Toronto Mike

The Google Chrome Extensions Challenge


Yesterday, 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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