Amidst the plethora of useful Chrome extensions, there are a few that give Dropbox users added functionality—almost to the point where Chrome itself can serve as a Dropbox client.
Dropbox itself has just officially launched a new extension that is at the top of these nifty Chrome add-ons. Dropbox for Gmail integrates with the popular email service to attach Dropbox files in any email or download attachments directly to Dropbox.
Once you download the extension and grant access to Dropbox, it’s pretty smooth sailing. You’ll see the Dropbox icon in any new email you compose, next to the Send button. Click it and you’ll see this pop-up, where you can choose the Dropbox files you want to send.
You can browse by recent files, all files, or photos only. There’s also a handy search option to quickly find a particular file.
The extension doesn’t actually upload the file through Gmail itself; instead, it sends a link to the Dropbox file. This way, you aren’t wasting bandwidth; but it’s an extra step for the recipient. You might want to brush up on your cloud file sharing etiquette.
If the recipient has the extension installed, there’s an added bonus. If you receive an email with a Dropbox link, you can choose to download it to your hard drive or directly save it to your Dropbox, thus cutting out a step.
The Dropbox for Gmail extension does what it’s supposed to do, so if you use Dropbox (and our unofficial Dropbox guide proves why you should), Chrome and Gmail, download this one now. It’s yet another step in turning Chrome into a productivity beast.
In a nutshell, QuickDrop is a Dropbox client running in Chrome. Install the extension and it sits quietly in the toolbar. Click and you get a drop-down panel that shows the full contents of your Dropbox.
QuickDrop lets you interact with files and folders, with easy access to rename or delete anything, or get a link to share the file or folder (with auto-shortening, if so desired). You can also preview individual files, which again open in the panel and not a separate tab—making it easier to manage your tab overload.
QuickDrop also makes it easy to upload any image on the web to your Dropbox. In the extension’s settings, you can set multiple folders in your Dropbox. Right-click on a web image and choose the appropriate folder from the “Download to Dropbox” menu. You can also get an instant share link for this, as well as choose to delete it. QuickDrop’s myriad options make it invaluable to the Dropbox power user. Overall, it’s one of the best ways to synchronize Dropbox with a Chromebook.
The only real problem with QuickDrop is that unlike the official Dropbox clients, you can’t edit a file directly through a third-party app and have it sync.
While QuickDrop only supports direct image uploads to Dropbox, you sometimes need more. Enter Download To Dropbox, an extension that lets you directly download web pages, images, videos, files and more to your Dropbox using the confusingly named “Upload to Dropbox” option in your right-click context menu.
Spend a few minutes customizing where the extension will save files. I recommend grouping downloads by date if you are going to use this extension for research purposes, or grouping by site if you’re going to use it as a repository of cool stuff on the web.
Unfortunately, Download To Dropbox only saves to a single folder (or the preset date/website rules), unlike QuickDrop’s convenient option to choose a folder.
The Only Thing Left: Editing Files
So far, there isn’t a free, easy solution to edit Dropbox files directly on the web. But Dropbox has said that its partnership with Microsoft will let you edit Dropbox files with Office Online. While we wait for that feature to roll out, how do you edit Dropbox files on the web?