I am trying to move to Chrome full time, but there are still not enough extensions to mimic what I do in Firefox, so I'm not quite there yet.  But there are some good extensions coming online, and I will try and save you some time by recommending the best-of-breed that I've found, thus far.

I don't tend to use a lot of extensions, as many are just gimmicks that slow down loading. I focus on the must have utilities. When it comes to the myriad of music extensions, stumblers, sharing, and social geegaws, gadgets, doohickies and other toys, you're on your own.

Just click the link to open a new window and install. Thanks to the magic of Chrome, they work instantly, with no annoying browser restart required, as with Firefox and IE.

Essential Extensions

  1. Quick Search — Pops-up a mini dialog box for entering searchings to popular sites like Wikipedia. Can't be customized. Hopefully, that's coming. (Usually, these tools have to be configured by the specific site to work well.) I use it mostly for quick Wikipedia searches. For that alone, it's a gem. 
     
  2. Right Click Opens Foreground Tab – Absolutely essential. Right click to open link in new Foreground tab (and other options). By default, Google opens tabs in background.
     
  3. Quick Dictionary (Google defines) – Great lookup tool that pops up an input box and avoids having to type in "Define Word" in Google search.  Neatly restricts the finds to a nice clean search result. Absolutely must have.
     
  4. Google Calendar Popout - Your agenda at a glance. Adds a Calendar Gadget button to the menu bar. 
     
  5. Send Link – Puts a handy button on your toolbar that lets rapidly forward the active web page to your default email program.
     
  6. Google Wave Notifier – Adds an icon to your toolbar listing number of new edits to waves you belong to, Clicking it pops-up a detailed list of each wave, allowing you to rapidly load or switch to that Wave.
     
  7. PDF/PowerPoint Document Reader –  Automatically previews pdfs, powerpoint presentations, and other documents in Google Docs Viewer.
     
  8. Refresh Page (Automatically) – Great for news feeds, twitter pages,etc.  Pops-up a small timer for each tab, allowing you to set a refresh timer. Page is reloaded on the timeout.
     
  9. Auto Copy Selected Text (Broken) –A tool like this was my most vital tool in Firefox, and this isn't really working (yet). I will leave it here reminding you to check back later to see if it's repaired.  In theory, you just select text on any page and it's automatically copied to the clipboard (on the mouse up). But more importantly, and optionally, it can include the URL for the page, too (set with Options*).  I use this for rapidly grabbing snippets for tweets or blog posts, and having the URL automatically appended to the end of the text.  When you paste into Tweetdeck, the shortener immediately compresses the URL. Big time & clicks saver. 
    1. Sadly, program  has a bad bug.  When I copy URLs from chrome, and go to paste them into a wordpress widget (such as a link dialog), the link in memory gets munged and converted to the current page. Other users report this disables normal.  I would avoid this program until this gets fixed–if ever. 

 

* Noter:  you can add and remove extensions, and set their options by clicking the Wrench Icon > Extensions page.

Developer Extensions

I will list them here as I test them. In the meantime, try this site:

Extension Wish List

Hey extension programmers.  Be famous, and give us this vital extensions first!

  1. Bookmark Sidebar – I just used bookmarks far too often to be messing with the stupid external bookmark window. Safari started that dumb-assed idea, and I will never understand why.  It seems to have been invented for people that never really use bookmarks. There was nothing ever wrong with the FireFox/IE sidebar model, and millions of people are very used to it.  GIVE IT TO US, Chromeboys!

  2. Multi-line Bookmark Toolbar – this is also vital, for me. I keep most current projects (such as WordPress pages) in various states, on the bookmarks toolbar. A single line of them gets eaten up instantly, and you're forced to use regular bookmark folders. Without a a sidebar, this is unworkable, but even with one, the multi-line bookmarks are killer. They completely transformed my Firefox life, and I MUST have them in Chrome. 


Note: If you know of a great extension, or have an idea for one, post as a comment here. I want to encourage extension writers to find this page often.