If you hear “Chrome extensions” and you don’t think about hair modifications, then you know what we’re talking about. With power users — people like ourselves who know how to use computers more than the average person — flocking to Google Chrome (soon to be the world’s most popular Internet browser), people have been looking for ways to tweak their online experience beyond just a new background. And thus, extensions were born (find them in the Window menu). Whether you already have 200 or you’ve just found out they existed, we reviewed the best ones for Brunonians below — pick and choose your faves, then check out the Web Store for some more.
FB Photo Zoom / Hover Zoom
Ever wish you didn’t have to click on a picture in your News Feed to see what it was? (Yes, this is the power of being a lazy college student). With FB Photo Zoom, you can rectify that and more. By passing your mouse over any picture on Facebook (be it a tiny profile thumbnail or a photo in a link), the image appears over the page next to your mouse in its original size. Hover Zoom adds the same functionality to other sites, including Twitter, Reddit and eBay.
You multitask to the fullest. You hate closing tabs until you know you won’t need them again. Your computer has just gotten too slow. If any of these situations resonate, then TooManyTabs is for you. It creates a single “parking lot” tab where you can store other tabs you don’t need just yet – then you can search and retrieve them whenever needed.
AdBlock is the top Chrome extension for a good reason: It removes nearly every single ad from all websites, including Facebook, YouTube and Google searches. It won’t prevent you from being tracked by those websites, but then again, why would you need algebra help from George W. Bush?
Minimalist for Everthing
Minimalist enables you to customize the look and feel of Gmail and Google Calendar by, for example, removing the useless black bar at the top and the text ads above your inbox. By pairing it with a cool theme and cool tools, you can easily have an inbox of which all your friends will be jealous.
Highlight to Search
How many times have we highlighted text on a page, only to copy-paste it into Google to search it? The unoriginal Highlight to Search cuts out the middleman, giving you a small “Search” button next to any text you highlight. It takes some getting used to, but it saves valuable time.
URL Shortener / Bit.ly shortener
We know what you’re thinking: Why would I need a URL shortener when Twitter does it for me and Facebook makes it look okay? Well, bit.ly links are an easy and professional way to put links in emails, and they won’t give away the secret when you decide to rick-roll your friends.
Memorize! is a great way to learn flash cards fast: Simply enter a list of questions and answers in the extension. Then, every two minutes or so, a pop-up on Chrome will ask you a question from the list — if you answer it correctly, it gets taken out of the pile. This goes on until you learn all the questions. Kaboom, memorized!
Next week: Some reasons why .docx is the bane of our existence.