Firefox or Chrome? Chrome or Firefox? We say both!
Each of these top browsers comes with its own set of awesome features, extensions, and hacks. Using them together doesn’t have to be messy and confusing. What you need to do is integrate their functions well. Once you do, you can just pick up where you left off whenever you switch between the browsers.
Here are ten ways to make Chrome and Firefox work in harmony.
Sync Your Passwords
There are various password managers that have both a Chrome and a Firefox extension. LastPass, now almost synonymous with password management, is one such option. Install it in both browsers to make password management and form filling effortless. LastPass syncs your passwords and logs you in to websites automatically. All you need to remember is the master password.
Sync Your Bookmarks
Take your list of favorite websites with you while moving between browsers. Just install an add-on like Xmarks and you’re good to go. Your bookmarks stay up to date no matter which browser you’re using right now.
Xmarks also allows you to create sync profiles for bookmarks based on their relevance. So you can have separate groups for work-related bookmarks and personal bookmarks.
EverSync is another way to back up your favorites and keep them in sync on Chrome and Firefox. And how can we forget Pocket? It’s one of the slickest and most-loved digital bookmarking services around.
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) June 2, 2015
Use a Common New Tab Page
Your browser’s New Tab page is like that catchall bowl that keeps your keys, coins, and wallet ready to go. Maintain the same start screen across browsers. That way you won’t lose time searching for your most-used websites and functions.
FVD Speed Dial is one extension that makes your New Tab page super useful. It allows you to create speed dial groups, customize backgrounds, back up your dials, and more. You can even build a start screen yourself with Start.me.
Migrate Links and Tabs
Copy-pasting links from Firefox to Chrome is tedious, more so if you have a bunch of them. With Open In Chrome, you can shift all your Firefox tabs to Chrome in a single click. The extension appears as a context menu entry and as a toolbar icon. It supports opening of links within Web pages, too.
Chrome’s Open With Firefox extension does something similar. It lets you migrate your Chrome tabs to Firefox. This functionality is handy when you find your browser acting sluggish due to tab overload.
If you use Xmarks or EverSync for managing your bookmarks, you can also use it to sync speed dials and open tabs across browsers.
Install Common Extensions
Wherever possible, install extensions that have both Chrome and Firefox versions. That way the interfaces and workflows will remain the same even when you switch browsers. Here are a few sample extensions to begin with:
- Shareaholic (for Chrome | for Firefox): For bookmarking and sharing content on various websites
- Evernote Clearly (for Chrome | for Firefox): For viewing Web pages in a clean, minimalist format
- Nimbus Screenshot (for Chrome | for Firefox): For capturing and annotating screenshots
Port Useful Features
Chrome has several useful features that keep users trapped in it. Firefox also has some features that aren’t available to Chrome users. The good news is that there are smart extensions available to bring some features from one browser to the other.
If you’re a fan of Firefox’s Awesome Bar, bring it to Chrome with Fauxbar or Fauxbar Lite. Fauxbar appears as your New Tab page while you’ll have to open Fauxbar Lite through a keyboard shortcut or toolbar icon.
The hierarchy-based tab management style of Firefox’s Tree Style Tab add-on is popular and productive. Now you can bring it to Chrome with Sidewise Tree Style Tabs. The extension appears as a dockable sidebar that displays your tabs in a tree format. It’s still in beta, so you might encounter the odd hiccup or two.
This Firefox extension hides the title bar and gives you more screen space. It makes Firefox look a little more like Chrome.
Match the Look and Feel
Take your Chrome and Firefox integration further by dressing them up in matching garb. Make Firefox look like Chrome or vice versa. Choose themes that come from the same developer or that have the same source of inspiration. For example, if you use the LavaFox V2 theme on Firefox, also install its Chrome counterpart, LavaChrome. With the Stylish extension, you can also come up with a custom theme to use on both the browsers.
Take Advantage of Common Keyboard Shortcuts
Certain keyboard shortcuts are standard across various browsers including Firefox and Chrome. For example, in both these browsers, Ctrl + T opens a new tab and Ctrl + D bookmarks the current page. Learn and use all common shortcuts like these to speed up your workflow. With Customizable Shortcuts on Firefox and Shortkeys on Chrome, you can even remap shortcuts as you please.
Share a Notepad
Whether you want to create a to-do list or make a note of something, having a digital notepad at the ready is important. A Web-based app like Writer or Simplenote is a good choice for this. It will auto-sync your notes. Keep the app in a pinned tab for quick reference.
Sync Browser Behavior
You may not pay much attention to how your browser responds at every step, but it becomes a part of your workflow. For smooth transitions between Firefox and Chrome, tweak them to respond in the same fashion. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Use the same primary search engine and keyword shortcuts.
- Set up a common Home Page.
- Use the same Downloads folder.
- Tweak tab behavior for similarity.
- Have a common social media dashboard and workflow.
Do Your Browsers Walk Hand in Hand?
Make it easy on yourself to go back and forth between your favorite browsers. Only then your browsing experience will be seamless and time saving. We have focused on Chrome and Firefox in this article, but you can apply this approach to any other set of browsers.
What do you do to make Firefox and Chrome play nice with each other? Share your tricks in the comments.