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Five timesaving extensions for Google Chrome

It's easy to get lost in the vast herds of Chrome extensions, so we rounded up five good candidates that will streamline your browsing experience.

There are thousands upon thousands of extensions for the Chrome browser. Out of that haystack, which of those needles can you use to make your everyday browsing more efficient? Here's a rundown of five timesaving extensions you can add to Google Chrome to make your browsing life faster and easier.

1: Shareaholic

This might be the extension I use the most, day in and day out. With this handy extension, sharing a page on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, and so on, is just a button click away. And with Shareaholic, you don't have to worry about making use of a URL shortener, like tinyurl.com. You can select any of the services you want to associate with your Shareaholic installation by clicking the Options button and then selecting them the list.

2: Quick Note

Quick Note is a little extension that gives you a fast way to take notes when you need them, without having to worry about opening up another application. Just install this tool, open a new tab, click on the Quick Note icon, and take your notes. With Quick Note (and a Diigo.com account) you can sync all of your notes on line -- for free -- so you can access them through any Google Chrome browser.

3: Sexy Undo Close Tab

The name might make you chuckle, but what this little extension can do will make you sigh with relief. How many times have you accidentally closed a tab, only to find yourself having to dig around for that page you just lost? With Sexy, you can get that tab back with the click of a button. And Sexy doesn't just remember the last tab you closed. It keeps a history so you can reopen any tabs you've closed.

4: Webpage Screenshot

Webpage Screenshot lets you take incredibly fast screenshots of either a full Web page or only the visible portion of a Web page. You can then save the image to your computer, print it, or share it. Images are saved as .png files. There are also tools that allow you to create pointers, boxes, text, and more to make it easier to highlight specific spots on a Web page. These tools are helpful when you're trying to point out rendering errors or when you need to show end users exactly where to find that button or link they need to click on.

5: Proxy Switchy

If you're a mobile user and you need to be able to quickly switch from one proxy server to another (without having to go into your browser's configuration), this is the tool for you. With Proxy Switchy, you can set up numerous proxy servers so that all you have to do is click the Proxy Switchy button and select the proxy you want to connect to. You can even configure rule-based switching to set up auto proxy detection and switching. There is also proxy switch logging, so you can monitor what proxy servers have been used.

Other extensions?

Obviously, there are plenty more extensions out there to ease the burden of time-consuming/time-wasting browsing tasks. But these five are the best I have found (to date). Have you found a Chrome extension that optimizes your browsing time? If so, share it with your fellow TechRepublic readers.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

5 comments
colmack2
colmack2

One of the things I like about Chrome is the page of large bookmark icons that let you get to a chosen website quickly. Trouble is, the native system has limitations (for example, number of links per page, and only one page - and you can't 'force' a website to appear there, you have to wait till Chrome decides to add it. Speed dial 2 overcomes all those limitations, and allows much more control over what links you create for your page, what they are named, and you can have several different pages of links arranged into groups (which you can name and colour code). Brilliant, and I really do use it many times a day and it's made the whole browsing experience much better.

tblancher
tblancher

CTRL-SHIFT-T keeps a history of closed tabs, and there's no need for an extension to use it. Not sure how that will work in other OSes than Linux, YMMV.

annathule29
annathule29

You're sitting and writing some long opinion, answer, whatever, in a box on most websites and then BOOM! You've hit a wrong key, (or in the case of FB, just plain breathed wrong), and all those finely crafted words have disappeared w/ the page that went bye bye. Well, most times that's a call for a serious contemplation of seeing said computer hitting upside said wall. Not w/ "Lazarus Form Recovery" (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/loljledaigphbcpfhfmgopdkppkifgno - I hope that's right) You navigate back to the page and to the box you were writing in and get your cursor INSIDE the box and blinking. IF an "ankh" shows up in the upper right hand corner, you are SO in business. Click on that ankh and there's your last five things you wrote ready and waiting for you. Click on your choice and viola! Your words are all there again! There's one for Firefox too. It's available to you across a broad spectrum of pages, BUT NOT ALL PAGES! Keep that in mind. It's the one tool I won't live without! I write a lot on FB and if ever there was a set up meant to separate you from your wits, it's that. Also AdSweep USED TO work well to keep ads from showing up, but it quit working on FB, (did they get wise to it?) and I can't say at all anymore for other pages, but if it works for you, have at it. It's SO nice to see what you want and not 500 things you don't! It's just a simply speedy plug-in. Now, does anyone know a GOOD tool for simple timer duty? I've tried several and DANG if I can find one you don't need a PhD to figure out and then the patience of Job to get it to work like it should! Just a simple timer, a buck at the dollar store but IN your computer so you don't spend 3 hours hunting it down in the 'real" world! :) And I HAD one too, dang it, but it got eaten when my last computer took a nosedive on me. W/O remembering the name of it, I can't find it again. (I'm just a flyBaby trying to make it work!)

charlasuit
charlasuit

The Sexy and Switchy extensions will be very useful to me. An extension that I use also is the Offline Google Mail. I sync up when I have connectivity and then read and reply to my emails whilst on the move (except when I'm using my Android).