Google Chrome is one of the fastest and easiest to use browsers developed till date. With a pile of useful Chrome extensions developed every day, nothing beats Google Chrome when it comes to customizing the browser and using it the way you want.
We have earlier discussed some Chrome extensions which help you spice up your browsing experience. Today we are going to see how to customize the new tab page of Google Chrome and add features that make it more useful.
The Default New Tab Page of Google Chrome
The default new tab page of Google Chrome lists the thumbnails of sites that you frequently visit. You can choose the Grid or Thumbnail view or choose a minimalistic list view to show the links of your favorite websites in the new tab page of Chrome.
Here is how the default new tab page looks:
This is cool, you can access the frequently visited websites with a click. There is also another bar in the page footer, which shows a list of recently closed tabs.
That’s it and nothing more. What if you want to customize the look and feel of the new tab page ? What if you want to add some sites or may be bookmarks as thumbnails in the new tab page ?
No, I don't want to right-click and reopen five tabs just to get back to the one Web page that I want reopened. I want choice! Give me a drop down menu that lets me choose from a selection of recently closed tabs -- like Opera does!
Fortunately, there's a new addition to the Google Chrome Extensions Gallery that bolts on this missing feature. Install Trash Can, and you'll get a handy icon in the browser actions area. As you close tabs in Google Chrome, they'll appear in Trash Can's menu; select only the tab you want, click it, and restore! That's much better.
As the developer states, it's pretty minimalistic right now. Future versions will add support for session saving, multiple Google Chrome windows, and the option to limit how many tabs you want remembered. While Incognito support is also mentioned, I found that Trash Can worked just fine in Chrome's private browsing mode.
ed note: The Recently Closed Tabs extension also offers this kind of functionality (with a few additions like favicons and tumbnails), but it uses about 5x as much memory as Trash Can.
Xmarks is an excellent tool for maintaining the same set of bookmarks in all your web browsers -- on all your computers. It works with Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Google Chrome and in addition to your bookmarks they've recently been busily adding tab sync support.
Today they've announced on the official Xmarks blog that your open tabs are now available anywhere. That includes places where you can't use an Xmarks add-on or extension, like your iPhone or Android handset. Just head to my.xmarks.com and you'll see a new addition to the mobile interface: open tabs.
You can access your tabs from any desktop browser as well. Just open the same page, click the tools button, and choose open tabs from the menu.
[via Xmarks blog]
[via Google Chrome Blog]
When reading the last tip about restoring closed tabs, you might have wondered if you can just get the browser to always start up where you left off. This would save you the trouble of re-opening your windows and tabs manually.
It turns out you can do this easily. Open the Tools menu and select "Options" (or, if you're using a Mac, open "Preferences") and go to the "Basics" tab. The first section on the first page of options is called "On startup:", and in there you'll see an option to "Reopen the pages that were open last". Once you select this, Google Chrome will start up showing the same pages that were open when you shut down.
There is one caveat here. Normally, only the most recent window you were using is restored when you restart. If you have more than one window you want to restore, make sure you use the "Exit" choice in the Tools menu (on Mac: "Chrome" > "Quit Google Chrome") to shut down all your windows at once, instead of closing them one at a time. (Of course, as covered in the last tip, you can always restore the other window(s) manually if you forget to exit!)
Chrome: If you want to restore browsing sessions anytime—and not just after a browser crash—Session Buddy for Chrome easily creates custom sessions and restores them whenever you wish.
After installing Session Buddy, clicking on the Session Buddy link in the Chrome toolbar brings up all your current Chrome windows and open tabs. From there you can save entire sessions or selectively edit out tabs from the list before saving. Saved sessions appear to the left of the current session list and remain until manually deleted.
You can use Session Buddy for something as simple as automatically saving your current session on browser close—available in the options menu—or for making custom session lists for various tasks like reading your favorite sites every morning or opening all the sites you use for bill paying.
Session Buddy is free and works wherever Chrome does. Have a favorite Chrome extension to share? Let's hear about it in the comments.
Once installed, you can save and restore tabs and windows from previous browsing sessions. You can also remove specific tabs or windows prior to restoring -- just in case there are pages you don't need to reopen. By default, Session Buddy restores windows exactly the way you had them, but you can also choose to open everything in a single new window or in the currently active window.
You can also create new sessions by manually entering a list of URLs in Session Buddy's options screen. It's a handy way to set up windows and tabs for news reading forays, time wasting on your favorite LOL-worthy sites, or getting right down to business with your favorite web apps.
You're not just stuck with a list of timestamped sessions, either: Session Buddy lets you specify names for easy recall.
Clicking the "update snapshot" link quickly saves your current Chrome session, and you can also export (to plain text or CSV) and import sessions -- useful if you want to pick up where you left off on a different computer.
I'd love to see the developer plug Session Buddy into Chrome's sync framework as the Fresh Start extension does. With that added, Session Buddy would easily be among my top 5 Chrome extensions.
Google Chrome: If you've recently moved from Firefox to Chrome, you probably miss the way that Firefox orders tabs. This small Google Chrome extension switches the tab ordering in Chrome to mimic how Firefox handles new tabs.
The default behavior for Chrome is to group tabs together—new tabs open relative their parent tab. If you prefer new tabs to open at the end of the row in the order in which you have opened them, as they do in Firefox, Modified Tab Ordering can make that happen.
In the screenshot above you can see how we opened Chrome, visited Lifehacker.com, then Google, and then returned to the original tab to open a few links from Lifehacker—all the new tabs appeared at the end of the row as they opened instead of appearing, grouped, beside the original Lifehacker tab. It's a small tweak, but if you've got a routine for how you open tabs and read them a little thing like the order they appear in can really throw you off. Note: As several sharp-eyed readers pointed out, as of version 3.6 Firefox has adopted grouped tabs instead of ordered tabs. This extension gives you the old-school-Firefox experience in Chrome for those who prefer ordered tabs over grouped ones.
On a recent Google Chrome post one of our commenters -- MoneyMike -- lamented the apparent passing of one of Chrome's popular UI features in recent nightly builds: pinned tabs.
I, too, noticed the change recently and wondered what was going on. There's been plenty of discussion amongst Chrome developers, and it boils down to an evolutionary step for Chrome and the introduction of app tabs. The arrival of phantom tabs recently is also part of the change.
To clear the air, I pinged Google's Eitan Bencuya to see if he could shed any light on the situation. Here's his response:
"As you know, all of these features are still pretty experimental (they're not even in the dev channel yet) and we're trying out different approaches to see what works. In this case this is part of a larger set of tweaks we are making related to extensions but we haven't yet fleshed out all the details of app tabs specifically."
Google Chrome: It's easy to fill up the tab bar in Chrome to the point where you can't read the tab titles or easily find what you're looking for. VerticalTab lets you view tabs in a list and search, sort, and more.
VerticalTabs places a small icon in the Chrome toolbar next to the address box. Clicking on the icon displays all your tabs in a vertical list where you can select tabs or drag and drop them via mouse input or using keyboard shortcuts. In the options menu you can change the width and size of the vertical tab display and toggle the tab-count display on and off.
VerticalTabs is free and works wherever Google Chrome does. Have a favorite extension for wrangling tabs? Let's hear about it in the comments.
[via Google Chrome Blog]
Click and hold on the link, and then drag it onto or between any of the tabs in the tabstrip.
You should see a small arrow appear showing where the link will open. When you release the mouse button, the link will load right at that arrow. If you drop it in the empty space after the last tab, you'll open a new tab at the end of the strip.