Google Chrome Tips

I started this blog post of Chrome tips in 2008. Even though this is a “hairball” post, some of these tips still work.

– control-shift-V will paste your selection as plain text

– control-shift-T will re-open the last tab you closed. You can repeat that to keep re-opening previously closed tabs.

– Hover over a tab to see the title for that page.

– shift-escape to bring up the Chrome process manager

– switch your default search engine: right-click in the Omnibox and select “Edit search engines…” . Select a search engine and click “Make Default”

– Chrome’s user-agent looks like “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/ Safari/525.13”

– Click on a tab and drag it to reorder tabs. To move the tab to a new window, click on the tab and drag it away from the tab bar until a “ghost image” of the tab appears.

– Use control-tab and control-shift-tab to shift your tab focus

– The address bar (referred to as an “Omnibox”) in Google Chrome is very smart. You can use it to type urls or to run searches. Once you type a space after a word, the browser will assume that you want to run a search. Once you type a ‘/’, the browser will assume that you want to navigate to a url.

– Here’s another omnibox trick. Visit and do a search for anything (say, Terry Pratchett). Your browser will see that you did a search and will learn that it can search amazon. Now start typing in the omnibox until “” is offered as a suggestion, and then hit tab. You will be offered the ability to search directly on Amazon for what you want. So you could type “am” to bring up the “” suggestion, then hit tab and Chrome will say “Search” then if you type “Little Brother” and hit return, you’ll be taken directly to Amazon’s search results for Little Brother.

– On Firefox, you’d use control-l to move the focus to the address bar and control-k to move the focus to the search box. Both shortcuts work on Google Chrome. Note that control-k adds a ‘?’ to the beginning of the address bar/omnibox, which is a shorthand way to write “Do a search.” So entering “?tax codes” would do a search for [tax codes]. After you get the hang of the omnibox, you’ll find yourself just typing searches and hitting enter, because you don’t really need the ‘?’ in front.

– Toggle the display of a bookmark bar on and off with control-shift-B. Even if the bookmark bar is off, it will conveniently appear for you on the “New Tab” window.

– Google Chrome doesn’t offer Google Bookmarks functionality, but if you want to use Google Bookmarks with your browser, you can visit and there’s a bookmarklet at the bottom of the page that you can drag up to your bookmarks bar.

– If you delete a tab by accident, open up a new tab with control-t. In the bottom right is a section called “Recently closed tabs” where you can retrieve a tab. That section only lists three recently closed tabs though. You can re-open up to 10 closed tabs with control-shift-T.

– To maximize the Google Chrome window, you can double-click in any unused/blank part of the tab strip

– An Incognito window isn’t just useful for buying gifts or private porn surfing. If you have two different Google Accounts (maybe a work account and a personal account), you can use Incognito mode to keep two browser windows open and the two windows can each use a different Google Account. Open an Incognito window with ctrl-shift-N.

– control-h will open a history window so that you can search over your browser history

– To help prevent phishing, Google Chrome will bold the hostname of the url in the address bar.

– Attach a file in Gmail with simple drag-and-drop.

– Google Chrome has some neat internal pages that you can access. In the address bar, try entering “about:memory” to get a great breakdown of Chrome’s memory statistics. Enter “about:version” to get version information about Google Chrome. Enter “about:dns” to see the time you’ve saved with DNS prefetching. Enter “about:plugins” to find out more about your browser’s plugins. And “about:stats” shows all kinds of information.

Have you tried Chrome?

If you haven’t tried Chrome recently, you might want to give it a try. PC World recently picked Google Chrome as its top recommended browser. They said that Chrome had the best interface, best security, and best speed. (Firefox took top honors in the other category, best extensions.)

Jeff Atwood recently wrote that

Chrome was a completely respectable browser in V1 and V2. The entire project has moved forward so fast that it now is, at least in my humble opinion, the best browser on the planet. Google went from nothing, no web browser at all, to best-of-breed in under two years.

[I think someone else–Maximum PC?–also recently named Chrome their top browser. I’m on a plane now, but I’ll try to add the other reference if I find it when I get home.]

Linux Format also recently reviewed eight different web browsers for Linux. They gave Chrome a 10/10 and concluded:

The outright winner has to be Chrome. Not only did it blitz everything else in the speed tests, but it holds up in the compatibility stakes too. Although we were amazed by the speed of Chrome, we shouldn’t forget the wonderful array of developer tools that are also embedded.

Looking at the analytics for my blog, about 22% of you use Chrome. So for the other 78% of you, what’s keeping you on another browser?

P.S. Here’s a pro tip: you can use Chrome in four different levels of bleeding edge: stable, beta, developer (also known as “dev”) and canary. I prefer the dev version myself, because you get access to great features early, but it’s still been very stable for me. Here’s how you can download and install the dev version of Chrome. Or if you want something rock-solid, you can download that too.