’s speed and stability have made it many people’s browser of choice. It has also supported browser extensions for some time, and there are hundreds now available that add to its features and help to make your browsing safer, faster and more productive.

However, it’s not always easy to separate the wheat from the chaff, and there are some shockingly poor extensions out there. We’ve helped show the way by picking out 12 of the best Chrome extensions.

1. Send from Gmail

Clicking ‘mail to’ links online can be annoying if you’re a Gmail user, because they generally launch the default mail program and don’t work well if you prefer to use web mail. Send from Gmail changes that behaviour to open a Gmail ‘Compose mail’ window in Chrome whenever you click an email link.

It also gives you a Gmail button next to the address bar, which you can click to open a new mail message wherever you are. You can configure the extension to support Google App for your domain.

2. Scroll to Top Button

Savvy web designers generally break long sections of text into manageable page-sized chunks to avoid scrolling, and good web writers stay succinct and to the point, because most visitors are averse to scrolling and only really look at the first screen full of information.

However, lots of sites still include pages that are many times the length of the average screen. Scroll Top to Bottom adds a handy ‘scroll to top’ button to particularly long pages, which appears when you hover the mouse over the top right of the page and makes navigating lengthy pages much easier. You can configure the button to scroll to the bottom of the page as well, and there are lots of options to customise the button and its position to suit your reading style.

3. Dropbox for Chrome

Dropbox is a free service that lets you store up to 2GB of data on a remote server. It synchronises your stored files with local copies on as many PCs as you like.

Dropbox for Chrome lets you access your Dropbox files directly in Chrome, so you can quickly download or upload a modified file without installing Dropbox locally. This is ideal for portable computing and laptops, where you don’t want to sync continually.

Once you’ve installed the Dropbox extension, you’ll be prompted to enter your username and password. You can also specify the size of the popup window used to display your files.

4. Docs PDF PowerPoint Viewer

Docs PDF PowerPoint Viewer is a very handy extension which practically does away with your need to run a local PDF viewer application. Once the plugin is installed, Chrome will automatically open any PDF files you come across when browsing as Google Documents.

There’s no need to download the file to your PC before you can open it, and you can store it in your Google Document space if you have a Google account. The PDF viewer is quite basic, but you can still perform a simple text search within it.

The latest version of Chrome includes a PDF viewer, but this is still handy if you want to move PDFs to Google Docs and share them with others.

5. Things to Do

Things to Do is a simple addition to Chrome that lets you maintain a to do list that opens whenever you start a new tab. If you’re browsing the web and suddenly remember a task, open a new tab, click the ‘Add’ button and enter the details.

You can return to this tab or open a new one at any time to maintain your list. You can use the options to customise the colours and size of the list. You can reorder items on the list page by simply clicking and dragging the bullet buttons to the left of each entry. Edit any item by clicking its text and making the necessary changes.

6. New Tab Favourites

New Tab Favourites gives you a list of common destinations to choose from whenever you open a new tab in Chrome. The idea is that you can browse more quickly with convenient links to places like YouTube, Twitter and at your fingertips.

There’s already a list available when you install the extension, but you can customise it by clicking ‘Edit mode’. Enter the names of any new sites you want to use along with their URLS, and remove any unwanted ones.

7. TweetRight

Twitter is great for sharing things you’ve found online, but copying a URL, shortening it correctly and then pasting it into a tweet can be a tedious and clumsy affair. Even if you have a URL-shortening tool built into your preferred Twitter client, you still have to copy and paste the full address of anything that you want to share.

TweetRight is a Chrome extension that makes posting something to Twitter a two-click process. Right-click the item you want to share, choose ‘TweetRight’ and then ‘Post link to Twitter’. It’s simple and easy.

8. Google Scribe

Google Scribe uses Google’s predictive technology to guess what you’re typing as you type it, and will suggest the likely next word in a sentence. This Chrome extension makes the predictive power of Scribe available on any website.

There are privacy issues, because predicting what you’re writing involves remembering what you’ve typed before, but this is still very useful for anyone who finds typing a chore. You can enable Scribe in all text boxes by default or select ‘On demand’, which lets you can toggle it on and off by pressing [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[J].

9. AdBlock

Adblock removes adverts from web pages. Once it’s installed select the ad filter lists that you want to use. You can add new lists if you know the URL of the list server. One of the options lets you choose to keep text ads on Google searches, which can be useful.

An option to remove YouTube ads is currently in beta. You can enable ads on certain sites in the ‘Customize’ tab, which can be useful if you want to see ads on a site. You can also block specific ads by URL.

10. Google Translate

If you come across a foreign language web page and you can’t translate it yourself, Google Translate is the next best thing. It uses Google Translate to fetch a literal translation of the page from Google’s servers.

It automatically detects the language used and provides a link to the translated version if it isn’t your default language. You can set your default language and opt to translate pages automatically if you prefer.

11. Chrome IE Tab Multi

For sites that insist you can only browse them using Internet Explorer, there are various extensions that can help. Chrome IE Tab Multi is the most useful of the options on offer, because it does the best job of mimicking Internet Explorer and supports multiple tabs. It also supports ActiveX controls, and can remember which sites you prefer to use in IE mode.

In the options you can bookmark sites to open with IE Tab Multi and add options to open links in IE Tab Multi to the Chrome context menu.

12. FlashBlock

Flash can add useful and attractive multimedia elements like animation to web pages, but it can also be used to hide malicious code. Flash modules can also be frustratingly slow to load, especially if they aren’t relevant to what you want to do.

FlashBlock is a port of the Firefox extension that blocks all Flash content until you permit it. Flash elements are presented as placeholders, which you can click and then decide whether to run the script or not.

You can set up a whitelist of trusted sites, which will allow commonly used and trusted Flash content to run without interruption. Consider installing the FlashBlock plugin if you want to improve your browsing at the expense of some bells and whistles.

7f7c7c9b2f420 90.jpg In Depth: 12 best Google Chrome extensions

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In Depth: 12 best Google Chrome extensions