Google Chrome has come a long way in the past year, steadily adding subtle but useful features for power users. Let’s take a fresh look at Chrome’s current offerings—especially for those willing to brave its early developer builds.
Not long after Chrome’s release, our 2008 Chrome Power User’s Guide covered its best features for savvy surfers, such as keyboard shortcuts and startup switches. We won’t rehash those here; instead we’re going to round up the new stuff that’s come out since in both the stable and developer build of Chrome. (For reference, as of writing, the stable build of Google Chrome is version number 188.8.131.52, and the developer release is version 184.108.40.206.)
Turn Chrome into a Site-Specific Browser with Application Shortcuts
Assign Keywords to Your Search Engines
To do so, right-click in Chrome’s address bar and choose “Edit Search Engines”. There, you can add, edit, or remove searches and assign keywords in the Keyword field.
Using this technique you can, for instance, update Twitter with a keyword as well as search Lifehacker.com via Google. (Set the URL to http://google.com/search?q=site:lifehacker.com.au+%s and the keyword to lh. Then, to search Lifehacker’s archives in Chrome, type lh “your search here” into the address bar.)
Customise the “New Tab” Page
Get to Know New Chrome Startup Switches
Choose Your Chrome Theme
Master Mouse and Keyboard Shortcuts for Managing Tabs
Switch to the Dev Channel Release for Extensions (and More)
(Dev Build Only) synchronise Your Bookmarks
(Dev Build Only) Install Extensions
- Gmail Checker: While it doesn’t appear to work for Google Apps accounts (someone? prove me wrong?), the Gmail checker puts the number of unread messages in your inbox on Chrome’s bottom toolbar.
- Xmarks: Our favourite bookmark syncing extension for Firefox and IE is available for Chrome dev build testers as an alpha version. You must sign into Xmarks and sign up for the alpha test to get the Chrome extension.
- AdSweep and Adblock+: Scrub annoying flashing ads from your favourite web sites.
- Session Saver: This extension enables multi-tab saving and reloading.
- WOT: Integrates web site reputation ratings ala Web of Trust into Google Chrome.
- LastPass: Adds deeper auto-fill password management to Chrome.
(Dev Build Only) Shrink and Affix Tabs with “Pin Tab” Option
What other power tips for Chrome, stable or developer build, are out there? Share your best ones in the comments.