Chrome’s minimalist and user-friendly interface is a big reason for its popularity. To add to that, there are many developers working to make it even friendlier than it already is. Look at the sheer number of excellent extensions available in the Web store. Give them a spin and you’re sure to find some indispensable ones. Here are three that will make browsing easier for you.
Text expanders are not just for lazy people. They’re a great way to reduce unnecessary typing and protect your hands from RSI. Auto Text Expander allows you to set up keyword shortcuts for your most frequently used text snippets. Of course, it’s not the first software of its kind, and if you have a desktop app for text expansion, this one is redundant. But it’s among the few decent options available as a Chrome extension (and is therefore perfect for Chromebook users). If the browser is your primary workspace, Auto Text Expander is a handy tool to have. It’s also easy to use and ad-free.
Set up all your shortcuts? Good. Now navigate to the Import/Export section of the extension and look for the shortcut details listed as a plain text snippet. Copy that snippet, paste it into a text file, and upload the file to your favorite cloud storage. That way if something goes awry—with technology it always can—you won’t have to go through the hassle of recreating a long list of shortcuts. You can simply copy-paste the shortcut details on file back into Auto Text Expander.
PasswordBox is not just a password manager. It’s more of a data vault, and it’s earning praise for its user-friendly workflow.
KeepassX has been my go-to password manager for quite some time now. I never did get around to integrating it with Chrome because of the long procedure involved, and I was tired of copy-pasting data from it every time I wanted to log in to some new account. I wanted to switch to a hassle-free alternative. I’m happy that I skipped popular mainstream options like LastPass, Roboform, and 1Password in favor of this new entrant called PasswordBox.
With PasswordBox, passwords are saved automatically as you browse. If you have multiple accounts associated with a single service, you can choose between them while logging in. You can also create safe notes and store information like addresses, credit card details, etc. There are many more interesting options such as secure password sharing, 1-click login, and a legacy locker feature. Despite the extensive feature set, PasswordBox does not come across as overwhelming. It’s anything but. It’s also available as a desktop app for Windows and Mac, and also as mobile apps.
The free version has a limit of 25 passwords. If you have too many online accounts and passwords to keep track of, you’ll need the premium version, which provides unlimited storage. By inviting a handful of people to PasswordBox, you get unlimited storage for free—of course, that’s only if those people sign up as well. But if it’s a great app that you recommend wholeheartedly after using it, why wouldn’t they?
Working on a new device temporarily? You can log in with your master password at passwordbox.com to gain instant access to all your passwords.
One missing feature, conspicuous by its absence, is two-factor authentication. The good news is that its addition is on the cards.
Chrome is notorious for hogging too much RAM, and each extension you add does its bit in slowing things down further.
How about keeping only your most frequently used extensions enabled all the time and disabling the rest till you need them? Unfortunately, enabling/disabling extensions is cumbersome if you do it the usual way i.e. navigating to Chrome’s default extension manager and clicking on individual check-boxes. That’s where SimpleExtManager makes things super simple. It gives you one-click access to a list of all your extensions (and apps and themes!) to enable or disable them without leaving the page you’re on. You can also delete extensions, tweak their settings, and create groups to simultaneously enable/disable multiple extensions.
Give Them A Chance…
Eliminate digital clutter, install the right extensions, and learn browsing tricks to pave the way for a faster workflow, which in turn makes for a smooth and seamless browsing experience. With a smart browser like Chrome you’re already halfway there!
Which Chrome extensions do you find indispensable because they make browsing simpler for you?