By Chantal Bechervaise
More and more people are turning to Google Chrome as their preferred browser of choice. I love using it myself, as it updates my Google Now cards across all my Android devices with relevant information based on past searches. Here are some tips and tricks for using Google Chrome that you may not be aware of.
If you regularly use certain Google applications (like Gmail) or have favorite websites that you visit every day, you can create shortcuts for them. First, open the Google application or website in your Chrome browser. Next click on the Settings Menu – that’s those three horizontal lines located in the top right corner. From the drop down menu, click on Tools and then click the Create Application Shortcut. You will then have the option to pin the shortcut to your desktop, the start menu and the task bar. Select one or all of them and the click create. Your shortcuts will now appear in the chosen locations.
Here is a small list of some useful keyboard shortcuts for Chrome. (Remember – your browser window must be open for these to work.)
Ctrl+Shift+N – New Incognito Window
Ctrl+N – Open a new window
Alt+Home – Load Your Home Page
Ctrl + T – Open a new tab
Ctrl+Shift+T – Open the most recently closed tab (You can use this command more than once to open other previously closed tabs.)
Ctrl+Tab – Scroll through open tabs
Ctrl+J – Opens your downloads screen
F1 – Opens the Help Center in a new tab
Adjusting the Text Size
Ever have trouble reading small text on a webpage in Chrome? Chrome lets you zoom in and out to easily re-size text and images on a page. There are two ways to do this. The first way is to click on the Settings Menu button and then use the Zoom controls. A faster and easier way is to hold down the Ctrl button and use the scroll wheel on your mouse to zoom in and out.
Rearranging Open Tabs
I am a bit OCD when it comes to organizing my apps on my phone and tablet, but I also get this way with open tabs in my Chrome browser. I like having them in a certain order so I can flip back and forth between tabs more productively. Rearranging tabs is easy. You just click on a tab at the top and drag it along the row to the position that you want. If you want to open one of your tabs in a new window, simply click on it and drag it to the desktop. Release the mouse button and a new window will open. To access the tab options menu, right click on any tab. The tab options menu will let you reload tabs, close all tabs to the right of the selected tab and even re-open closed tabs. (Chrome will remember the last ten closed tabs.)
Another cool thing that you can do with tabs is pin them. This is also another great feature that you can use for your favorite sites. Pinning a tab in Chrome means that whatever is shown on the tab when it is pinned will automatically be loaded the next time that you open a new Chrome browser session. To pin a tab, right click on the tab and select Pin Tab from the menu. Pinned tabs will appear slightly smaller in your tab row at the top than unpinned tabs. To unpin a tab, repeat the same process as before but select Unpin Tab from the menu.
Save Webpages as PDF Documents
Google Chrome allows you to turn your web pages into PDF documents. This is a great idea if you would like to save an article to read off-line. Press CTRL+P on a Windows PC or CMD+P on a Mac, and a pop-up box will appear asking you to print it and what printer you would like to use. Instead of sending it to the printer, press “Save as PDF” and you’ll end up with a file of the web page on your desktop.
Create Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts
If there is a particular Chrome app that you use all the time, you can create your own keyboard shortcut that will launch the app. Type “chrome://extensions” into your address bar, and then scroll down to the bottom. Next, press Keyboard Shortcuts and you’ll be able to set them up in there. You can choose whichever shortcut you find the easiest to remember, but keep in mind the shortcuts that you already use as you don’t want to overwrite them and stop them from working.
Chantal is located in Ottawa, Ontario. She is passionate about everything related to the World of Work: Leadership, HR, Social Media and Technology. You can read more from Chantal at her TakeItPersonelly blog or follow her on Twitter @CBechervaise.