Favorite Google Chrome Extensions by David Whelan I was reading the Web4lib discussion list and saw a request for favorite Google Chrome extensions, qualified by the suggestion that perhaps it was too early for anyone to have favorites! Not too early for me, as I have shifted completely to Google Chrome in both Windows and Ubuntu Linux environments, eliminating my use of Mozilla Firefox and using Microsoft Internet Explorer (8) only when I have to. The extensions that have emerged since Google 4 came out are making it a powerful research tool.
All of my extensions fall into pretty narrow categories, making my browsing faster, enhancing the content on the page, or enabling me to store it. They include:
- Adblock by gundlach does exactly what it describes, killing ads across most Web sites. You need to download an additional file to have a button appear next to the Omnibox;
- Flashblock by josorek locks down some content Adblock misses, as well as legitimate site content like autoplaying news multimedia. Flashblock displays an icon so you can select to run any given Flash file. I like this particular Flash blocker because of how it is implemented in the Omnibox;
- Augment Search by doug bromley adds two features to your search. First, it highlights your keywords so that you can easily move through your retrieved search results. Second, it adds links after each retrieved search result so that you can quickly see the result in the Wayback Machine, or find out more about the site at Alexa, etc.;
- Chrome Outliner by genki.gthp.net is a button on your toolbar that you can click to see an outline, like a table of contents, for any page you visit. This can be useful on sites that have poor navigation. It is limited only by the quality of coding on the page, so if the site uses no headings and subheadings, Outliner has nothing from which to create the outline.
- Chromicious by yanisecky is a Delicious.com tool, that synchronizes your bookmarks for offline access and enables quick bookmark creation. I like the pop up window with my bookmarks and a tag cloud. There are apparently problems if you try to login to Delicious with a Yahoo! password (Delicious.com is a Yahoo! property);
- Frame Two Pages by lubos.motl is a simple looking extension, that enables you to take two of your tabs and display them side by side;
- IE Tab by Blackfish Software is a Windows-only extension, that creates a Microsoft Internet Explorer powered tab within Chrome. You can run sites designed for IE without having to open up a full – and slow – Web browser! I have found that it is very reliable in handling IE designed sites, but some sites can still tell I am using Chrome and will not display anything;
- Web of Trust supplements your search results by highlighting potentially questionable sites, using a community-driven rating system. A small circle overlays text and graphic search results to give you a visual clue about the site, and there are parental controls to help limit sites that children visit.
I have a few more that help to tweak search results but I continue to add and drop extensions to find the right ones to keep as a core extension set.