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The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

First Edition Copyright 2013 By Abhijeet Mukherjee All rights reserved. No part of the contents of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of the publisher. This book is not affiliated with Google or Chrome. Google, Chrome and all other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This book expresses the authors views and opinions. The information contained in this book is provided without any express, statutory, or implied warranties. Neither the author, Guiding Tech, nor its resellers or distributors will be held liable for any damages caused or alleged to be caused either directly or indirectly by this book.

About the Author .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 1 Important Points about The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 2 How to Read The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1. Master these Keyboard Shortcuts .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 4 2. Use the Pin Tab and Duplicate Tab Features to the Fullest .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 8 3. Easily Drag & Drop Downloaded Files from Chrome to Anywhere on Your Computer .. .. .. . 11 4. Set Chrome to Restore Previous Pages .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 14 5. Some Methods to Speed up Chrome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
5.1. Enable Click to play for plugins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 5.2. Restart Chrome frequently . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 5.3. Clear cache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 5.4. Monitor memory consumption through Chromes Task Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 5.5. Disable Flash versions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 5.6. Enable hardware or GPU acceleration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 5.7. Do you need all the extensions? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 5.8. T oo many tabs consuming CPU and RAM? Use one of these three extensions to deal with them efficiently . . 29 5.9. A quick concluding note about methods to speed up Chrome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

6. Create Application Shortcuts for Faster Access .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 38 7. Enabling Sync and Things to Keep in Mind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
7.1. Things to keep in mind regarding Chrome Sync . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49

8. Using Chromes Address Bar or Omnibox to the Fullest . . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 50

8.1. Search specific websites right from the Omnibox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 8.2. Use the calculator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 8.3. Paste and Go and Paste and Search . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 8.4. Create special keywords to visit sites quickly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 8.5. Change the default search engine from Google to Bing or others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

9. Making the Most of the New Tab Page .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 60

9.1. Make it open a specific website each time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 9.2. Customize it through the default options available . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 9.3. Get a better Speed Dial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 9.4. A Windows 8 app style interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66 9.5. Make it show your Google Tasks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 9.6. Use these awesome Startpages/Startpage extensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

10. Setting up Multiple Users in Chrome (Does it Help?) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 73 11. Make the Most of Chromes Incognito or Private Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

11.1. Create a shortcut to directly open incognito mode (Windows only) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81 11.2. Quickly switch a tab to incognito mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 11.3. Force certain websites to always open in incognito mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87 11.4. Allow certain extensions in incognito mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

12. Working Productively With Tabs .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 89

12.1. Tabs Outliner is probably the best way to work with a lot of tabs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91 12.2. Quickly jump to a particular open tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 12.3. Snooze certain tabs temporarily . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 12.4. Hide and save all tabs instantly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95 12.5. Bookmark all open tabs at once . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 12.6. Easily share all your open tabs with someone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98

13. A Word about Extensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 14. My Favorite Chrome Extensions .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..101

14.1. Xmarks Bookmark Sync . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 14.2. Google Quick Scroll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 14.3. Pocket . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 14.4. LastPass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 14.5. Google Dictionary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 14.6. Send from Gmail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 14.7. Evernote Web Clipper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 14.8. FB Unseen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 14.9. Clearly by Evernote . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

15. The Best Chrome Extension for Blocking Time Wasters .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..105 16. Miscellaneous Chrome Tips to Skyrocket Your Productivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108
16.1. Instantly access various Chrome settings with these Chrome:// URLs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 16.2. Make Chrome warn you before closing multiple tabs, mute all tabs and more . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 16.3. Search Chromes history by date range . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 16.4. Using Google Cloud Print and printing directly from Gmail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 16.5. Easily create PDFs of web pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 16.6. Make Chrome show the Home Button beside the Address Bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 16.7. Detach or attach tabs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 16.8. Disable Chromes built-in PDF reader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 16.9. Enable Smooth Scrolling on web pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 16.10. The best timer app for Chrome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 16.11. Shortcuts to toggle between tabs in full-screen mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 16.12. Easily change Chrome window thumbnail positions in Windows 7 or 8 with the full-screen trick . . . . 128 16.13. Get into speed-reading mode with Auto Scroll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 16.14. The best download extension for Chrome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 16.15. Set the correct zoom level according to screen resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 16.16. Facebook keyboard shortcuts for Chrome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

Help and Support .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..135 Subscribe to Guiding Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .136

About the Author
Abhijeet Mukherjee is the owner and editor of Guiding Tech, a popular blog on personal technology. He is also a longtime contributor to some of the best technology and productivity blogs in the world. Over the years Abhijeet has written some extremely popular posts on his own blog and on other blogs that have attracted hundreds of thousands of readers. His articles on personal technology have also been syndicated by well-known sites such as The Business Insider. He does not claim to be a geek (his friends disagree) but he does like spending time with the tools he uses in order to figure out how to get the most out of them. Productivity has been the focus of most of his writings to date because thats what hes good atplaying with software and online tools to discover ways to use them more efficiently. In this book he shares the tips and methods hes implemented in order to use the Google Chrome browser productively each day. Though a great browser, Chrome is not without its shortcomings. By learning to overcome such shortcomings, readers of this book will also learn how to more thoroughly enjoy their experiences with this amazing browser. Abhijeet can be reached on Twitter and Google+.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

Important Points about The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide
1. The author presents carefully selected tips from a productivity perspective and highlights Chrome features that help him get work done. Hence the name The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide rather than The Ultimate Chrome Guide. 2. This book is about Chrome the browser, not the Chrome operating system. 3. This first edition of this guide was written between January and March 2013. The author used the stable version of Chrome available during that time and conducted his tests on both Windows and Mac. It is likely, however, that by the time you read this book Chrome will have already updated to a new version and you may find differences between this books screenshots and options shown in your version of Chrome. Luckily most of the settings this book discusses have remained the same for a number of Chrome versions except for certain cosmetic changes in the interface. Rest assured that any new editions of this book will be made available to current readers for free. 4. The Chrome language setting used by the author in the writing of this book was US English. Readers using a different language setting might find options in their browsers named differently, but their meanings remain the same. 5. The author has focused on the stable channel because thats what most Chrome users are on. 6. If you face a problem with an extension, directly contact the extensions developer rather than the author of this book. The extension developer will be the best person to help you in such a case.

How to Read The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide
Whether youre an experienced Chrome user who tinkers with the browser time and again in order to get the most out of it or a relatively less tech-savvy fan who uses Chrome as a browser of choice, its likely youll find in this book a lot of new methods, tricks and tools that will make Chrome work much more efficiently for you. Thats great and thats why you paid for this book. But theres also a chance all the information presented in The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide might overwhelm you at first glance. To make sure you get the most out of this book, keep coming back to it again and again with the goal of picking up a different tip each time. When you begin reading this book, refrain from immediately jumping to your browser to try out a tip. Jot it down, instead. Some tips, even if they appear on pages far apart from each other, are related and complement each other. Consider going through The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide from start to finish while jotting down the tips you find most useful. Later you can come back to explore things in detail. Ensure that you store this PDF in a location you access frequently such as your desktop or a favorite folder so you can easily refer to The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide often. While digital books dont suffer from wear and tear and you dont have to worry about digital pages turning yellow, the out of sight, out of mind theory applies to digital editions as much as to their paper counterparts. The value of this book lies not just in what you learn from it, but in how you apply its methods and tips for your own good. Pick the productivity tips that suit you most and are most likely to significantly improve your workflow and start from there. After spending enough time with The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide, your experience of using Chrome hopefully will have undergone a significant improvement. Happy reading!

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

Master these Keyboard Shortcuts

ome people stress about mastering keyboard shortcuts for every tool. Shortcuts definitely help us work more quickly but chances are youll always do certain activities more comfortably with the mouse.

Still, learning some main keyboard shortcuts for the tools you use every day makes sense. Thats why Im starting this book with some of the most popular keyboard shortcuts available for Chrome. 1. Ctrl + T (Windows) / Command + T (Mac) for opening a new tab. 2. Ctrl + Shift + T (Windows) / Command + Shift + T (Mac) for quickly reopening a closed tab. You can use this to instantly restore an accidentally closed tab. 3. Ctrl + Shift + N (Windows) / Command + Shift + N (Mac) for opening an incognito window for private browsing. I use this very often, not for the obvious reasons but for tasks like opening a new instance of Gmail for logging into another account. 4. Ctrl + J (Windows) / Command + Shift + J (Mac) for opening the Downloads page. 5. Alt+ D or Ctrl + L (Windows) / Command + L (Mac) for jumping to the address bar.

6. Alt + right arrow or left arrow in Windows for going back a page or

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

moving forward a page, respectively. In Mac, you could use the default two-finger gestures for the same. 7. Ctrl + D (Windows) / Command + D (Mac) for saving the web page youre on as a bookmark. 8. Ctrl + Shift + Delete (Windows) / Command + Shift + Delete (Mac) for opening the Clear Browsing Data window. 9. Hit spacebar to scroll down web pages one page at a time (works on both Windows and Mac). 10. To open a website in a new tab, type its URL in the address bar and instead of hitting Enter, do Alt + Enter (Windows) / Command + Enter (Mac) to open it in a background tab. For example, type in the address bar and hit Alt + Enter. Itll open Google in a new tab. This way you can open a number of websites one after another while staying on the same tab.

Tip: If you do not add the .com suffix, youll find that Chrome considers a site name as a search query and opens the search results in a new tab. This trick can be utilized as a way to quickly search in a new tab without leaving a current tab.

11. Ctrl + H (Windows) / Command + Y (Mac) to open your Browsing History page. The browsing history page of Chrome also features a search button that helps you quickly unearth a previously visited website that you cant recall.

So, those are the keyboard shortcuts I feel every Chrome user should know and remember. Of course there are many more but lets be honest, you cant remember all of them and neither would you need all of them often. Learning the important ones makes more sense. I think the aforementioned shortcuts should cover 95% of your Chrome usage and make you significantly more productive. And though these might help you save only a few seconds every day, such seconds do add up over a period of time. As you read on about more Chrome features, youll likely discover more feature-specific keyboard shortcuts along the way.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

Use the Pin Tab and Duplicate Tab Features to the Fullest

hen you right-click on any of the open tabs in Chrome, you get the options shown in the image below.

Two options in the above menu can come in very handy at times: Pin tab and Duplicate. When you click on Pin tab, the tab shrinks in size and sticks itself permanently to the extreme left. Use this on tabs you never close (like Gmail, for instance). You could, of course, pin several tabs but I recommend you pin only those you visit frequently each day. Email could be one. If youre a web publisher like me, you probably want to have a stats tool pinned, too. I have Google Analytics for Guiding Tech pinned on my Chrome so I can peek at the real-time stats of my site now and then. The Duplicate tab is actually a pretty neat feature that not many people know about or dont remember to use. Say you search for something on Google, click through a link and land on a website. While reading the sites content you decide you should go back and try out another

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

page, but you dont want to lose this page. Of course, always opening links in new tabs is one way to avoid this problem, but we dont always remember to do that, do we? This is when the Duplicate tab feature comes in handy. Simply right-click on that tab header and hit Duplicate to create a clone of the page youre on. Thats it; on the new tab that opens, you can go back to the Google search page and click on another link. This is just one way you can make use of the Duplicate tab feature and save yourself some time. There are many more ways to use Duplicate depending on how you browse the web. The key is to remember to use it when you need it.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

Easily Drag & Drop Downloaded Files from Chrome to Anywhere on Your Computer


id you know you can easily drag a downloaded file out of Chrome and drop it anywheresuch as onto your desktop or into a folderon your computer?

See the image below.

It really is as simple as that. If you download stuff often and also need to save what you download in different locations, this trick should save you a lot of time. In fact, we can all stop worrying about download locations from now on and just drag and drop downloaded files from Chrome to desired locations after theyre done downloading.



Even though youre dragging downloaded files out of Chrome

to a location of your choice, the fact is that theyre already downloaded to the location thats set in your Chrome Options. That means the process will create duplicate copies of files on your computer. For a small number of files this shouldnt be something to worry about, and you can always remove the duplicates whenever you clean up our computer (which you should do often). But if you download large files often, this trick might not be very productive for you over the long term.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

Set Chrome to Restore Previous Pages


hen Chrome reopens after a sudden browser crash it asks if previously opened tabs should be restored. You can set Chrome to always restore previously opened tabs whenever it is started through the following simple process: 1. Click on the Chrome Options icon, the set of parallel horizontal lines on the top right (known as the Chrome menu). 2. Click on Settings. 3. There, under the On startup section, select Continue where I left off.

This will ensure Chrome doesnt start with the default new tab page and instead opens all the previously opened tabs from your last browsing session.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

Some Methods to Speed up Chrome

heres one thing that almost everyone hates about Chrome: It tends to become a memory hog thats painfully slow after prolonged use. Sometimes it just freezes and leaves you no option but to kill it completely using the Task Manager in Windows or to force quit it in Mac. While any browser is likely to behave in this manner after a period of heavy use, it seems that Chrome does this more often than other browsers. And its very annoying when you use Chrome as your primary browser. Below are certain methods that have helped me speed up Chrome. Hopefully some of these will help you, too.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

5.1. Enable Click to play for plugins
Plugins add functionalities to a browser and help it show you content you wouldnt be able to view otherwise (like Flash, for instancemore on that later). By default all plugins are enabled to run automatically whenever a browser needs them. But over a period of time such plugin behavior can prove to be very inconvenient. Say you start playing a video on YouTube or Vimeo and the entire browser suddenly freezes. Sound familiar? To avoid this, enable a Chrome feature called Click to play. Click to play puts plugin control in your hands as it allows plugins to play only when you want them to. Follow the steps below: 1. Click on the Chrome menu. 2. Click on Settings. 3. Scroll down and click on the link that says Show advanced settings.

4. You should now see the Content settings button under Privacy. Click it.

5. Itll pop up another window of options. Here, scroll down until you find the plugins section. In this section, select the Click to play option.

6. Click on Done at the bottom right of this pop-up. Thats it, youre done! To make sure this feature is working, visit a video on YouTube. It should not play automatically. Instead, Chrome will ask you to click to enable and play the video only after you click on it. That means this feature also gets rid of auto-play in YouTube. Cool, huh? In my case, just this one change has significantly improved Chromes performance on my computer. Web pages no longer seem to freeze while loading, which is a big relief.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

5.2. Restart Chrome frequently
A simple and often-ignored tip: Restart Chrome frequently to increase its overall performance and install the latest browser and extension updates. All you need to do is exit Chrome completely once in a while and then re-launch it. And if you followed the steps mentioned in Chapter 4 (page 15) regarding restoring previous pages, you need not worry about losing a tab in the process.

5.3. Clear cache
This is an important step that can significantly boost Chromes performance. The cache of a browser consists of the temporary files stored in order to reduce loading times of frequently visited websites. But caches get bloated with time and can make a browser a memory hog. In Macs especially, Chrome tries to store a lot of its cache in the memory (or RAM). This tends to eat up memory space and makes Chrome slower on Macs. The solution: Get rid of Chromes cache on a regular basis. If you are on a slow connection, this could hurt a bit but the cache will rebuild itself soon and youll find your favorite pages loading faster again before too long. The process to clear cache is pretty much the same on both Windows and Mac. Here are the steps: 1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Delete (Windows) / Command+Shift+Delete (Mac) to open the Clear browsing data panel. Its available under Tools in the Chrome menu.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide


The image above shows the settings I use. I only check the Clear download history and Empty the cache boxes because doing so takes care of most of what Im trying to achieve with this step. If I also click on Delete cookies and other site and plug-in data Ill have to log into all the sites I frequently visit again. Note that I also select the beginning of time at the top of this panel before clicking on the Clear browsing data button at the bottom. Customize these settings according to your preferences and then delete the cache. My suggestion is to empty all of it (mainly the cache part). Repeat this process once every few days on Windows, more frequently if youre on a Mac.

5.4. Monitor memory consumption through Chromes Task Manager
Chrome has a Task Manager that shows the CPU and memory consumption of any tabs and extensions that are running. Check here for a rogue extension or tab that might be responsible for a majority of Chromes memory consumption. On Windows you can access the Task Manager directly using Shift+Esc, but Chrome on Mac doesnt yet have a direct Task Manager shortcut. There is a workaround via the Application Shortcuts in Keyboard under System Preferences, but thats probably not needed as you wont use it every day. Task Manager is available in the Tools sub-menu in the Chrome menu in all operating systems. Heres what the Chrome Task Manager looks like on my Mac (Windows users will see a slightly different interface):

To see which tab or extension is consuming the most memory or CPU, click on the word Memory to sort the list by memory consumption in descending order or CPU to sort it by CPU usage in descending order.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

This basically works exactly like the Windows Task Manager. Find out the extension or tab thats hogging the memory or CPU, select it and hit End Process. This comes in handy when Chrome is very slow and on its way to not working. At such times immediately open the built-in Task Manager and do End Process for the troublesome tab or extension before Chrome hangs on you. Tip: Another way to reach Chromes Task Manager is by right-clicking on the empty space in the tab bar (Windows only).

5.5. Disable Flash versions
While the first point about enabling Click to play for plugins will ensure that the Flash plugin doesnt auto-play, it is best to disable all non-native versions of Flash on Chrome. Adobe Flash is built into Chrome so ideally you should only see one version of it. But thats usually not the case because most Chrome users also use other browsers (such as Firefox) that require a downloaded copy of Flash. This downloaded copy installs itself again on Chrome, on top of the native version. To verify this, type chrome://plugins on Chromes address bar and look for the heading that says Adobe Flash Player. When I first navigated to that page way back, I was surprised to find four Flash files there. The image below shows the top two:

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide


Tip: Click on the Details link at the top right to make the page display the details of all plugins in the list.

The one version in the above list with the PPAPI type is the native version and the only one that needs to be retained. All the other versions (with the NPAPI type) need to disabled immediately. Apart from being a performance hazard, the NPAPI versions of Flash can pose security risks. Disabling them is always a wise thing to do. If only one Adobe Flash plugin shows up in this list, it is the native one and should not be disabled. Disabling rogue versions should take care of your Flash woes on Chrome and prevent it from freezing the tabs (most of the time, that is).

5.6. Enable hardware or GPU acceleration
Enabling graphics processing unit (GPU) acceleration ensures the load on the central processing unit (CPU) is reduced when youre loading graphics-heavy pages on Chrome by allowing the GPU to take over the task. To enable this feature, go to Chromes experimental features page by typing chrome://flags in the address bar. Here, scroll down and make sure the following options are enabled: 1. Override software rendering list 2. GPU compositing on all pages 3. GPU Accelerated SVG Filters Once youve enabled all the above, click the Relaunch Now button at the bottom. All the above features will be enabled in the background after Chrome is restarted.


These are experimental features that may not work perfectly

every time. My experience so far with them has been quite smooth, however, so I recommend you at least give them a shot and see if they lead to an improvement in overall Chrome speed.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

5.7. Do you need all the extensions?
Section 5.4 (page 23) above discussed how Chromes memory is consumed by different processes such as tabs and extensions. A simple way to reduce that memory consumption is to remove unnecessary extensions that are lying around unused like dusty books on a shelf. Those books are better off shared or sold, and those extensions are better off uninstalled. So go to your Chrome extensions page (Chrome menu -> Tools -> Extensions) and clean out that list by clicking the trash icon besides the ones you dont need. Easy!

5.8. Too many tabs consuming CPU and RAM? Use one of these three extensions to deal with them efficiently
The same goes with tabs. When numerous tabs are left open they eat up memory and CPU, making the browser slow. Keeping only a few tabs open at one time is, of course, the easiest solution, but this may not be the right approach for folks like me who have to work with many tabs at once. I keep tabs like Gmail, Facebook and Guiding Tech (my blog) pinned to one corner of my screen so I can quickly look at them as needed. I also keep coming across new web pages which stack up as open tabs pretty quickly. For true tab nirvana, one needs a novel solution. Below are three such solutions in the form of three useful extensions. Lets see how these can help you reduce tab overload.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

5.8.1. TooManyTabs
TooManyTabs is a useful tool for managing Chrome tabs and making sure they are not the reason for a browser crash, or slow speed.

After the TooManyTabs extension is installed, a small icon appears in the extensions bar. Click on the icon to see a thumbnail preview of all open tabs as shown in the image above. Heres how this extension helps you manage your tabs: Preview each open tab: Thumbnails display the content of your open tabs while a marker shows the tab thats in use at the moment. Locate tab with a search or sort by name, web address or creation time: When you have too many tabs open, a bit of order (and sanity) is provided by these tab management features. Use the Find bar at the top for these actions.

Suspend tabs with a click: Click on the arrow next to any tab in the preview and suspend it to conserve memory. Click on the tabs in the Suspended Tabs column to restore them. Reopen recently closed tabs: Any recently closed tab can also be restored with a click on its thumbnail preview. Colorful themes: Set the color of the TooManyTabs pop-up interface with a click on any of the six default colors. You can choose from many more in Options. Import from Firefox: The add-ons Firefox counterpart has been available for a long time. If youve been using it, you can import your settings from there. You can also create a back-up file by exporting the data. A few extra settings: Go into Options (above the thumbnails) and configure TooManyTabs to work for you. A useful setting you can tweak is Custom Columns, which can be really handy when you have a multitude of tabs open. You may suspend tabs you dont need immediately using TooManyTabs, and restore them instantly later. This extension definitely makes Chrome consume fewer system resources.

5.8.2. OneTab
Save up to 95% memory and reduce tab clutter is how OneTab pitches itself to Chrome users. And I have to say this isnt just clever copywriting to lure people to give OneTab a try. This extension really can help push down memory and CPU usage almost instantly.

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The way it works is quite simple: Click on the OneTab button on the extensions bar and it will collapse all open tabs into a list. You can later restore the tabs one by one, or all at once. Heres how it looks after youve clicked the OneTab button:

OneTab gives options to restore or delete all tabs and to share them as a web page or imported/exported links. Any tabs already pinned to one corner remain untouched. This tool also shows historical data, meaning if you used it a week ago with a different set of tabs, itll show a list of those on the same page just in case you want to restore some of them.


Very few things come without their flaws, and OneTab is no

exception. When you do a restore all, OneTab opens all the tabs in a new window instead of opening them in the same window. Unnecessary, if you ask me.

I think OneTab could work well as a crisis-management solution. Whenever you start experiencing some lag and Chrome starts indicating that its getting uncomfortable, click on OneTab to give Chrome some breathing room (and save yourself the hassle of dealing with a non-responsive browser). OneTab reduces Chromes memory footprint by getting rid of multiple tabs while ensuring you have an easy way to get them back.

5.8.3. The Great Suspender

As the name indicates, The Great Suspender suspends tabs instead of closing them, similar to what TooManyTabs does. Clicking on this extensions icon produces four options: Suspend this tab, Suspend all tabs, Reload all tabs and Settings.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide


Click on Suspend this tab to make the contents of a tab disappear. While its header is grayed out, the tab remains at its position and can be reloaded in the same spot.

You may suspend tabs one at a time or all at once.

Click on Settings to open the following screen through which you can choose to suspend a tab after its been inactive for a certain period of time. You may also select the auto-unsuspend-when-tab-is-in-focus feature. Plus theres a way to create a whitelist of websites to ignore.

Suspended tabs remain part of the browsing session, meaning they will be restored along with the other tabs whenever the browser is re-opened. Uninstalling the extension deletes all tabs (including pinned tabs), so make sure to unsuspend tabs first if you decide to get rid of the extension.

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The Great Suspender usually works well but on certain occasions it cannot suspend some tabs, including some Chrome app tabs. So dont be surprised if a tab stays active even after youve tried suspending it using this tool. Remember that suspending a tab is different from closing a tab, and so is any increase in Chrome performance that might result. While The Great Suspender definitely contributes to performance improvement, such improvements are not as great as those OneTab can achieve. Each of the aforementioned extensionsTooManyTabs, OneTab and The Great Suspenderhas its pros and cons. If you can work with your tabs in a list and do not need them open all the time, OneTab may be the best choice for you. If youd like more options and would rather suspend than close tabs, you may prefer TooManyTabs or The Great Suspender.

5.9. A quick concluding note about methods to speed up Chrome
There may be more ways to speed up Chrome other than the eight methods discussed above, but I suggest you at least try each of these and see how they work for you. Do remember the clear cache and restart browser tips as there are no effective alternatives. If you dont want your Chrome cache size to grow too big and lead to browser issues, emptying the cache from time to time is the best way out. Hopefully some of the above tips will help you avoid frequent Chrome crashes and reduce the number of times Chrome hangs on you or becomes extremely slow.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

Create Application Shortcuts for Faster Access


pplication shortcuts in Chrome (Windows and Linux only) help you open your favorite websites more quickly in a distraction-free mode. They also create a dedicated window that can be opened separately.

Creating app shortcuts is pretty easy. Follow these steps: 1. Make sure you are on the website (like Gmail or Facebook) for which you want to create a shortcut. 2. Go to the Chrome menu and then Tools -> Create application shortcuts.

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3. Youll be given choices of locations where the shortcut could appear.


4. Thats it, click Create and youre done (since theres no Start menu on Windows 8, the Create Application Shortcuts option isnt available as shown in the screenshot above).

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As you see in the image below, I created a Facebook app that I then pinned to the taskbar in Windows 7.

Consider creating such apps for your favorite sites. Mac users, unfortunately, dont have this feature yet.

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Enabling Sync and Things to Keep in Mind


ou probably know that Chrome Sync is a built-in feature that allows you to sync browser data like settings, bookmarks, passwords, themes, address bar (or Omnibox) history, auto-fill history and more using your Google account.

Its a very handy feature that ensures you do not lose your data on Chrome even if it were to stop working on your computer. Having everything synced to your Google account means that on any other computer all you have to do is sign into your account on Chrome and itll instantly import all your settings and customizations. All your Chrome settings stay in the cloud and you can use them whenever you need. But there are some things you should keep in mind before enabling this feature. Well talk about that a bit later; first lets go through the steps of enabling sync on Chrome. 1. Go to the Chrome menu on the top right and find the option that says Sign in to Chrome

2. Youll be asked to sign in using your Google account and password.


3. After you enter your Google account details and sign in, a small popup on the top right will mention that you are now syncing your details. Click on the Advanced link.

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4. Itll direct you to the Settings page. Here click on Advanced sync settings

5. This is where youll see exactly whats syncing and youll also have the option to choose what to sync and what to exclude.


6. If you want to choose, select Choose what to sync from the dropdown menu, select the checkboxes accordingly, and click OK at the bottom.

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The process of enabling sync is pretty much the same on Chrome versions for other operating systems, and you may also enable it on mobile versions. This comes in handy especially in case of open tabs. You can leave a tab open on your computer and continue reading it on Chrome on your iPhone or Android via the Other Devices link from the menu.

7.1. Things to keep in mind regarding Chrome Sync
The important thing to keep in mind regarding Chrome Sync is that you should choose what it syncs wisely. If you already have extensions taking care of some settings for you, theres no point duplicating that in Chrome Sync. You want to avoid such conflicts with extensions whenever possible to avoid issues later. For example, if youre using a password manager to manage your passwords and it stores your passwords online, theres no need to use the password storage function of the browser. Same goes for other settings such as bookmarks. I had this issue with bookmarks and almost lost all of them. Id used Xmarks to sync bookmarks across all browsers but had the bookmark sync option enabled in Chrome, too. Ive documented what happened and how I fixed it in this post, How to Restore Deleted or Lost Bookmarks With Xmarks. You may want to take a look. The bottom line: If you want to use your Google account to sync everything from Chrome, let go of the extensions that may duplicate this effortor be selective and carefully choose what to sync.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

Using Chromes Address Bar or Omnibox to the Fullest


hen Chrome debuted in 2008, one of its features that captured significant attention was its search-plus-address bar. The Chrome address bar was called the Omnibox because, unlike its counterparts, it wasnt limited to helping you type in a website address. There was more to it than that. The Omnibox was designed so you could directly search for any query without typing and opening Google to conduct a search. Not only that, but Omnibox also shows the closest match in real-time as you type. So if you were to type Harvard in the Chrome address bar, for example, the Omnibox will reveal auto-fill results based on your browsing history and the most relevant results from the web, one of which would be, Harvard Universitys website. You could then click on such a link and land on the related website directly. A recent New York Times article said that in over 95% of households with a microwave oven the microwave is used only for reheating and not cooking. In the same vein its highly likely that 95% of Chrome users only use the Omnibox for entering web addresses or doing a search, seemingly unaware of the fact that it can do much more. Well, let me empower you with some awesome Chrome address bar/Omnibox tricks, each of which has a high coolness as well as usefulness quotient. That means you could use these for productivity, and maybe for some harmless ostentation, too. Sound tempting? Lets begin.

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8.1. Search specific websites right from the Omnibox
If youve performed a search on a website, next time you can search it directly from the Omnibox. Heres how: Lets say that at some point you used the search bar at the top right of the homepage on my blog, Guiding Tech. Now if you want to do that again, just type a few letters of the sites name in the address bar, like guid, and hit the Tab key on your keyboard. Youll get a Search option thatll allow you to search that site directly from the Chrome address bar.

As shown in the image above, a blue search site bar appears after you hit the Tab key. Simply type your search query right there and Chrome will search the site for you. Helps you skip a step.

THE CATCH: You need to have searched the site using its native search bar at
least once. Since most sites these days have a built-in search bar, that shouldnt be a problem.

8.2. Use the calculator
In case youve never stumbled upon this, Chromes address bar can be used for doing calculations just like on a calculator.

The Omnibox usually shows the results of calculations in real time as you type. If there is a delay or the Omnibox fails to show the result at all, end the calculation with an equal-to sign (=) and the result will appear.

Next time you need to do a random calculation, consider using the Omnibox rather than hunting for a calculator on your desktop or phone or on the web. Those few seconds you save every day do add up, you know.

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8.3. Paste and Go and Paste and Search
How do you visit links in Chrome that youve copied from outside the browser? You do a Ctrl+V in the address bar and then hit Enter, right? I suppose the same goes for copied text that you need to search for in Google. You probably just paste it into Chromes Omnibox and hit Enter to let Google do the search. Next time, try right-clicking on the empty space in the address bar and clicking Paste and go, or Paste and search if its text youve copied.

If you use the mouse or the touchpad more often than the keyboard you will really like this trick.

8.4. Create special keywords to visit sites quickly
Chrome usually auto-completes the names of your most-visited sites. If you visit Facebook frequently on Chrome, for example, all you need to do is type the letter f and Chrome will instantly auto-complete your entry to After that, a tap on the Enter key is all it takes to visit the site. But if you have another favorite website with a name that starts with the letters f and a, you might find Chromes auto-completing f to slightly annoying. Youd need to either continue typing until Chrome auto-completes to the URL you desire, or select the preferred result from the list of auto-fill options. All that is good, but theres a better way to set up keywords for favorite websites so you can just type a letter and then hit Enter to visit them. Lets say both and are in the list of your most-visited sites. You could set up the keywords g and gr for both respectively, and enter these letters before pressing the Enter key to get to either site quickly. Here are the steps to do this:

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1. Right-click anywhere on the empty space on the Omnibox and click on the option that says Edit search engines.

2. This will open a page that will list the default search engines on Chrome.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

3. Here, scroll down to the bottom to the point where it has the tabs named Add a new search engine, Keyword and more.

4. Although the third tab asks for URL with %s in place of simply enter the URL of the website for which you want to set up a keyword shortcut. And thats the secret. The image below shows how I added the keyword gt for Guiding Tech.

All I did was enter the name of the site (my blog, Guiding Tech, in this case), a keyword (as you see above, I used two letters for that: gt) and the complete site URL starting with http://. Thats it, hit OK and youre done. If I need to quickly visit Guiding Tech on Chrome, all I need to do is type gt and hit Enter. Chrome will instantly jump to the site. You may use this trick to set up any number of keyword-site combinations. Of course, you should choose these keywords wisely so you dont end up forgetting them. Overall, however, this is a nice way to increase your everyday browsing productivity by a bit.

8.5. Change the default search engine from Google to Bing or others
As you know, the default search engine for the Chrome address bar is Google. I have no issues with that, but some people might prefer Yahoo Search or Bing over Google and want the Omnibox to direct them to their favorite search engine. Luckily, changing the default search engine in Chrome is pretty easy. If you carefully followed the steps for adding keywords above, youve probably figured it out already. Simply hover the mouse pointer over one of the listed search engines and you should see a Make default option on the right. Click it and then click on OK at the bottom, and youre done!

You can make any search engine the default here, even the custom search engine you might have created by following the steps in section 8.4, when you were trying to search specific websites from the address bar. The bottom line: The huge scope of address bar/Omnibox customization in Chrome is one of the features that help Chrome stand out among other popular browsers.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

Making the Most of the New Tab Page


hen a friend of mine with the annoying habit of throwing unsolicited trick questions at me now and then once asked me, What is that one thing you see every day, quite a lot of times, but dont really use? I replied almost instantly, Chromes new tab page! Like everything else in Chrome, the innocuous-looking new tab page has more to it than meets the eye, making it worth our while to try to make the most of it in our everyday Chrome routine. So, what are we waiting for? Lets dive in!

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9.1. Make it open a specific website each time
If you visit a particular website frequently every day you might as well have the new tab page open it automatically for you. Chrome does allow you to open a specific web page at startup or a set of pages at once, but theres no way to set the same behavior for the new tab page. Chrome doesnt provide a direct method to do that. As you might have guessed, however, there is an extension for that! Aptly named Replace New Tab Page, this extension can help you open a specific website automatically each time you open a new tab on Chrome.

As shown in the image above, the interface of this extension is quite simple. Just go to the Options of this extension on the Chrome Extensions page (Chrome menu ->Tools->Extensions), type in the web page, and then click Save. Remember to include the http:// in the link, though. Without that it wont work. Later, if you feel you dont need it anymore, you can easily uninstall the extension.

9.2. Customize it through the default options available
Very few people are aware of the default new tab customization options that Chrome provides, even though theyre right there on the new tab page each time its opened. Most Chrome users have seen them but never checked them out.

Turns out you can do more with these options, and with that bottom bar on which the options are placed. As shown in the image above, the bottom of Chromes new tab page features two options: Most visited and Apps. While the most-visited section includes your most-visited sites, the apps section has the apps youve added from the Chrome Web Store and used most. If you like this setup and want to add more sites or apps to the new tab page, sim-

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ply drag and drop one of the website thumbnails or app icons to the bar and a new section will be automatically created. You can then rename it by double clicking on the text.

As shown above, Ive created a My Favorites section to give me another way to quickly access my favorite websites. The more important options are on the right, though: Other devices, Recently closed and Web Store.

The Other devices link, as the name implies, gives you access to the open tabs in other devices of yours on which Chrome Sync is enabled. The Recently closed link lists the last ten pages from your browsing history. The Web Store option takes you to Chromes Web Store. While the default options for making use of the new tab may not be extraordinary, they are definitely useful to a great extent.

9.3. Get a better Speed Dial
The default new tab page of Chrome is basically a speed dial that lets you quickly jump to your most visited websites. If you like it the way it is, great. But you might want to enhance its features and customize it more, all while keeping the speed dial concept intact.

You could use extensions like Speed Dial or Speed Dial 2 to overcome the limitations of the new tab page by adding more thumbnails, a background picture, better layout and much more. Try out both these add-ons and settle for the one that suits you. Both seem to offer a vast number of features and have received positive reviews from users.

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9.4. A Windows 8 app style interface

If youre a fan of the new app layout in Windows 8, you might want to put that on your Chrome as well. Mysites is an extension that brings the Windows 8 app design to the new tab page of Chrome. Theres not much to this add-on except the design it offers. You can remove sites by clicking on the X that appears at the top right corner of the app after you hover the mouse over it. You may also restore websites via its Options, which you access by clicking on its icon on the extensions bar.

THE CATCH: I did experience some lag while testing this add-on in Chrome,
something you need to check. If you find this add-on slows down the browser terribly then its probably not worth the trouble. Otherwise, its a nice replacement for the bland default new tab page.

9.5. Make it show your Google Tasks
If you use Google Tasks to manage your to-do list then you could have your list show up each time you open a new tab to ensure you dont forget the pending tasks for the day. Here are two easy ways to achieve this result: 1. You could use the Replace New Tab Page extension discussed in 9.1 above and put this link in it: 2. Another extension called New Tab to Tasks redirects the new tab page to your Google Tasks list. You may use either of the above methods to make Google Tasks take over the new tab.

Tip: On a similar note, if you want to access Google Tasks in a more distraction-free environment, you could utilize the application shortcuts method discussed in Chapter 6 (page 39). That will ensure your list always sits on the Windows taskbar and pops up in an isolated window at your command.

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9.6. Use these awesome Startpages/ Startpage extensions
If youve been muttering why not a startpage all along then this is the moment youve been waiting for. Here are some excellent startpages you might want your Chromes new tab page to adorn. By now you might have guessed youd need to use the same tricks discussed in the previous point on Google Tasks to make the new tab page open these sites automatically. Luckily, though, some of these are actually extensions that take care of that for you.

9.6.1. Things to Do
If you want the new tab page to show your tasks for the day but dont want to use Google Tasks, then Things to Do is a good alternative. This Chrome extension sets itself as the new tab page and you can easily add or delete tasks on it. The interface is minimalistic and clutter-free, and it allows you to customize the background color, fonts, page width and more, all of which can be set from the extension options.

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9.6.2. Currently
If all you need on the new tab page is a big clock and the weather forecast, then you cant go wrong with Currently. As you can see in the image below, it shows the date, time and weather forecast in a simple yet beautiful interface. The customization options are easily accessible in the form of icons at the bottom-right corner of the page. The last icon there allows you to switch to the default new tab page layout (the most-visited site thumbnails and all) in one click. Pretty good, Id say.

9.6.3. Incredible Startpage
The Incredible Startpage Chrome extension turns the new tab page into a onestop destination of sorts. Theres a sticky note at the top on which you can scribble thoughts, a recently closed tabs column, a bookmarks folders column and a big section on the right into which you can drag and drop specific links for quick access.

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Hopefully, you now know how to use Chromes new tab page to the fullest. By sharing its many options I hope Ive helped you choose the one that best fits your needs. If youre confused and still not sure, I suggest picking one to try for a few days and see how it works. Then try the next one. Youll eventually figure out the new tab setup you prefer. Now, lets move on to the what and how of setting up multiple users in Chrome.

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Setting up Multiple Users in Chrome (Does it Help?)

he concept of having multiple user accounts for a browser might not make sense immediately. I mean, why would you need to do this in a browser if you can set it up in the operating system, instead? Thats a far better way to let someone else use your computer and work on Chromeor any other browser, for that matterright? Setting up multiple users in Chrome is more about multiple Google accounts, really. Having more than one Google/Gmail account is hardly uncommon, and you cant be signed into two Gmail accounts in one browser (unless you open a new private or incognito tab). Chrome offers a productive solution to this problem through its multiple users feature. You can set up different accounts, sign in to more than one Google account and switch between them effortlessly. Of course, you can always create a Chrome user for someone who uses Chrome on your computer, but as we will see, this isnt a very secure way to share your browser with someone. Heres how to enable this feature in Chrome and add more users: 1. Go to Chrome Settings, and scroll down to the Users section. There, click on Add new user.

2. Time to choose a name and an avatar. Once done, click on Create.

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3. A new window will open asking you to sign in using your Google account. You may go ahead and do that.

4. You will now see the users in Settings.

Chrome also shows the avatars on the taskbar icons in Windows. In the image below, the left user has the avatar of the first user on it. The second one is the new user I just created. It doesnt show the avatar yet because I havent signed into Google using that account. If you have, then you should see the avatar on that, too.

5. Switching between users is extremely easy; you may do that from the top left as shown in the screenshot below.

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Because switching between users is so easy, settings for each

user remain the same, and anyone can delete another user. That makes this an imperfect solution for sharing a browser among different users. There is no admin like you have in Windows. All the users have equal power over each others Chrome accounts.

But, as I mentioned earlier, this definitely is a great solution for maintaining separate Chrome identities for a single user. Each profile can have its own set of bookmarks, passwords, etc. apart from the ability to sign in to a different Google account. For those who prefer staying signed into two or more Google accounts, this seems to be the best solution.

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Make the Most of Chromes Incognito or Private Mode


lthough I do not have data to support this, I dont think it would be an exaggeration to say that Chromes incognito mode is probably its most widely and frequently used feature.

An incognito tab can be opened using Ctrl+Shift+N in Windows and Command+Shift+N on Macs. If you prefer the mouse, use the Chrome menu to open it. The image above shows the incognito symbol. Incognito mode is meant to be used for private browsing, which means the history of the sites you visit using this mode do not get stored in the main browser history. The sites also cannot permanently store cookies or other temporary data when youre browsing in this mode. Apart from the most obvious reason to use incognito mode (dont tell me you dont know it), there could be many more ways in which you can put this awesome Chrome feature to good use. For example, you could (in fact, you should) browse in this mode when using a friends or a public computer. That way you wont have to worry about deleting the history when youre finished. Once you close all incognito tabs, the history and other data of that browsing session are wiped off instantly. That was one use. Lets see four more ways to make the most of Chromes private mode.

11.1. Create a shortcut to directly open incognito mode (Windows only)
On Windows, you can put a Chrome shortcut on desktop (or anywhere else) to directly open the incognito mode by default. This would be an easy way to quickly open an incognito tab when Chrome isnt already open. We will also see how to use a keyboard shortcut for the same. Here are the steps: 1. Create a shortcut to Chrome on the desktop if you dont have it already. On Windows 7 and older versions, this can be done by searching for Chrome in the Start menu, right-clicking on it and then selecting Send to -> Desktop (create shortcut). On Windows 8, the steps are a bit different. Here, youll find chrome.exe either in C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application or in C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application (username is your Windows user / login name). This is the one you need to right-click on and do Send to -> Desktop (create shortcut). That covers creating the shortcut part. Of course, if you already have the desktop shortcut then you dont need to do any of the above. You may jump to the next step. 2. Now, lets right-click Chromes shortcut on the desktop and click on Properties.

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3. A small window will pop up. Youll see a number of tabs at the top, namely General, Shortcut, Compatibility, etc. Click on the Shortcut tab.

4. Here, in the first box that says Target: go to the end of whatevers written in it, put a space, and then type --incognito. Note that there are two (2) hyphens before the word incognito.


5. Click on OK and use the desktop shortcut from now on to directly open Chromes incognito mode. Tip: Might I suggest that you follow this one more step to make the process quicker through a keyboard shortcut. Scroll down from Target to the Shortcut key: section and put a letter/number/character there to set the shortcut. Chrome will add Ctrl+Alt to that automatically and theres no way to bypass that. Whatever letter or number you put there, make sure it isnt already assigned as a shortcut for some other tool.

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In the above image I added X to the shortcut key so all Id have to do is press Ctrl+Alt+X and boom, Id be on my private tab! The best part: I do not need to be browsing on Chrome to do this. I could be on any other tool, and suddenly if I wish to check something using Chromes incognito mode, I could use that keyboard shortcut to open it. Saves steps and, of course, time.

11.2. Quickly switch a tab to incognito mode
Youve come across a website and are having fun browsing it when it suddenly strikes you that this was meant to be incognito fun and you should have opened this site in that mode in the first place. So how do you go about that now? The conventional method would be to close that tab, delete its history and then open an incognito tab to visit that site again. But we arent talking only about the conventional stuff in this book, are we? Incognito This! is an awesome Chrome extension that lets you instantly convert any normal tab into an incognito one. All you need to do is click on its icon in the extensions bar.

But thats not the best thing about this tool. What appeals to me are its powerful options. Go to the Chrome menu, then Tools -> Extensions -> Incognito This -> click on Options.

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As shown in the image above, Incognito This! options include the ability to clear not only the original pages history, but also the cookies. You could also specify keywords in URLs which will be automatically switched to incognito by the extension. And if youre a fan of keyboard shortcuts, you may set Ctrl+B as the combination for the purpose.

11.3. Force certain websites to always open in incognito mode
If you want to take memory out of the equation and force certain websites to always open in incognito mode then theres an extension for that, too. You might want to do this for banking and other such sites for which you dont want to (and shouldnt) store history, cookies and related data on the browser. Ghost Incognito helps you set the websites of your choice to always open in incognito mode. As soon as you type the address in a normal tab, itll automatically switch it to an incognito tab. The first step, of course, is to set that site by clicking on the Ghost Incognito icon on the extensions bar when you are on that site.

If you intend to remove URLs from the extensions list, youll need to navigate to its Options page, the link to which can be found under its name on the Chrome Extensions page.

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Ghost Incognito only allows you to remove domains in bulk if you allow this extension in the incognito mode, which is what we are going to cover next.

11.4. Allow certain extensions in incognito mode

The extensions we just discussedIncognito This! and Ghost Incognitoneed to be allowed in incognito mode if you intend to use more of their features. By default, Chrome does not allow any extension to run in the incognito mode. That makes sense because its the private mode, after all, which is all about not leaving any traces. Extensions need to use your browsing data in order to work properly, and using them in incognito mode would defeat this purpose. Having said that, allowing certain extensions in incognito mode is actually convenient. I use the LastPass extension in incognito because that helps me quickly fill up the login details of, lets say, a Gmail account that Im trying to access in incognito mode. To allow an extension to run in incognito mode, all you need to do is check the Allow in incognito checkbox below the extensions listing on the Chromes Extensions page (accessed via Tools in the Chrome menu).

You should be extremely selective, though, and allow only those extensions to run in incognito for which you find a lot of use even while browsing in the private mode.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

Working Productively With Tabs


f I were to ever dedicate a song to the tabs in Chrome (I know, Id have to be really crazy to do that), I think Id probably go for Cant Live With You, Cant Live Without You, the duet between Celine Dion and Billy Newton-Davis. Appropriate, I think, considering the nearly equal proportion of joys and nightmares Chromes open tabs have bestowed upon me all these years. Tabbed browsing is meant to be a productivity feature as it eliminates the need to open multiple windows and switch among them. That said, the cant live with you part is also a reality. The more tabs you open, the more resources the browser starts consuming. In my experience, although all browsers have a problem with this, for some reason Chrome freezes (or crashes) most frequently when the number of tabs crosses a particular threshold. This threshold could be different for different users, depending upon what other programs theyre running at that time, the configuration of the computer, etc. Of course, weve already discussed methods to speed up Chrome (page 17) and deal with too many tabs (page 29), so thats not what this section is all about. Were now going to explore some unique ways to work with tabs in Chrome thatll make us get things done more quickly while having some fun. Armed with these tips plus the earlier tricks of reducing tab overload and speeding up Chrome, you may just reach the state of true tab nirvana in Chrome yet. So, lets begin on that quest.

12.1. Tabs Outliner is probably the best way to work with a lot of tabs

Tabs Outliner is an excellent Chrome extension for power users who usually have a huge number of tabs open and also actually use them, instead of having them lying around hogging memory.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

The tool organizes your tabs in a tree-like structure and lets you group them in a way thatll help you locate them later. It appears as an icon on the Chrome extensions bar showing the number of open tabs. Click on it and itll pop up as a small window, the main control panel in which you can customize and organize stuff. You may drag and drop text from a web page to a node in this panel and itll add it as a note below it. It also allows you to link notes to your Google Docs account. You may add separators for better organization and double-click on the name of a tab in a node to quickly switch to it. There are many more things you could do with this tool; I recommend you go through its how-to section that appears when you use it for the first time. The features and options might seem overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, youll find it to be a great add-on for online research and heavy tab usage.

12.2. Quickly jump to a particular open tab
If you keep a lot of tabs open all the time, you know about the frustration of trying to locate one particular tab in the clutter. It really irks me when I click on a tab and find it isnt the one I wanted. A way to instantly jump to a desired tab is definitely needed. PowerSwitch is the perfect answer to the tab-searching woes of Chrome users. This is a very simple and yet extremely useful add-on that has the potential to skyrocket the productivity of heavy tab users.

After installing PowerSwitch simply press Ctrl + K (Windows) / Command + K (Mac) to bring up its search window. Here you can search for a tabs name, see the results in real time and click to go to that tab. PowerSwitch also works with open windows. If you have multiple Chrome windows open, you could use it to jump between them, too. Overall, Id say it cannot get simpler than this when it comes to searching for a tab on Chrome.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

12.3. Snooze certain tabs temporarily
I often keep tabs open because I want to read them later. There are, of course, plenty of ways to save a web page for reading later (save it to a tool like Pocket, for instance) but more often than not its the out of sight, out of mind theory that compels me to stick to the open-tab method, to keep me from forgetting about that interesting web page. But what if you could kill two birds with one stone? What if the tab disappears until you have the time to read it, and then when you do have the time to read it, it magically comes back? This is what the Page Snooze extension helps you do.

As shown in the image above, Page Snooze lets you snooze a page for up to two weeks. You can use the menu above or simply click on the Page Snooze icon on the extensions bar to instantly snooze a page for one week. After the time period is over, Page Snooze automatically re-opens that tab. You may clear sites out of Page Snooze by visiting its Options in the Extensions page of Chrome.

12.4. Hide and save all tabs instantly
PanicButton is an interesting Chrome extension which can restore order instantly when tab clutter seems to be getting out of hand. Clicking on its icon in the extensions bar will hide all the tabs and store them in a folder named temporary panic in the Other Bookmarks folder in Chrome. The red PanicButton icon turns green and shows the number of hidden tabs. Clicking on it again will restore all those tabs.

The extensions options also let you password-protect the folder and even hide the icon. Youd need to activate and remember the keyboard shortcut, though, if you intend to hide the icon.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

The obvious use of this tool is to secure your tabs from prying eyes. It takes care of hiding and saving information at the same time.

THE CATCH: If you have a lot of tabs open, PanicButton isnt as instantaneous
as its name implies. In my tests, it didnt hide all my open tabs in the blink of an eye; it hid them one by one, which took some seconds. So if youre planning to use PanicButton primarily as a privacy tool, make sure to activate it well before prying eyes get near you.

12.5. Bookmark all open tabs at once
If you have some very important tabs open and want to absolutely ensure that you dont lose them, you should consider bookmarking them. But doing this one by one would be a chore, right? Luckily, Chrome lets you bookmark all open tabs at once. All you need to do is right-click on a tab and click on the corresponding option.

Chrome will ask you to create a folder for storing all those open tabs. As shown in the image above, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+D (Command +Shift + D for Macs) if youre more comfortable using the keyboard for such tasks. Whenever you have a combination of tabs that are important and which youre likely to revisit again and again, bookmarking all of them is probably the best way to preserve them. If you use Chrome Sync for bookmarks or a tool like Xmarks, then those bookmarks get stored in the cloud, which means you wont need to worry about losing them if Chrome or your computer malfunctions, potentially corrupting data.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

12.6. Easily share all your open tabs with someone
If your work involves collaborating with someone and both of you use Chrome for research, there could be times when you need to share links to the tabs youve opened on Chrome. This can be a very straightforward process: Go to the address bar, copy the link for each tab and share it via email or IM. Easy, except that its time-consuming if theres more than a couple tabs involved or if you have to do such a thing every day. Tab Packager is a Chrome extension that bundles all your open tabs into one short link, which you can immediately share through various outlets such as email, Facebook, etc.

After installing the Tab Packager extension, click on the extension icon. Itll generate the link that can be directly shared on a number of social networks. You can also click on Edit links to open a page on which theres an option to copy links as plain text. This can be used when you need to remove some links or add more links to a collection.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

A Word about Extensions

ou may be wondering by now why, even though I advise against using too many extensions in order to speed up Chrome, I freely discuss all kinds of useful extensions. And there are many more cool extensions Ive yet to talk about in this book. So whats one supposed to do? On one hand, too many extensions slow down the browser, and on the other hand, all these amazing extensions are hard to ignore. How to tackle such a quandary? Short answer: You dont need to use all of them. Long answer: Whats useful to you may not be useful to someone else. Each of us uses Chrome in different ways. The purpose of this book is to help you get the maximum out of this browser and enhance your daily productivity. That also means youll need to prioritize some extensions and tricks over others. Choose extensions in accordance with how you browse on Chrome, and what you think is likely to help you most every day. This book is like the long and interesting menu in your favorite restaurant. There are so many awesome items to try that youre almost overwhelmed by the choices. But you cant have all of them, not at once. So you pick the must-haves first. In this book, the must-dos would be some of the methods designed to: 1. Speed up Chrome (page 17), 2. Set up Chrome Sync (page 49), and 3. Set up Chrome to restore tabs (page 15). After implementing these must-haves, choose from the other items depending on what you like. Of course, you can always come back to the restaurant and try other dishes on the menu. Same is the case with this book. This is a digital book; itll stay on your computer and you can always come back to it again and again to pick a new extension or a trick to try on Chrome. Now lets move on to the next batch of awesome add-ons, shall we?

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

My Favorite Chrome Extensions


ime to talk about the Chrome extensions that help in my work each day, including some Ive already discussed in this book:

14.1. Xmarks Bookmark Sync

As Ive mentioned, Xmarks is a very useful extension if you have a lot of bookmarks and want to make sure you dont ever lose them. Xmarks also works across browsers and has a mobile version. That means youll have access to your bookmarks on all the browsers and all the devices you use. Youll need to create an account with them first to enable the online storage and sync. Also, as I mentioned in 7.1. Things to keep in mind regarding Chrome Sync on page 49, do remember to uncheck the bookmark sync option in Chrome Sync before enabling this extension.

14.2. Google Quick Scroll

Dont you hate it when youre searching for something very specific and the page you clicked through to via Google search results has so much content that you cant locate the exact phrase or information youre searching for? I do, and thats why I use Google Quick Scroll. It helps you instantly find what youre searching for on the page youve reached. Once the page loads completely, Google Quick Scroll appears as a small black box containing your search text at the bottom-right of your screen. Clicking on it takes you to the page location with that exact text. Quick and easy!

14.3. Pocket
Pocket is a read-it-later service that lets you save web pages for reading later in a clean, clutter-free interface. I use it to save long articles that I intend to come back

to at night or on weekends. The cool thing about their service: They offer apps and software for almost every popular platform, be it desktop or mobile. And it not only saves text, but images and videos, too.

14.4. LastPass
I use LastPass for my passwords. If you ask me, its the best password manager out there. It can generate and store login details and other sensitive information like your credit card numbers. It can then be used to auto-fill web pages. With so many online profiles and accounts we sign up for these days, who has time to think of passwords and then store or remember them manually?

14.5. Google Dictionary

I use Google Dictionary a lot. Just a double-click on any word on a web page and its meaning pops up on top of it. The best part: It also has a speaker button, which when clicked pronounces the word for you. Definitely the quickest way to find the meaning of a word, and confirm its pronunciation, too.

14.6. Send from Gmail

Another Chrome extension by Google, this one does what its name says: send from Gmail. Its very useful when you want to immediately email a website link to someone. Clicking on the Gmail icon on your extensions bar opens a compose window with the link already in it. All you need to do is enter the email address of the recipient in the To: section and hit Send.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

14.7. Evernote Web Clipper
Evernote Web Clipper lets me clip any part of a web page (or the entire page) and put it directly in my Evernote account. I use Evernote as my primary note-taking tool, and this extension comes with the added advantage of saving me from the manual work of extracting content from the web and transferring it to the Evernote desktop software.

14.8. FB Unseen
Chances are youve used Facebook Chat at some point. Maybe you use it every day, possibly way more than you should. Well, Im not here to judge you for your Facebook Chat habits. On the contrary, Im here to help you make that experience incredibly better. And FB Unseen is going to make that happen. This extension blocks the Seen at notification, which means someone whos just pinged you wont know if youve seen his chat. Works best when you want to avoid the chat or maybe delay a reply.

THE CATCH: Messages stay unread even after youve ended the chat. But you
can always archive them so they dont show up in your main message interface.

14.9. Clearly by Evernote

Clearly is meant to be used when youve come across a nice long article you want to read in a clear, distraction-free interface. Clicking the Clearly icon once will make that happen. All youll then see is the content (you can increase or decrease the font size), which you may annotate and clip to Evernote (if you have an Evernote account) directly from that interface. Easy peasy.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

The Best Chrome Extension for Blocking Time Wasters


riting this book involved switching between Chrome and Microsoft Word frequently because I had to test each of the extensions and settings I mentioned and take the screenshots.

On more than one occasion I initially found myself doing something on Chrome related to this book and, before I knew it, I was on YouTube or Facebook watching a video or participating in a conversation that had nothing to do with this book. Perhaps the above situation sounds familiar to you. Were all guilty of logging onto Facebook just to check if someone liked that picture we shared or comment we made when were supposed to be doing something else, something more productive. Hence the question: Whats the best way to prevent you from falling into these time-wasting traps again and again? (If youre screaming self control congrats, youre one in a million if you can pull that off every day.) The answer is stay focuseder, I mean the extension called StayFocusd.

StayFocusd is an amazing extension that does exactly what its supposed to do. If youve been looking for a way to efficiently block sites you always get sucked into, this is the add-on you need to install. The StayFocusd Options screen, which can be accessed from the Chrome Extensions page, is self-explanatory. You can choose the days on which itll make you more productive (disable it on the weekends, maybe), pick the active hours and daily reset time, and even override all the previous settings and set up an instant block using the Nuclear Option. You could set up a challenge, too, which will make it very difficult for you to change its settings. All the settings and your customizations can be exported and imported, and the best part is that they all sync via Chrome Sync, so you will always find them on your other devices running Chrome. I actually had four extensions lined up for this section, but when I tried out StayFocusd and compared its features with the others I found it included everything the others had to offer, and then some more. So I decided to stick with just one extension and elaborate on it. Hopefully StayFocusd will save you some precious minutes each day.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

Miscellaneous Chrome Tips to Skyrocket Your Productivity

16.1. Instantly access various Chrome settings with these Chrome:// URLs
If you hardly touch the mouse or touchpad while browsing the web, then youre going to like this. Chrome offers a very quick and easy way to access many of its important option pages. Not many Chrome users know about these shortcuts, so this will also help in boosting your smartness quotient while showcasing your Chrome skills to friends or family. Lets check them out.

16.1.1. chrome://settings
Typing chrome://settings in the address bar instantly opens the Chrome Settings page. Weve already seen so many useful changes and customizations that can be implemented through this page. Hence reaching it as quickly as possible will help in enhancing your productivity.

Tip: Utilize the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+L (Command + L for Mac) to instantly jump to the address bar.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

16.1.2. chrome://downloads
Easily access Chromes Downloads page by typing chrome://downloads in the address bar.

16.1.3. chrome://extensions
Want to avoid the mouse-click routine to reach the Extensions page each time? Just type chrome://extensions in the address bar, and voila, youre there!

16.1.4. chrome://plugins
This one helps you get to the Plugins page where you can enable Click to play for certain plugins as I talked about in the section about methods to speed up Chrome (page 17). Tip: You might want to further shorten these URLs. Its easy. If you remember the steps in the section about creating special keywords to visit sites quickly, you can apply the same to all these URLs. See the image below. Ive set up the keyword cs for the settings page. All I need to do is type cs in the address bar, hit Enter and there I am on that page!


16.1.5. chrome://history
Figured it out, right? Yes, the browser history page. Use the above URL to quickly access it.

16.1.6. chrome://chrome-urls
The above five shortcuts are the most useful ones among all such URLs that Chrome provides. But if youre interested in trying out the others, just visit chrome://chromeurls to see a list of them all.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

16.2. Make Chrome warn you before closing multiple tabs, mute all tabs and more

The image above shows a feature that Chrome users have been demanding for a long time. For reasons unknown to me, Chrome still lacks it. That means if you mistakenly click on the red X on the top right of Chrome, it instantly closes, taking down all open tabs with it. Unlike other browsers, it does not give you a warning like the one you see above. Not to worry. You can get this and more such features through an amazing extension called Chrome Toolbox. And heres the funny part: This extension has been created by Google. I wonder what stops them from including it by default in Chrome. I have to say, though, that Google has done a fabulous job with this extension. Its packed with features, many of them quite useful for regular Chrome users. After you install it, it sits on your extensions bar and shows certain options when clicked.


As the above image shows, theres Mute all tabs, Refresh all tabs and an Options link that leads you to a page where you can set many more preferences.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide


Many of the options, like the Confirm before closing multiple tabs one, are checked by default. You may toggle them on or off according to your preferences. The Chrome Toolbox extension offers a huge number of customizations and might seem overwhelming at first. If you decide to stick with it, I suggest you spend some time exploring its Details page on the Chrome Web Store as well as all the tabs on its Options page. You may or may not need all of them, but go through them carefully first to understand what they do and how they might help you in your daily work.

16.3. Search Chromes history by date range
Chromes history page is great, except that you cannot directly jump to the history for a specific date range. Youll need to keep clicking on the Older link at the bottom to go back to previous dates. If you want to search the history by date range, use the extension Enhanced History.

Enhanced History takes over the default history page and lists everything in a table that also shows your number of visits to each page and the last visit date. It lets you search for and delete history by date range as well. You may also search using keywords, an option available in the default history page, too.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

16.4. Using Google Cloud Print and printing directly from Gmail
Google Cloud Print is one of those Google services that are quite useful, yet many people either dont know about it or have heard the name but dont understand how it might be helpful to them. Google Cloud Print connects your printer to your Google account and to Googles servers. That means you can send print jobs over the internet through most Google services such as Gmail, Google Docs and Chrome and print through any cloud-print-connected printer. You may use this service to send a print job from your smartphone to the printer at your home. You could also use it to print photos and documents through the printer at your elderly and technically-challenged parents house and spare them the hassle of, for example, trying to print their granddaughters picture that you just sent them. To set up Google Cloud Print, go to Chrome Settings, scroll down and click on Show advanced settings, and there under Google Cloud Print click on Add printers.

After that, just follow the on-screen instructions and you should be all set.

Heres the complete FAQ on Google Cloud Print: cloudprint Heres the list of apps that currently work with Google Cloud Print: com/cloudprint/learn/apps.html If you want to directly print a Gmail attachment on your computer through Google Cloud Print (you can do this on your mobile but not via desktop yet), you may use the extension called Print Using Google Cloud Print which brings that functionality to Gmail and Google Docs on Chrome.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

16.5. Easily create PDFs of web pages
Various online tools can help you create PDFs of web pages, but you dont need them if youre on Chrome. Chrome has a built-in way to do that. The option isnt directly available in its Settings, though. Heres how you do it: 1. On the web page that you want to transform into a PDF file, give the print command by pressing Ctrl+P (Command+P for Mac), or by clicking on the Print option in the Chrome menu. Then click on the Change button under Destination in the print dialog.

2. Youll find the Save as PDF option here as shown below. Click on it and youre good to go.

Tip: You may also select specific pages after looking at the preview shown on the right. An option to deselect Headers and Footers is available, too, for a cleaner output.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

16.6. Make Chrome show the Home Button beside the Address Bar
If youre a fan of the Home Button that was once a mandatory part of older designs of almost all browsers we use today (with the exception of Chrome), youll be happy to know there is a simple way to make Chrome display a Home Button. Simply go to Chrome Settings and select the Show Home Button option there.

As shown in the screenshot above, you can set your homepage to be the new tab page or a specific website by clicking on the Change button. Chrome users who like to click on a Home Button to get to their favorite website should find this trick helpful.

16.7. Detach or attach tabs
Did you know that if you have multiple Chrome windows open, you can easily move a tab from one window to another? All you need to do is click on the tab and drag it to the desired position in the other Chrome window. This also works if you need to detach a tab into a separate window of its own. Just click and drag the tab out of its position to see the tab spring up as another window.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

16.8. Disable Chromes built-in PDF reader
One of the biggest reasons Ive found for using Chrome has always been its impeccable built-in PDF reader. I tend to get a lot of PDF attachments via email and I also keep coming across PDFs online, so the ability to take a quick peek rather than download each one is definitely a big productivity boost for me. But ones convenience might be anothers annoyance, and you may want/need to download PDFs. If you do not appreciate Chromes willingness to show you PDFs directly in the browser, you can disable this feature in a few clicks. Go to the plugins page by typing chrome://plugins in the address bar. Find the section that says Chrome PDF Viewer, click on it to expand it and then click on the Disable link.

You should also check for anything else that says PDF, maybe an external plugin that has been installed by your desktop PDF tool, and disable that, too. Thats how easy it is to disable this built-in feature. Nice choice to have, I say.

16.9. Enable Smooth Scrolling on web pages
Scrolling on Chrome is okay unless youre reading a really long web page that requires you to scroll down frequently. Thats when the scrolling-in-steps can get to you. I use the touchpad on my laptop so its not very noticeable to me, but people who use the good old mouse know what Im talking about. Luckily, Chrome has an option to enable smooth scrolling. Its not enabled by default because its part of Chromes experimental features that can be accessed by going to chrome://flags. Just find Smooth Scrolling and enable it.

Chrome Smooth Scrolling is not available for Mac at the moment but Windows and Linux users can try it out and see if their scrolling becomes smoother. Keep in mind that this is an experimental feature, so dont be surprised if it doesnt work as expected. No harm in giving it a shot, though.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

16.10. The best timer app for Chrome
Like many other people, I struggle with procrastination now and then. One of the best solutions Ive found to this problem is to use a timer. And since 80% of what I do on my computer involves Chrome, having a timer on Chrome makes sense for me. Over the past few months I tried a huge number of them, and finally settled for this incredible timer app called Timer Tab. I think this is the best timer app available, hands down.

As you see, the tool includes a countdown, alarm and a stopwatch (which could act as a count-up timer when you need to figure out the number of productive hours youre clocking every day).

What I like most about this tool is the way its interface has been designed. Its simple, beautiful and just works. Click on any of the three sections and set the time. The timer shows up on the tab, too, so if you want to take a quick peek into the number of minutes that have passed since you started the timer, all you need to do is take a look at its tab header. Clicking on the time can expand it to cover the whole page as shown in the image below.

The Timer Tab Settings section includes a YouTube alarm and an option to insert a background image in case you find the default background dull.

THE CATCH: The pop-up notification is checked by default, but honestly I

dont see why one would not want to leave it like that.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide


The clock runs offline so you need not worry about it stopping if your internet connection ditches you midway. You may just go to the Timer Tab website and bookmark it, or add it as a Chrome app from here. All in all, Timer Tab is a well-executed web-based timer tool available at the right price: $0.

16.11. Shortcuts to toggle between tabs in full-screen mode
Some people like using the full-screen mode while working on Chrome. It helps to set aside all the other distractions and focus on the one open tab. Its also a great way to utilize maximum available screen real estate on smaller displays. Since the mouse wont be of much help if you want to retain full-screen mode while switching between tabs, it helps to know the following keyboard shortcuts: 1. Ctrl+Tab (Windows and Mac) for switching to the next tab. 2. Ctrl+Shift+Tab (Windows and Mac) for switching to the previous tab. 3. Ctrl+1 through Ctrl+8 (Windows) and Command+1 through Command+8 (Mac) for switching to the corresponding tabs in the tab strip. 4. Ctrl+9 (Windows) and Command+9 (Mac) for switching to the last tab. 5. Ctrl+W (Windows) and Command+W (Mac) for closing the current tab or pop-up. Of course, the basic shortcuts to get into or exit from full-screen mode remain the same: F11 for Windows and Command+Shift+F on Mac.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

16.12. Easily change Chrome window thumbnail positions in Windows 7 or 8 with the full-screen trick

If you generally use multiple Chrome windows instead of tabs, you probably also utilize the Windows taskbars thumbnail feature to quickly switch to a particular window. If not, simply hover over the Chrome icon on the taskbar and itll show big thumbnails of all open Chrome windows. Click on one and youre there. Simple. But what if you need to change the thumbnails positions? Maybe youre working on two specific windows and theyre far apart, and you cant afford to close the windows in between. The perfect way would be to get those two windows adjacent to each other, right? Turns out its pretty easy to change the order of those thumbnails using the fullscreen mode. Just enter and then exit full screen on a window and itll move to the last position. The windows you dont need (but dont want to close) can be pushed away using this trick. Of course keyboard junkies wont need this one but those who love the mouse more should find this relatively unknown trick quite useful.

16.13. Get into speed-reading mode with Auto Scroll
If your ability to speed read content is hindered by the fact that you have to scroll manually, consider using this awesome extension called TelePrompter. It can scroll a page down (or up) automatically and lets you control the scroll speed through a visible yet nonintrusive slider, the range of which can be easily adjusted.

As shown in the image above, the extensions Options panel has the auto-scroll checkbox as well as ways to customize scroll speed and speed range.

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If you consider yourself a slow reader and want to get into the habit of reading a bit more quickly, TelePrompter should help you get started. If youve already had some speed-reading practice and want to improve upon it, you would probably be better off with a speed-reading extension like Spreed. Despite their similar names they do differ in terms of certain functionalities.

16.14. The best download extension for Chrome
If youre a download buff, you probably sat straight up as soon as the phrase best download extension flashed before your eyes. My pick for this section is a tool that integrates with external download managers so youll need to have software like FlashGet or any other such download manager installed. There are a huge number of download managers supported by this one, so no need to worry. You may even set up a custom one in its Options. The add-on Im talking about is aptly called Downloaders.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

All you need to do is select your download manager in the extension options, click on Save at the bottom and then, on a download link, do a left click while keeping Ctrl+Alt pressed. The download should begin in your favorite tool.

There are also certain right-click context menu settings you can enable or disable in accordance with your preferences. Overall, if you rely heavily on download managers for downloading content, youll surely appreciate the convenience of this extension.

16.15. Set the correct zoom level according to screen resolution
I usually dont bother with zoom controls unless Im working on a high-resolution screen with a higher DPI (dots per inch) than what Chrome assumes by default. On such screens the text on web pages could look weird and almost illegible. If you understand the issue and tend to come across it more often than youd like, try OptiZoom to set a consistent zoom behavior for text on Chrome in accordance with the screens DPI. All you need to do is install the extension. After that it takes care of everything automatically. However, it does offer you the choice of manually entering certain details and calculating the DPI for more accurate results. These settings can be found through the extensions options.

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

16.16. Facebook keyboard shortcuts for Chrome
Last, but by no means the least, are these keyboard shortcuts for using Facebook in Chrome. Yes, you read it right, for Facebook. Love it or hate it, the truth is you cant resist it. Why not use it efficiently then? Here are some useful keyboard shortcuts for navigating through Facebook in Chrome. All of these are for Windows; Mac users may replace Alt with Control+Option in each. Also, remember to use the numbers from the number row and not the number pad. Alt+?: Search Alt+m: Compose a new message Alt+1: Home page Alt+2: Your profile page Alt+3: Friend requests Alt+4: Your messages Alt+5: Notifications Alt+6: Account settings Alt+7: Privacy Alt+8: Facebooks Facebook page Alt+9: Facebook Terms/Agreement Alt+0: Facebook help center Press L to quickly to like a photo. Press L again to unlike it. There you go, some quick ways to access important Facebook pages. Who knew one could use Facebook productively!

Help and Support
Here are some links thatll help you when you encounter a problem with Chrome: Known issues page Chrome support forum Chrome help page The Super User forum Also, all the extensions have their developers contact details listed on their respective pages. If you come across an issue with an extension, email the developer. Send your feedback and suggestions about this book to

The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide

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