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20 essential, time-saving Chrome extensions
Last week, in Forgive me, Firefox, for I have sinned. Chrome is my new love, I wrote about how I made the transition from Firefox to Chrome. It was a subtle transition, until I found myself solely using Chrome and barely, if ever, launching Firefox.
Key to that transition was identifying and installing Chrome extensions that duplicated or improved upon functionality I relied on in Firefox for both my daily work and daily browsing.
I should tell you now that this set of extensions is what works for me. They may not work for you. Most of my work involves writing, a ton of online reading, programming, and communicating. There were a few tools I used in Firefox (that I've now replicated in Chrome) that saved me a lot of time each day. Without those time-savers, Chrome would not have been practical for me.
So here we go. Let's run through the list. Just remember that your mileage may vary.
Also, please post your favorite extensions. I'm always in the market of something that will improve my productivity and help me get more done my very limited 24 hours each day.
Inspect element (built into Chrome)
As it turns out, the first extension I use quite a lot is the built-in function Inspect element, which you get to by right-clicking anywhere on a Web page. This replaces Firebug, which was an essential tool for developing and managing Web pages in Firefox.
Inspect element works just about as well, and it's always available.
How often used: I use this in spurts, when I'm doing Web development. Since that's not my full-time gig, it means I can go a month or more without using this.
Live without it factor: However, when I am doing Web development, this is absolutely critical and I couldn't live without it.
Chrome sync (built into Chrome)
I am constantly moving from machine to machine. I used to use Foxmarks (and then Xmarks), but like Firefox itself, Xmarks became quite cumbersome. Even so, syncing my bookmarks was necessary. Also, back on Firefox, I tried to keep my add-ons in sync, and so for a while I tried FEBE, but was never very happy with it.
Chrome sync, on the other hand, rocks the house. It syncs bookmarks and extensions seamlessly, without any hassle. It just works.
The only thing I don't like is how Chrome syncs bookmarks between desktop and mobile versions. The version of Chrome on my Nexus 7 and iPad seems to have some strange desire to provide both mobile and other bookmarks, and wants to display them in a grid. Just weird. Even so, it's nice having my bookmarks on the mobile device. Maybe someday, I'll get my extensions running on my Nexus 7 (hint-hint).
How often used: Constantly.
Live without it factor: It makes Chrome my must-have browser of choice.