If you are a Chrome browser user, there are some things you can do to make your experience more pleasurable and productive. The browser itself has a lot of built-in functionality that a lot of people either do not know about, or do not use.
In this article, I would like to mention some of my favorite productivity and convenience enhancements in Google Chrome. And best of all, none of these require that you install any additional extensions into the browser.
Also, I should note that many of these same option will function in Mozilla's Firefox and the Opera browser.
Custom Deletion of Some of Your Web History
If you type chrome://history in the URL window of Chrome, you will get a listing of all of your activity for a given period of time.
If you want to delete the entire history, simply select Clear History.
However, if you just want to delete a few entries or days, there is no “Select All” button for a page of results, so it would require that you check every box for each item you want to delete.
To get around this, check the first box while holding the shift key down, then check the last box. The two checked boxes and everything in between will be highlighted for deletion.
This little trick also works on selecting files or photos in Windows also.
Convert Web Pages to PDF
If you would like to view a webpage as a PDF file to either print it, or manually load it to a reader like a Kindle Fire, Chrome has a built-in PDF writer. While there is a plug-in extension that will also do this, and send it to your e-book reader, this method requires no additional add-on or another company snooping on your internet activity.
So, if you come to a web page that you would like to save as a PDF, simply hit Ctrl+P if you are on a Windows machine. For a Mac, the control is Cmd+P.
A pop-up Save as box will display. Choose Save as ODF from the list of printers drop-down and the page will download as a PDF.
Hide Your Current Location to get Different Search Results
If you are using some websites, they may ask the browser for your geographic location for a variety of reasons. If you were on a maps site, you would certainly want to give this information to get the correct directions or information in return
However, if you do not want to share this information under other circumstances, you can hide or fake your location. This might be useful if you are out of the country and want to see content only available in the USA.
To do this, in Chrome, go to the Tool menu, then select Developer Tools. Press the Escape key which will open a console. Within that console, switch to the Emulation tab, then select Sensors. There, it allows you to enter another latitude and longitude.
Show Passwords Instead of ****** in Password Field
While blocking out your passwords with asterisks is generally a good thing if you have multiple people using your computer or around you while you are using it, it can be a bit annoying especially if you are typing it in and do not know whether you made a typo or not before you hit enter.
In Chrome, you can change the setting so that it shows your passwords in this field as you type.
The easiest way to do this is go to any webpage login page that you would like to reveal the password. With the password field containing ******, right click in the password field and select “Inspect Element”. This will open Developer Tools with the password section highlighted.
Change the input name, ID, and type from “password” to “text”.
Emulate a Mobile Device to Conserve Data Consumed
If you are in a situation where you are being charged for each byte of data, or the service in the hotel you are using is very slow, you can set your Chrome browser to emulate a mobile device.
The advantage to this is that if you come into a webpage as a mobile user, they will show you a stripped down version of the site which will load faster and save data.
To do this, go into Chrome Developer Tools again, then switch over to the Emulation tab once again.
Under User Agent, select either an Android or iOS device.
Next, click Screen and make uncheck “Emulation screen”.
Play Music or Video Using Chrome as a Media Player
If you want to watch video, look at images documents, or listen to audio files, all you have to do is drag them into Chrome which will play them without having to open a separate viewer or media player app.
Display Website Icons Instead of Text in Bookmarks Toolbar
If you are like me, you like to save a lot of your favorite sites along the toolbar at the top of the browser, just below the menu options.
However, when you save most pages, they put a lot of words in the bookmark so that you can quickly fill the entire line of the toolbar with just a few bookmarks.
To get rid of the words and simply use website icons, right click any bookmark in the toolbar, select edit, then delete any text in the description field. After you click save, then bookmark in the toolbar will simply have an icon for that website.
Delete Autocomplete Entries from Past URLs
If you begin to type out a URL, you may get a surprise when Chrome tries to autocompletes it. If you do not like what you see, you have two options. You can turn off autocomplete completely in the Tools/Settings menu, or you can get rid of that one embarrassing autocomplete option while it is highlighted.
Simply hit the Shift key + Delete. Again, the embarrassing URL must still be highlighted for this to work.
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