Sunday, 3 June 2012

Tips, tricks & tweaks: Chrome

Google Chrome is quite the browser of the moment. Everyone seems to love its speed, ease of use and minimalistic approach to surfing the web. It’s little wonder, then, that Chrome is fast becoming the most popular of browsers. With that in mind, here are our tips, tricks and tweaks that we’re sure will improve your web browsing experience, and make Chrome that little bit better.

Improve Page Performance

Navigate to chrome:flags and find the section for GPU Composting on all pages. Enable this and click the Relaunch Now button to restart your browser. What you’ve just done is to allow your CPU to offload the rendering of some web page elements onto the graphics processor (GPU). As long as your graphics are capable of handling DirectX 9, then you should begin to notice the difference in page loading times and performance almost immediately. A good way to test this is to browse to an image- or video-laden page and see if it’s faster.

Cloud Printing

Chrome has the ability to make your printer available to you from any Google Cloud Print enabled web browser, regardless of whether that’s a standard desktop, tablet or mobile device. To enable could printing, click on the spanner in the top right of Chrome, followed by ‘Settings’, then ‘Under the Hood/Bonnet’ and scroll down to ‘Google Cloud Print’. You will need a Google account to sign in with but, once activated, Chrome will automatically open up the easy-to-follow support pages. From there it’s up to you who you give printing access to, but the benefits of your relations in Australia printing a family photo directly to you is what technology is all about.

Multiple Profiles 

Chrome has the ability to set up multiple profiles, each with their own set of bookmarks, etc. To do this, enter ‘chrome:settings/personal’, then next to ‘User’, click the ‘Add new user’ button. This will activate an icon in the very top left of the Chrome window, which, when clicked, will allow you to change profiles whenever you want.

Play Classic Games In Chrome

Open up Chrome and type the following into the Omnibox: ‘chrome:flags’. This will open up the experimental features page within Chrome. Now scroll down, roughly halfway, until you reach ‘Native Client’. Click on the ‘Enable’ link, and restart your browser. Head to, then click on any of the retro games to relive those boyhood days, long since passed. However, as we said, this technology is still new and could potentially cause some instability. We’ve been using it for a while now and everything seems okay within Chrome, but if things start to go wrong, you can always disable it.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Who needs a mouse when there are loads of wonderful keyboard shortcuts at your fingertips? In the tables here, you’ll find some to get to grips with, including the editor’s favourite: Ctrl+Shift+T.

Address Bar Shortcuts

Type a search term, then                                                  Performs a search using your default
press Enter search engine

Type a search engine                                                         Performs a search using the search
keyword, press Space, type a                                          engine associated with the keyword
search term, and press Enter

Begin typing a search                                                         Performs a search using the search
engine URL, press Tab when                                           engine associated with the URL
prompted, type a search
term, and press Enter

Ctrl+Enter                                                                              Adds www. and .com to your input
                                                                                                   in the address bar and opens the
                                                                                                   resulting URL

Type a URL, then press                                                      Opens the URL in a new tab

Ctrl+L or Alt+D                                                                      Highlights the URL

Ctrl+K or Ctrl+E                                                                    Places a '?' in the address bar. Type
                                                                                                   a search term after the question
                                                                                                  mark to perform a search using your
                                                                                                  default search engine

Press Ctrl and the left arrow                                         Moves your cursor to the preceding
                                                                                                 together key term in the address bar

Press Ctrl and the right arrow                                        Moves your cursor to the next key
                                                                                                  together term in the address bar

Ctrl+Backspace                                                                  Deletes the key term that precedes
                                                                                                your cursor in the address bar

Select an entry in the address                                       Deletes the entry from your browsing
bar drop-down menu                                                      with history, if possible
your keyboard arrows, then
press Shift+Delete

Click an entry in the address                                        Opens the entry in a new tab in the
bar drop-down menu with                                             background
your middle mouse button
(or mouse wheel)

Press Page Up or Page Down                                          Selects the first or last entry in the
when the address bar drop-                                           drop-down menu.
down menu is visible.

will be continued.......

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