- Chuck Gray
Google Chrome is arguably the most popular Web browser currently on the market. It took a few versions before I made the switch from Mozilla Firefox to Chrome, most notably due to Firefox's rich browser extension offerings. Chrome is finally catching up to, and in many ways, surpassing Firefox with its extensions library. A browser extension is special program written specifically for a Web browser that, as the name implies, extends its functionality. Even better, most extensions are free, and there are a lot of good ones out there. Here are just a tiny few of my favorites for Chrome:
Better Pop Up Blocker
Chrome's baked-in pop-up blocker stinks. This one is much more powerful. Sometimes a little too powerful, and I'll find that I'll need to disable it on certain sites, but the good it does far outweighs the inconvenience.
This is definitely an "everything but the kitchen sink" extension. It has a long list of truly useful features that you can read about on their link, but the one that really matters to me is the "rocker gestures," feature which allows you to move back and forward through your browser's history either by holding the left mouse button and tapping the right or vice-versa.
Gmail is, in my opinion, by far the best webmail solution, but if your Internet connection goes out, you've lost your access. Gmail Offline synchronizes your email every time you log in so that you never need to worry about losing your email connection again.
This is the equivalent of Safari's Reader view, which strips out any advertisements and extraneous pictures and text to make the article you're reading easier to view. It even pastes together articles that span more than one page view.
Awesome Screenshot: Capture & Annotate
This is a great little screenshot extension that allows you to annotate with boxes, circles, lines, and text. You can then crop and even blur sensitive areas of the screen. Very handy for making how-to documents for Web sites.
YouTube viewers might have noticed that the comments section of a YouTube video seems to attract the most immature, rudest, vitriolic, downright nastiest Internet trolls out there. Few YouTube comments have any redeeming value. Use the Herp Derp extension to mask this warren of ignorance and hatred with random "herp derps."
There are so, so, so many good extensions and Web apps available on the Google Chrome Web Store--maybe thousands at this point, and I could write something nice about almost all of them, so I highly encourage you to go browse and experiment. Chances are, if there's something you've always wished your browser could do, it probably will with an extension.