Fun With Google Chrome: Tips and Tricks
Google’s Chrome browser is the most widely used browser, worldwide. Perhaps you've been using it for years, but there's always a new trick to discover. Read on to learn about some awesome, advanced, and secret features of Chrome that can make it even more useful...
Wanna Make Chrome Sit Up and Bark?
Perform a calculation: In Chrome’s “omnibox” (generally known as the address box), you can enter a mathematical calculation such as 60*60, and the result will appear even before you press Enter, in a dropdown below the omnibox. You can also ask things like "how many ounces in a cup" or "how many liters in a gallon" to get instant answers without leaving the page.
Quickly enter a web address: For example, type amazon in the omnibox and press Ctrl-Enter. Chrome will add the "www." and the ".com" and whisk you away to www.amazon.com.
Direct site search: - Start typing bi in Chrome’s omnibox. Before you even get to the letter "n" you will see “Press (tab) to search Bing” at the far right end of the omnibox. Press the Tab key and suddenly you are searching only within Bing. You just skipped Bing's home page and typing your query into its search box.
Chrome maintains a list of “search engines” where this shortcut works, including Bing, eBay and a few others. (Yahoo used to be included in the fun here, but it no longer works for me.) To see the rest, go to the “Search” section of Chrome’s Settings and click on the button labeled “Manage search engines.” You can change your default search engine; modify or delete search engine entries; and way down at the bottom of the list you’ll find a form where you can add your own searchable site that you search often. Note that it can be a news or shopping or any other kind of site, as long as it has a “search” box of its own. This feature is also sensitive to sites you often use. I've noticed that as soon as I type the letter "a" in the omnibox, it shows “Press (tab) to search askbobrankin.com”.
Find your downloads: Have you ever downloaded something, and then couldn't find it? Press Ctrl-J and Chrome will open a new tab showing all your recent downloads. From there, you can open the downloaded file, or view the folder where it resides.
Restore a tab: Have you ever closed a tab by accident? That can be annoying, especially if it was a website that required a login, and you had navigated through several pages already. You don't have to redo all that work -- just press Ctrl-Shift-T and the tab will reopen, right where you left off. This is one of my favorite time savers in Chrome. You can also press and hold down the back button to see pages you've recently closed.
Multiple Windows For Related Tabs: Have you ever gotten so many tabs opened in Chrome that it’s hard to keep track of them or even read their labels? Just open new Chrome windows (copies of Chrome), then drag-and-drop related tabs into separate windows. Click the triple-line icon in Chrome’s upper-right corner and select “New Window” to open one. Switch back to your overcrowded window and use your mouse to drag and drop the tab to the new window. You can now organize many tabs in many windows, with their label fully viewable. This works especially well on dual-monitor systems, but you can still have multiple browser windows on a single screen. (Use Alt-Tab to switch between open windows.)
More Fun With Chrome
Add a bookmarks: That little star at the far right end of the omnibox is a quick way to add a new bookmark. Just click it to add the current web page address to the last bookmark folder you used, or select another from the list of recent folders.
Zoom in or out quickly: Press and hold the Ctrl key while rolling the mouse wheel up or down. You’ll zoom in or out on the current page; very handy for pages where the font is too small, or if you have limited vision. Using the Ctrl key along with the plus or minus key has the same effect. To return to the default zoom state, press Ctrl-0 (that's a zero). On a Mac, use the Command key instead of Ctrl.
Translate whatever you want: You don’t have to depend on Chrome to ask if you want a page translated. Go download and install the Google Translate extension. Now you can highlight any text in your Chrome browser, click on the Translate icon, and there’s your translation (or a reasonable approximation).
Quick Search: Search Google for a phrase that appears on your current page by highlighting it, then right clicking "Search Google for..."
Startup Options: Go into the “On startup” section in Chrome’s settings and select “Continue where you left off” or "Open a specific set of pages" to control what happens when you start Chrome.
Incognito Mode: will disable browsing history and the storage of cookies, just in case you want to visit a website and not leave any tracks. Just be aware that your ISP (or employer) will still have a record of all websites you visit. Press Ctrl-Shift-N to enter Incognito Mode.
Clear Browsing Data: An alternative to Incognito Mode is the option to clear some of all of your browsing data. Press Ctrl-Shift-Delete, and a window will open which gives you the option to delete items from a specific time range. Click the Advanced tab there for even more data scrubbing options.
Offline Fun: If you try to load a page when you’re offline, and you’ll see little dinosaur on a desert landscape. Press the spacebar and the Dino Game begins! Use the up arrow to jump over a cactus, or die. To try it, there's no need to unplug your network cable, or turn off your wifi adapter. Just enter chrome://network-error/-106 in the omnibox to simulate on offline condition.
Getting a Little Geeky
Secret Chrome URLs: Enter chrome://chrome-urls/ in the omnibox and press Enter. You'll see a list of "secret" Chrome pages that are shortcuts to Chrome functions, settings and status pages. Most of them appear to be gibberish, unless you're a programmer, but there are a few links you might find interesting. The chrome://omnibox link lets you control some things about how the omnibox works. The chrome://predictors/ page shows you what websites Chrome thinks you might be wanting to visit when you start typing a URL. The chrome://flags/ page has a list of experimental features that you can enable or disable. I wouldn't mess with any of these without first doing some research. (Experiments can sometimes fail.)
Chrome Task Manager: See how much memory and CPU is being used for each tab and extension. Press Shift-Esc to open the task manager.
Behind the Scenes: Right-click a page, then select "View page source" to see the underlying HTML code for the page. Kind of like looking at the source code for a program, and a good way to learn how some nifty features are implemented.
Under the Hood: Right-click a page, then select "Inspect" to enter a world of data related to the HTML, CSS, images and other elements on the page. You can even edit the structure and content of the page!
These are some of my favorite Chrome tricks. I'm sure there are dozens of others. Feel free to share yours in the comments below.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 12 Jan 2018
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Fun With Google Chrome: Tips and Tricks (Posted: 12 Jan 2018)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved