Friday, 30 May 2014

Chrome Tips & Tricks

Drag Multiple Tabs at Once

Most people are familiar with the ability to drag and drop Chrome tabs into their own browser windows, or mix and match them between browser windows, but they may not know that it can be done with more than one tab at a time. Just hold down the Shift key and click on all the tabs you wish to move and you can move them as one. If you're on a Mac, hold the Command key.                          

Your Omnibox Is a Calculator

As you may or may not know, Google will calculate basic math in the search bar. However, did you know that you can access a similar math function in your omnibox without ever going to Just type in a basic math problem and the correct answer will appear in the suggestions below the omnibox without pressing enter (as you have to do on

This handy little trick appears only to work if your default omnibox search is Google—you won't get an answer if your default is, say Yahoo or Bing. It also doesn't appear to work if you are typing into an incognito window, no matter what your default browser. 

Your Omnibox Is a Unit Converter

Your omnibox can also perform Google-like unit conversions without going to Google. As with the calculator, the correct answer will appear in the suggestions below without ever hitting enter. As you type, Chrome will automatically convert your number into a unit that you may or may not want. So, if you type "9 inches," Chrome may automatically suggest conversion rate to centimeters. If you want a different conversion, just type an equals sign with the conversion you do want (e.g. "9 inches = km" or "9 inches = mm" or "9 inches squared = m squared").

Once again, this particular function only appears to work if Google is your default omnibox search engine and it won't work in incognito mode.

Zoom In and Zoom Out

On a PC, you can zoom in or out on a page by pressing Control while turn your scroll wheel up or down (or by pressing Control-Plus or Control-Minus). Once you zoom in or out from the default, a magnifying glass icon will appear in the right side of the omnibox. You can click the magnifying glass to manually zoom in or out or hit "Reset to default" to return to the normal 100 percent view. Conversely, you can also click Control-0 to return to the default.

On a Mac, you can zoom in and out by pressing Command-plus or Command-minus. Pressing Command-0 function will still bring you back to default.                

Drag to Search

Highlighting a word and performing a drag and drop is fundamentally the same as performing a cut and paste, so it stands to reason that you could just highlight a word or phrase and drag it into the omnibox to perform a Web search. Conversely, you can also just right click on highlighted word or phrase and you will prompt a pop-up option to conduct a Google search (on a Mac, Control-click on a highlighted word).                         

Drag a URL to the Bookmarks Bar

If you come across a website you will want continual and easy access to, you can quickly add it to your Bookmarks Bar by highlighting the URL and dragging directly down to the Bar. Boom. You can edit it later if you want to change the name. You can drag a URL in from sources other than Chrome as well.                        

Navigate Up and Down Using Key Commands

You can use the spacebar to scroll down on any webpage, and you can scroll back up by pressing Shift and the spacebar.                        

Open Accidentally Closed Tabs

Have you ever mistakenly closed a tab? We all have. BUT thankfully Chrome is a forgiving browser and makes it possible to get it all back. All you have to do is press Control-Shift-T (Command-Shift-T on a Mac) and Chrome will reopen any recently closed tabs. You can keep hitting it for more closed tabs working your way back through your browsing history.             

Easy Key Command to Delete Browsing History

If you ever want to delete your browsing history, including past URLs, cached images, passwords, and cookies, you can do that all through the clear browsing window in Settings. You can access it quickly by simply pressing Control-Shift-Delete and a "Clear browsing data" window will open. (Press shift-Command-Delete to access this function on a Mac).       

A Lot of Information Hidden in That Omnibox

If you didn't know, clicking the little star in the far right side of the omnibox will prompt a bookmark list, which allows you to easily add a site to your list of favorites (I honestly didn't know this until embarrassingly recently).

You may have also noticed on the far left of your omnibar a little icon that resembles a folded piece of paper or lock (to signify a secured site). If you click on it, it will prompt a window with all sorts of information about the site as well as permissions particular to that site, which you can then manipulate.

Drag Links Directly to Your Desktop

There's numerous ways to store and organize links to like to click on later. However, one method you may not be utilizing—or even aware of—is the ability to create a link icon directly on your desktop. All you have to do is highlight a URL from the omnibox and drag and drop it on the desktop. Chrome automatically creates a clickable icon that you can use later, or organize as you would like.               

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