Web browsers have evolved far beyond their original mission of providing one-way windows into the internet. Indeed, as more services migrate to the cloud, browsers only reinforce their role as multi-function boxes of digital magic.
Now there are lots of browsers to choose from but with Google Chrome enjoying the lion’s share of the market (up to 75% depending on the reports you read), there is a good chance you have used this product.
One of the reasons for its popularity is its versatility. In fact, there is a lot hidden in the depths of Google Chrome that you may not even know about. So, why not check out the following tricks and let us know whether you find them useful.
Drag Multiple Tabs at Once
Most users know that you can drag and drop Chrome tabs into their own browser windows, or mix and match them between browser windows, but they may not know that it can be done with more than one tab at a time. Just hold down the Ctrl key and click on all the tabs you wish to move to move them as one.
Open Accidentally Closed Tabs
What about when you close a tab by mistake? Thankfully Chrome is a forgiving browser and makes it possible to get it all back. Just right-click on another open tab and select “Reopen closed tab” or press Control-Shift-T (Command-Shift-T on a Mac) and Chrome will reopen any recently closed tabs.
Drag a URL to the Bookmarks Bar
If you find a website that you want continual and easy access to, you can quickly add it to your Bookmarks Bar by highlighting the URL and dragging directly down to the Bar. It’s that simple. You can edit it later if you want to change the name. You can drag a URL in from sources other than Chrome as well.
Add a Link to the Desktop
Chrome offers a ready-to-go feature that enables you to add a clickable link to your desktop for later use. Simply click the hamburger in the top-right corner > More tools > Add to desktop. This will prompt a pop-up window, which will allow you to name the link file (and a checkbox that gives you the option to open this page in a new window). A clickable link is then created on your desktop complete with an icon to represent the page.
Open Specific Pages at Start
If you find yourself opening the same websites each time you log on, there is a feature for you. In the Settings menu, go to the section “On Startup” (or just type chrome://settings/startup in the omnibox) and click on the option to “Open a specific page or set of pages.” You will have the option to add a new page, or you can choose the tabs you currently have open.
Chrome Is a Simple Multimedia Browser
Have you ever been searching your computer and come across some multimedia file that you do not recognise? If you want to see what it is very quickly, you can drag it directly into your Chrome browser window and take a quick look.
Chrome offers a built-in Google Translate for entire webpages. But if you just want information on a select phrase or passage, you can get it with just two clicks. First, install the official Google Translate extension. Then you can highlight any foreign text (that’s one click) and click the little Google Translate icon that sits in the top-right side of your browser screen (that’s two).
Download Files Where You Want Them
If you want to change the Google Chrome download location, go to Settings, scroll down and click the Advanced Settings link, and then scroll down to Downloads. There, you will have the ability to choose where files automatically download to. Alternatively, you can click the option for Chrome to ask you where documents should go before every download.
Further articles from Soundbytes Spring 2018 Edition include: