Sunday, February 05, 2012

Top Google Chrome Extensions

Being an internet buff myself (let's just say my Google Chrome browser is always up for at least 8 hours daily), I've always valued the art of automation and keeping everything at my fingertips (and mouse cursor) - shortcut keys, form auto-fillers, bookmarks, etc. It could be a case of OCD. *lul* Or maybe I just can't deny this need to have things well-organized thus avoiding waste of time, unnecessary effort and headaches. Trust me, looking for one life-changing-and-needed-at-the-moment needle in a haystack is an absolute nightmare and an impending frustration. Been there. Done that.

With this post, I'll be sharing my top 5 most used and IMHO the best Google Chrome extensions that will definitely increase your working efficiency, simplify certain tasks and eventually save you time.


1.) URL Shortener

As its moniker states, the URL Shortener shortens the current window/tab's webpage URL via the Google URL Shortener service allowing you to share it with many different services. This extensions packs a lot of other features but I, for most of the time, use this to *drumroll* shorten URLs of insane length most specially when sharing them via IM, SMS and other character-limited messaging services. Grab it here.
This Youtube video has quite a lengthy URL. URL Shortener should do the trick!

You can also right-click on any links on a page and select "Shorten this link..." on the pop-up menu.

2.) imgur

I just started using this ingenious extension recently. With the imgur extension, you can capture the whole browser page or window, a specific image, or an area on the page - dimensions which you'll be able to determine or select as you desire. The resulting image is then automatically uploaded/hosted or rehosted on the official imgur image hosting service, with the image URL directly copied on your clipboard, ready for pasting on anywhere you wish to put it on. Go here to download it from the Chrome app store.

Right-click on an image and select "rehost image" on the pop-up menu.

On an empty area on the page, do a right-click and select "imgur" on the pop-up menu to view and select from the capture options.

Notice the upload progress on the imgur icon.

After a successful upload, a new tab/window opens up containing the newly hosted image with the URL automatically copied to clipboard. Awwwwyeaaah!

3.) X-notifier

I'd say this one is a must-have. No, it’s probably the best Google Chrome extension yet. X-notifier is a mail notification extension that supports a number of online mail services like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, and so on. It supports multiple Google Accounts, allows account switching, auto login, and refreshes on regular intervals - options that you'll have total control over by accessing the Chrome extensions settings. With X-notifier, you'll save time on checking mails. It'll do the work for you. Download the extension here.

Here's how it looks like when you click on the X-notifier icon.

X-notifier Settings

X-notifier's auto-login feature is definitely a time-saver.

4.) 1Password

1Password is a password manager software that stores all your login information on various online accounts (plus some other services) for easy access on the next time you'll be using them. It locally runs on your PC. The 1Password Chrome extension works hand-in-hand with an installed 1Password application. For more details about this great extension and its parallel software, check out this page.

5.) Google Dictionary

As its name implies, it's a dictionary. With the Google Dictionary extension, you can easily look up the meaning of terms on the current page you are viewing just by double-clicking or highlighting any word or phrase, or see more details about the term using the dictionary toolbar accessible by clicking on the extension icon. Click here to download it.

Double-click or highlight a term to select it and press the assigned trigger key (Shift, Ctrl, etc. depending on your preference on the extension options) to bring up the definition bubble.

You can also click on the Google Dictionary icon to query on more detailed definitions of a term.

In the Google Dictionary Extension Options, you can assign a trigger or toggle key according to your liking.

There you have it – the 5 top Chrome extensions! I've also been using other extensions (mostly work-related ones), but these are the ones that gives me the best possible browsing experience.

Good friend, what Google Chrome extensions do you use?

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