:

Change Chrome’s aesthetics by installing themes. Through the Chrome web store you’ll find just about every style and theme you desire!


11 Chrome Flags:

If you’re not already familiar with Chrome flags, this is an interesting, yet advanced feature. Type ‘About:Flags’ or ‘chrome://flags’ into the address bar and you’re returned with a page full of new Chrome feature experiments. From here you can enable new features and try them out for yourself. But - as the page warns at the top - be careful! These features are effectively still in testing stage and may cause your browser to break. Let us know if you use any of these features and which ones by popping in a comment below.


12 Extensions

Chrome is renowned for its broad range of extensions: small add-on software programs to enhance and customise the functionality of the browser. Available through the Chrome web store, extensions can be developed and published by anyone. Thousands of extensions have been developed, ranging from ad blockers to price comparison shopping devices to developer tools. Here are three extensions that I find particularly handy.

Pocket:

I don’t know about you, but I often come across articles and web pages I want to read, which can be really distracting, plus it causes you to have a horrible number of tabs open. Solution? Pocket, the Chrome extension that allows you to save content to read later with just one-click. With a Pocket account you can create a queue of articles and videos to explore on any device when it suits you.

Awesome Screenshot:

The perfect tool for easily creating screenshots of a part of a web page or a whole page in its entirety. Once you capture your screenshot you can then annotate and edit the image, blurring sensitive information and cropping its size should you need to. Your final output can be saved to your computer, clipboard or online.

HTTPS Everywhere:

A very simple, one-click install extension for Chrome, HTTP Everywhere can increase your security when browsing. It automatically encrypts communicated data on 1400 supported major sites.


Before you go on a Chrome extension install-spree, remember - similar to how installing loads of WordPress plugins can slow down your site, installing many Chrome extensions can slow your browser right down. I recommend being reasonably selective with the extensions you install, uninstalling those you use sparingly.

If there’s any Chrome tips or Extensions you think should be included, comment below!

Categories: Tips

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