THE previous Chrome Tips post was about apps. In this one, I’d like to talk a bit about extensions.
Extensions add new features to Chrome, or modify the way it works. The pic above is from my Chrome, and you can see icons for four extensions I have installed. (Not all extensions put icons up, by the way.) These are just examples, to give a feel for the kinds of things extensions can do, and it doesn’t constitute any kind of recommendation. From left to right:
- IE Tab: this one lets you open a web page in a tab using Internet Explorer’s rendering engine instead of Chrome’s own. That can be useful for viewing pages that were designed specifically for IE, and that don’t render properly in other browsers. These days I don’t have much need for it but I keep it around just in case. And, I don’t know how Microsoft’s new browser, Edge, fits in since it uses another rendering engine altogether.
- Forecastfox: That’s a weather extension that tells me the current weather and temperature. The background on the temperature changes to red when there’s a severe weather warning.
- Adblock Plus: Does just what it says – it blocks ads, which can speed up page loads. But it does more than that; it also blocks tracking cookies and a certain amount of malware, which is the main reason I use it.
- Pinterest: Gives you a quick way to pin a page to a board on your Pinterest account.
You get extensions from the Chrome Web Store, just like you do for apps, and you install them in pretty much the same way. Explore the store – there are lots and lots of extensions for all kinds of things.
Like I said, not all extensions have icons, but you can see all your currently-installed extensions easily. Quick way: right click on any icons you already have in that area and choose Manage extensions. If you don’t have any extension icons, then go to the Settings page and click Extensions on the left side. You’ll get a page with all the details.
Here you can remove extensions easily (just click the garbage can icon). You can also disable extensions – useful if you have one that you want to switch off for a bit but you don’t want to remove. Some extensions (like Forecastfox) have customization options, and you can get to those by clicking the options link.
Last word: if you have multiple accounts set up (as I explained in an earlier post), each account has its own set of extensions. So if you sign in on a new machine, your extensions are installed for you automatically. Nice.
Until next time, gentle reader . . .