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Google Research Made Easy: Chrome Extensions

Why Use Extensions?

Extensions are small software programs that can enhance the functionality of a browser. Here we've listed some free extensions that we have personally found useful for the Google Chrome browser.

If you don't want to fill up your address bar with extension icons, use Context, an extension manager that lets you easily activate and deactivate extensions as you need them, without having to go into your Add-Ons menu.

If you just want to hide -- not deactivate -- extension icons, right-click on the icon and select "Hide in Chrome Menu."

Capturing Information

If you are a user of Evernote or OneNote, definitely add the Chrome extensions that allow you to clip and store what you see while you are browsing.

Right to Copy allows you to right click, highlight text, and copy text on pages that have disabled such features. It's been reported that this extension can interfere with your ability to click on search results, do disable it when you aren't using it.

Pocket allows you to save articles, videos, and more for later reading/viewing. Pages can also be cached for viewing without internet access.


Improve Your Browsing Experience

WorldBrain allows you to full-text search the pages & PDFs that you have visited and bookmarked while browsing the Web. It will start indexing the content after the extension is installed, but it can also search pages stored in your browser history if you import them.

Hover Zoom shows you the full-size image when you hover your mouse over a thumbnail (if a full-size image is available).

Save Open Tabs

There are a variety of tools that will help you manage all of your open tabs, allowing you to condense them, save them as a group, and expand them quickly. This is particularly useful in Chrome, as each open tab uses up memory.

OneTab will convert all your tabs into a list. When you need to access the tabs again, you can restore them individually or all at once.

DogEar is similar, temporarily saving your tabs until you want to open them again.

The Great Suspender does not close tabs, but it will suspend them after a set period of time in order to free up memory. Content on the tabs is restored with one click.

Extensions for Google Services

Checker Plus for Gmail gives you fast access to your email via a drop-down menu in Chrome, without having to open Gmail. This is especially useful if you have multiple Gmail accounts. URL Shortner will generate a shortened URL for any page you are visiting and copies the new address to the clipboard. If you click on details, you can see where and how often the shortened URL has been used.

Or, if you are uncomfortable about clicking on a shortened URL because you aren't sure where it will take you, add Unshorten.It!, which will allow you to right-click on any shortened URL and see where the URL leads.

Clean Up Pages

Mercury Reader will remove ads and other distractions from web pages, leaving only text and images for a better reading experience. To print out an improved page, right click and choose print from the menu instead of using your browser's print command.

Wikiwand improves the look of Wikipedia pages with modern typography, a clean layout, a convenient fixed table of contents, the ability to personalize the layout, and many other improvements.


Helpful Utilities

MightyText shows in Chrome texts you've received on your Android phone and allows you to send texts from your computer. Install the MightyText app on your phone as well as the extension in Chrome.

Fun Stuff

Social Ads - Vintage Edition will replace Facebook Ads with cool 80's ads.