The Google Chrome Extensions Challenge

ChromeYesterday, I wrote about web browsers. I've been a Firefox user for as long as the Mozilla browser has had that name, and part of the reason I've resisted the switch to Google Chrome is my reliance on the Firefox add-ons. The fact is, Chrome extensions have come a long way over the past six months, and Elvis convinced me it was time to give Chrome another shot.

This entry is about how I configured Chrome to give it a fair shot against my trusty ol' Firefox. I'll concede that Chrome is faster, and that's what has me rooting for this test to be successful.

The most important extension as far as I'm concerned is Adblock+. I simply can't search the web without it. Thankfully, Adblock+ is available in Chrome, so the test may begin.

The other significant change I had to make is how I manage my Twitter account. I love Twitter, and I've been reading and tweeting from a Firefox extension from Echofon. Echofon doesn't make this extension for Chrome, and I hated every Twitter extension for Chrome I tried last night. As a result, I'm giving TweetDeck another shot.

Now let's look at the Google Chrome extensions I installed and why.

AdBlock+ Element Hiding Helper - This is a must have extension. Use it for one day and you won't be able to live without out. (shorten, share, and track your links) - When I tweet URLS, I shorten them with It lets me measure clicks.

Copy Without Formatting - Sometimes I need to copy text from the web, but I just want plain text without markup. This extension does the trick.

Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer (by Google) - I hate it when I click a link on the web to a PDF and it opens in the browser.

Facebook for Google Chrome - Just a nice way to check my FB news feed and wall without going to Facebook.

Forecastfox Weather - I liked this extension in Firefox and I'm glad it's available in Chrome.

Google Calendar Checker (by Google) - I live by my Google Calendar.

Google Mail Checker - This is the heartbeat of my digital world.

Google Reader Checker - Like Calendar and Gmail above, I read all my RSS feeds in Google Reader.

IE Tab - Some sites require IE. It's nice to be able to see them without changing browsers.

Pendule - This was my find of the day. I love this extension. It does a number of the things the developer toolbar in Firefox would do, and more. It handles pixel measurement, colour picking, CSS viewing and so much more. Many of the Firefox add-ons I needed for work are satisfied by this single Chrome extension. If you're in web development or management, you have to try Pendule.

Picnik Extension for Chrome - A nice extension for taking and editing screen caps.

Now I just need a way to better handle my bookmarks. I've exported them from Firefox and imported them into Chrome, but I don't love the way Chrome handles them. There's gotta be an extension that'll make me happy.

The great Google Chrome extensions challenge begins!

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Comments (8 - click here to join in!)


Great, now I want to try Chrome.

Thanks for killing my afternoon!

February 7, 2010 @ 2:21 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Another great extension for web page screen capping: Webpage Screenshot

February 7, 2010 @ 3:14 PM

Buffalo Sketchball

I switched to Chrome before the holidays and added many of the same extensions. My computer is by no means new but still has plenty of memory, etc. I had very sluggish performance with Chrome after just a few things added. I didn't like the Adblocking as it would often flash the add up for a second then it would go away and leave a large space.

I was at my parents (set up wireless on their cable connection, but with multiple comps and video games on) and it was almost unusable as it would time out every other load. I went back to FF and didn't have the same issues.

It was fast at first, but I have just as many extensions on FF and it is much better. It seems to get stuck on any doubleclick or google analytic things on some of the sites I visit. Hopefully others have better results.

February 7, 2010 @ 3:23 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

So far, so good... I'm using version

There's a portable version of Chrome, but the extensions don't yet work with it. The version of Firefox I use is portable, which I find awfully convenient. Changing PCs? Copy and paste and it's the exact same instance!

I've giving my new extension-powered Chrome a full week and then I'll write about whether I'm going back to Firefox or not.

February 7, 2010 @ 3:28 PM

Donna Vitan

Ooh good call on the Pendule!

February 7, 2010 @ 4:32 PM


Is there any extension for saving Youtube videos and various flash files from similar sites?

February 7, 2010 @ 10:20 PM


mike- try xmarks.
it's the only way I can survive moving browser to browser.

you need to be running the dev. channel of chrome though.

February 9, 2010 @ 7:50 PM


+1 for XMarks. Great add-on/extension for Chrome/Firefox and now IE.

February 16, 2010 @ 6:54 PM

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