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10 insanely useful Chrome plug-ins
Hey you! Yes you. From studying the data of this fine website, there’s roughly a 1 in 3 chance that you’re reading this in Chrome. Actually, it’s probably higher, because really, who clicks an article about Chrome plug-ins when they’re using Internet Explorer? If I’m wrong, and you’re not running Chrome, you might want to go and look at something else.
Still here and still using Chrome? Well, I’m about to make it better. I’ve been augmenting Chrome with extensions like some six-million-dollar browser since the moment I got it, and there’s loads of neat stuff it can do given the chance. So let’s go:
As a writer who has, on occasion, struggled with distractions while trying to get some work done, StayFocusd is a god-send. Sometimes a perfectly innocent research-search turns into a Wikipedia rabbit hole where you find yourself looking up faded 1990s NFL stars at 3am (don’t tell me you haven’t). StayFocusd fixes this problem by allowing you to block distraction websites for a time of your choosing, allowing you to finish that college essay, or publish that GoExplore article you promised to submit by noon. For example.
I’ll save you the tedium of reading me banging on about how ‘in my day, they didn’t let us reference websites on essays’ and just say that for modern students, this is pretty neat. One click allows you to create a handy-dandy perfectly formatted citation for APA, Chicago, MLA and Harvard styles. Easy essay or unusually well cited forum flame wars? I’ll leave that up to you.
Lazarus, if I remember the Bible correctly, was dead but came back to life. Lazarus Form Recovery won’t work that specific miracle (well, not in its current form anyway), but WILL allow you to recover lost words you’ve written and then lost from a power-cut of what-have-you, which is almost as good.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t speak the 6,000+ languages in the world. In fact, I only speak English, a bit of French and an incredibly useless phrase in German (“ein gekochtes frettchen ei bitte”), so this Chrome plug-in is pretty handy. It’ll appear when the page you’re reading isn’t your native tongue and offer to translate it for you. Who needs language classes?
You’re supposed to be working, or you’re looking at a site that you’d be ashamed to be found browsing. You hear someone coming and there’s not enough time to close every page. What do you do? Well this Chrome extension has your back. Press it and every tab is gone, ready to be restored when the snooper has gone. Now isn’t it reassuring to know that you’re not the only person in the world to be thinking ‘ooh, that’s useful’?
…but let’s assume for a moment that you’re not a feckless layabout and you do have a work ethic. You come across a fascinating article, but you have stuff to do. Pocket to the rescue! A quick tap will save any video, article, recipe or other webpage to your Pocket account for reading when you’re less busy. It’s on your phone, tablet or computer when you need it – even when you’re offline. Awesome.
Instantly capture a screenshot of whatever you’re looking at in your browser, or the entire page as a single scrollable picture. Not only that, but you can annotate it right away before saving and sending. I probably should have used it for this piece, with hindsight, but given there’s only three left I’ll just muddle on through like a sucker…
Think you’ve seen a picture somewhere before? TinEye searches the web for the same image and lets you know where else it is. Its uses are limitless, from seeing if anybody is using your pictures without permission, to finding a high-resolution version of an image to use without permission. We don’t endorse that though, obviously.
Never miss a bargain again with the Invisible Hand Chrome plug-in. This little piece of genius quietly watches you browse without making a peep until you find a product on a shopping site. It then springs into action, and lets you know if it finds the same item cheaper elsewhere, as well as how much you’d save. It’s like having a particularly stingy guardian angel watching your back at all times, and what boy or girl hasn’t wanted that at some time or other?
Working hand-in-hand with the invisible one above is Honey. Honey also watches your online shopping habits in a quiet non-judgemental fashion until you hit the checkout, at which point it pops up with any useful discount codes it finds lying around to save you a bit of cash. This will save you money that can be then spent elsewhere online, keeping Honey busy and therefore happy. The circle of life.
Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments!