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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


My favorite Chrome Extensions

As a Web developer at heart, I have a fascination for browsers.  I have the 5 popular browsers - IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera & Chrome, installed on both my home & work PCs mostly to look out for cross-browser issues. I like exploring browser features in all of them. Years ago, I was overjoyed when I discovered the "View Selection Source" option in the Firefox context menu. This is a unique built-in feature that let's you view rendered source of a desired portion of a web page. It's a great help while troubleshooting web page issues.

As of 5 February 2010, Chrome which has been in circulation for over a year has become the third most widely used browser. Browser Extensions are a great way to add more features and functionality to the browser. Extensions work specifically on browsers that support it. Firefox probably has the most available among browsers. Starting with version 4, Google Chrome (for Windows) supports Extensions. The extension gallery beta was officially launched on 8 December 2009 and contained over 300 extensions.

I'm evaluating several Chrome Extensions & these are the ones I like so far -
  • Google DictionaryWordWeb is my favorite desktop tool to look up difficult words. The Dictionary Extension brings up meanings & definitions of words that you double-click upon in a balloon in the same web page. Although the descriptions are not as comprehensive as in WordWeb, it makes for a seamless & unintrusive experience.
  • Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer Extension - I dislike hyperlinks that don't notify they are not conventional web pages & proceed to open up external programs - like a PDF link opening up the klutzy Adobe Reader, which in turn starts looking for it's own updates (depending on how Adobe Reader is configured). When you are engrossed in a topic, it kind of disturbs the flow. The Google Docs Viewer Extension lets you read PDFs (or Powerpoint presentations and other documents) within the browser without depending on any PDF reader (or supporting app) to be installed on the system. It has a friendly UI that also lets you quickly find keywords within the PDF. What's more, if you only read PDFs off the Web, you wouldn't have to install any PDF Reader app. 
Also see:
My favorite keyboard shortcuts in Firefox 3 and IE
Chrome team's favorite extensions

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