Google’s Chrome browser is one of the three best browsers available today. It’s faster and safer with my information (and yours) than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, and rivals Mozilla’s Firefox in speed and safety. The only problem is that for some reason, most wed developers don’t write their web pages for Chrome — they write them for Internet Explorer and Firefox.
Of course, if the page or site is associated with Google, that won’t be an issue, because they’ve taken the extra time to make sure the big three browsers work properly across all of their sites.
Chrome has some features that are only in the newest version (v. 23 came in late 2012), and quite a few advanced features that not many users know about. Tech sites like LifeHacker and HackStacks call Chrome “The Power User’s Browser.” All things considered, I’d have to agree. So, let’s see how you can go about getting the most from your browsing experience using the Chrome browser.
This is part of a series of posts examining several different free web browsers out there. We’ve already taken a look at Opera and Apple’s Safari browsers.
Check Site Permissions Without Looking at Settings Menu
There are sites on the web that collect information from you based upon your location — it’s called geolocation data mining. Others can actually access your webcam without your knowledge, if Flash is enabled. Lastly, even with a pop-up blocker, some pages still throw them out like they’re candy. You can see what permissions a page has assumed by clicking on the lock icon on the left of the address bar.
Easily Synchronize Chrome Data Across Platforms and Computers
I’ve got two laptops (one running Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and one running Ubuntu Linux), a third generation iPod Touch, and a tablet running Android 4.0-Ice Cream Sandwich. I run the Chrome browser on all of them.
I don’t always want to visit the same sites using all of my “toys,” but when I do, the Google Sync feature is a blessing. Even better, I can password-encrypt this data, so prying eyes can’t see what I like.
You can either set a new password for this, or you can use your Google account password. This feature can be accessed by following these steps:
- Sign in to your Google Chrome account. If you don’t have one, create one.
- In the upper right corner of the window, click the icon with three horizontal lines and select Settings.
- The first option in Settings is Sign in. Click Advanced sync settings.
- Select what data you want synchronized.
- Choose your encryption options.
- Click Ok.
Get Mousy With Chrome
Originally, Chrome was supposed to be a browser that forsook all the bells and whistles of other browsers and just focused on speed, simplicity of use, and secure browsing. Some people decided that wasn’t enough, which caused the company’s software engineers to add some things that people asked for. Something that many people asked for was mouse shortcuts, and Google delivered.
- The Super Back/Forward Button: Click and hold or right-click the back or forward button and you can immediately jump to a page somewhere beyond the last page you visited.
- Paste and Go: Copy a URL to your clipboard and right-click in the address bar. Select Paste and Go and you can forego having to hit enter.
- Text Area Resizing: This is great for those times when you’re writing a masterpiece comment on a site, but there isn’t room to see it all. To resize it, just click and drag the text-entry area.
- Mouse wheel zooming: This is great for when the text on a page is either too small to read comfortably or too big to read it easily. Click the page and roll your scroll wheel up or down to zoom in or out.
- Download by Drag and Drop: Click on an active download and you can drag it to the Desktop or a folder open in Windows Explorer to save it there easily.
- Dock/Undock Tabs: Click an open tab and drag it out of the current browser window to open it in its own window, or vice versa –click an open window and drag it to another open window to dock it as a tab.
Use Your Keyboard to Navigate in Chrome
This is something that every browser and piece of Windows software is able to do, but most people are unaware of. You can do everything with your keyboard that you can do by pointing and clicking with your mouse and usually do so much quicker. There are 16 keyboard shortcuts currently available.
One last thing before I leave, for laptop users that like to watch videos on the web, instead of using CPU cycles to crunch those videos, Chrome uses Grpahics Processor Unit cycles, which are somewhat faster and use less power. So, Chrome is actually an ideal browser for mobile browsing on the laptop. Chrome is another multi-ported browser, available for Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux.