One of the main things that held back Chrome, Google’s offering in the browser wars, was its lack of plugins. Compared to Firefox, famous for its thousands of extensions, Chrome was static and unchangeable – even though it was by far the fastest browser on the market.
That changed recently when Google unrolled extensions for its browser. This was widely announced, but what was discussed slightly less was that Chrome is also fully compatible with thousands of existing Greasemonkey scripts.
For the uninitiated, Greasemonkey is an extension for Firefox that runs user scripts. These Greasemonkey scripts for Chrome modify a website, allowing users to customize how it looks or behaves. A script is essentially a light-weight plugin designed to do one thing very well.
Chrome can load these scripts, but adventurous users probably quickly discovered that not every script works perfectly in Chrome. The ones listed here do, however. Try them out!
How To Install The Greasemonkey Scripts for Chrome
Installing these scripts couldn’t be easier. Simply click the “Install” button featured on the pages linked to below, then follow the on-screen instructions the way you would with any Chrome extension. Your script is now installed!
YouTube Video Download
There are thousands of ways to download videos from YouTube, but if you’re looking for one that integrates perfectly into YouTube’s look and feel and allows you to download a variety of different formats – including iPod compatible MP4 and old fashioned FLV””then you should certainly check out YouTube Video Download.
Just install the script in Chrome and fire up your favorite video. You’ll notice a new “Download” link beneath the video. Click it to see the options depicted above, and download your favorite instantly.
Disable Google Fade-In
Some people love Google.com’s new fade-in feature. The page looks perfectly clean when it starts up, and only shows the various options and services when the user moves his or her mouse. It allows Google.com to be perfectly clean, yet full of relevant links.
If you’d rather Google.com appear in its full cluttered glory right off the bat, a Greasemonkey script calledcan do that trick for you. It works wonderfully in Chrome, so go ahead and try it out.
Google Secure Pro
If you love Google services, but feel vulnerable using them on public WiFi, using “https” is a great way to increase your security. Alternatively, you can install Google Secure Pro. Your browser will automatically use “https” for all Google services, giving you increased security and piece of mind.
Flash is pretty cool, but some websites overuse it for advertisements. This can really slow even the super-speedy Chrome to a crawl. Flashblock is a script that can speed everything right up again by blocking flash. Best of all, you can re-enable flash anytime by pressing “Alt” and “F,” so you don’t have to give up flash completely.
If you look at the tab of this website right now, you’ll see MakeUseOf’s super awesome icon. This tiny icon is called a FavIcon, and glancing at it tells you instantly that you’re reading MakeUseOf.
FavIcon Google adds these icons to your Google search results, giving you visual clues as to whether certain results are from familar searches. For example, check out this search result featuring our FavIcon:
This can quickly point out that information you’re finding is from sites you know and trust.
Adding support for Greasemonkey scripts for Chrome is nothing short of brilliant on Google’s part, assuming convincing people to replace Firefox was their motivation. Suddenly Chrome users have access to thousands of extensions. Even though the vast majority of those extensions don’t work on Chrome, anything done to extend the list of things you can do with Chrome has to be considered a good move.
All the above scripts came from the fantastic UserScripts, which features thousands of such little tools. Check that out, then let us know: was this a good move on Google’s part? Did you find any other scripts that work well in Chrome? Or do you have a favorite script you want to share? The comments are below for a reason, so let us know!