Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

A large part of our time on the computer is spent within the browser these days. And if the recent past is any indicator, this will continue to grow in the future as well with the likes of Chrome OS where all you get is a web browser to interact with your computer and the outside world.

A good thing about browsers as opposed to other desktop software is the fact that they are extensible. Firefox and Chrome are excellent examples of the same. Many Google chrome add-ons and extensions are available for customizing almost every aspect of browsing. The one aspect we are going to look into here is quick navigation.


Granted, you can use keyboard shortcuts for faster navigation and browsing but with so many add-ons available, there are plenty of choices to make your pick and navigate faster with a lot less work by combining the functionality offered by various extensions. Here are 5 of the better ones:

Keyboard Navigation

Keyboard navigation allows you to click on the links without using your mouse. The concept is not new Abandon Your Mouse & Click On Links With Your Keyboard Abandon Your Mouse & Click On Links With Your Keyboard Read More , however keyboard navigation does a good job of implementing the idea.

The extension defines a hot key (,) which places a hint next to every link on the page that can be clicked. While the hint is displayed, key in the characters next to a link to highlight it. You can then do one of the following:

google chrome add ons and extensions

Ads by Google
  • Hit Enter to open the highlighted link in the current tab.
  • Hit Ctrl + Enter to open the highlighted link in a new tab.

The extension is intelligent enough to know when you are entering text and need to use the (,) key in the literal sense.

Vimium

If you are adept with Vim or a Vim fan, this extension alone easily overshadows the others. While it doesn’t support all of the Vim key bindings (how can it possibly?), it does support the most common ones that can be directly applied to a browser.

You can use the ‘h’, ‘j’, ‘k’, ‘l’ keys for scrolling. A ‘gg’ to scroll to top, a ‘G’ to scroll to bottom. ‘/’ to enter search mode and the familiar ‘n’ and ‘N’ to find next and previous. In addition to many such obvious bindings, vimium also adds some of its own, like the ‘H’ goes back in history and ‘L’ takes you one step forward in history. ‘J’ and ‘K’ can be used to go one tab to the left and one to the right respectively and many more. You can actually type ‘?’ to get an overview of all the shortcuts.

google chrome add ons and extensions

In addition to all that Vimium also offers the functionality offered by Keyboard Navigation extension mentioned above. Just hit the ‘f’ or the ‘F’ key and it displays a hint next to each clickable link or input control on the page. Key in the hint and you are taken to that link or control.

You can also remap these shortcuts using Vimium preferences.

Yet Another Drag & Go

Moving a little towards the mouse now, Yet Another Drag and Go lets you do a variety of operations by a simple drag operation. You can open new links in foreground or in background, open links before or after the current tab, convert text links to URLs, select text and search in one of the different search engines or add your own. All this with just drag and drop.

google chrome add ons and extensions

You can add your own search engines via settings and configure the drag and drop zones for each of them according to your liking.

Smooth Gestures

Bringing more awesomeness to the mouse is Smooth Gestures. Mouse gestures, if you are not familiar with the concept allow you to draw on the screen with your mouse and perform different actions depending upon the shape you draw.

best chrome extensions

In addition, Smooth gestures also includes Rocker navigation, which allows you to use only mouse buttons to do things like going back and forward in history. Holding down the right mouse button and then clicking the left button would take you back in history, so would holding the right button and drawing a line towards the left.

You can customize the gestures by visiting options for Smooth Gestures.

Quick Tabs

best chrome extensions

Do you have a number of tabs open in your browser simultaneously? If yes, you know how hard can it be to find the exact tab you are looking for, specially with Chrome, where tabs are reduced to just favicons when you have a lot of them open.

The solution? Quick Tabs. Just hit Ctrl+M and Quick Tabs presents you with list of all the open tabs sorted in order in which they were recently used.

best chrome extensions

You can use the arrow keys to quickly switch to the tab you want, or better still you can actually type some of the characters of the tab you are looking for and Quick Tabs will search in the title and URL to list only the tabs that match the letters you typed. Quick Tabs also keeps track of recently closed tabs and allow you to search and restore closed tabs as well.

There you have it, those are our suggestions. We are sure you have plenty in mind too, so go ahead and sound off in the comments with your suggestions!

  1. lakridserne
    May 8, 2010 at 6:23 am

    I would like to know too. And good news: a school more in Denmark have decided to drop Bill Gates' Microsoft Office and go over to OpenOffice.org

  2. Carlos
    May 7, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Google chrome is the best internet browser at this days and have good extensions that make it very useful.

    • TechGyo
      June 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm

      Yes, you said it right. It is the best among the current browsers, in terms of speed, view area, and graphics compatibility and other things

  3. Viktor.KKK
    May 6, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Here is an extension called VerticalTabs which is a replacement for Quick Tabs for me.https://chrome.google.com/exte...

  4. Viktor.KKK
    May 6, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Here is an extension called VerticalTabs which is a replacement for Quick Tabs for me.https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/imimolldggofidcmfdkcffpjcgaggoaf

  5. Terminator5
    May 5, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Where's the extension that lets me headbutt bill gates

    • lakridserne
      May 8, 2010 at 4:23 am

      I would like to know too. And good news: a school more in Denmark have decided to drop Bill Gates' Microsoft Office and go over to OpenOffice.org

  6. Aibek
    May 5, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    In case you don't get the answer here try posting it to MakeUseOf
    Answers, http://www.makeuseof.com/answe... . I am sure you will get some
    solid recommendations.

  7. mattpenner
    May 5, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    So where is there an extension that lets me open bookmarks from the keyboard? I have hundreds of bookmarks and several I use for repetitive tasks everyday. In FF I simply use Alt-B and then the first letter to navigate. I can open a shortcut in less than a second and I don't have to take my hands off the keyboard. This is probably one of the main reasons why I haven't switched to Chrome, though I really want to!

    If anyone has a suggestion I'd love to hear it. I haven't checked Chrome in a while so maybe a current version allows this built-in or a plug-in is out that does this.

    Let me know! :)

  8. Anonymous
    May 5, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    So where is there an extension that lets me open bookmarks from the keyboard? I have hundreds of bookmarks and several I use for repetitive tasks everyday. In FF I simply use Alt-B and then the first letter to navigate. I can open a shortcut in less than a second and I don't have to take my hands off the keyboard. This is probably one of the main reasons why I haven't switched to Chrome, though I really want to!

    If anyone has a suggestion I'd love to hear it. I haven't checked Chrome in a while so maybe a current version allows this built-in or a plug-in is out that does this.

    Let me know! :)

    • Aibek
      May 5, 2010 at 5:11 pm

      In case you don't get the answer here try posting it to MakeUseOf
      Answers, http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/ . I am sure you will get some
      solid recommendations.

  9. 2a11daas
    May 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Theirs also an extension called Quick tab which is Similar to Quick tabs but it has less clutter.

    https://chrome.google.com/exte...

  10. Anonymous
    May 3, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Theirs also an extension called Quick tab which is Similar to Quick tabs but it has less clutter.

    https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/bdeifmcaonlafkglbdpbbhkeecjnkipo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *