I’ve forsaken Firefox, my longtime favorite browser, for Chrome. Firefox became too frustratingly bloated and slow, even after removing most of the browser extensions.
Meanwhile, Chrome continues to be snappy, even with a few extensions installed. I still use Firefox occasionally, like when I need to subscribe to an RSS feed, many of which, Chrome inexplicably, messes up. Safari remains an infrequent third option, with IE out of the picture since I use a Mac.
Along the way I’ve discovered a few tips that make Chrome an even snappier browsing experience. Here are seven Google Chrome tips:
1. Pin a tab
Some say that you should never have more than nine browser tabs open. It’s a noble goal, but we often exceed it. Not to worry. Pin the tabs so they take up less space by showing only the tab icon. Right-click on the tab and choose Pin Tab. [UPDATE: Ben Schorr on Twitter noted that: Every additional Chrome tab takes 3MB+ of RAM]
2. Rearrange Tabs or detach a tab into a new window
Opened a few tabs during the day and now ready to work on that project? Drag and drop related tabs so they line up making it easier to identify and navigate.
Or, if you prefer, drag a single tab outside the browser and it will open a new browser window where you can add tabs and start a new project. If you change your mind and want to close out the second window, drag the tab back into the first window.
3. Chrome Browser commands
Looking for Chrome settings or a list of installed extensions? Simply type chrome://settings or chrome://extentions in the address bar. Other commands include:
4. Set pages to open on startup
Do you read the New York Times, check Twitter and Facebook and scan your Gmail business account first thing in the morning? You can set those four pages to automatically open when you power up Chrome. Go to Settings, choose “Open a specific page or set of pages,” and click on “set pages.”
5. Perform calculations in Omnibox
The address bar in Chrome is also called the Omnibox since you can search as well as enter URLs. You can also perform calculations there. Want to convert miles to kilometers? Start typing 50 miles in the Omnibox and the conversion will automagically show up.
6. Go Incognito
If your computer is shared, Chrome’s Incognito mode comes in handy. It doesn’t record the pages you visit or the files you download. Use Command + Shift + N to quickly open incognito search.
This is also useful if you have more than one Twitter handle or multiple gmail/yahoo accounts and want to log into them without opening another browser like Firefox.
7. Keyboard shortcuts
Fingers flying across the keyboard and don’t want to reach for the mouse? Keyboard shortcuts save time by keeping your fingers on the keyboard. Here are a few shortcuts for frequently used tasks:
Command + N – Open a new window
Command + T – Open a new tab
Control + Tab – Switch between tabs
Command + Shift + T – Reopen the last tab you closed
Command + click on link – Open link in a new tab
Have a great tip to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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