Making the Most of Google Chrome

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Google Chrome hasn’t been out for long (since September of 2008), and is still in its infant stages. However, it shows promise towards being a major part of the web browser market, already holding a 1% share on the entire browser usage charts. 1% isn’t bad at all for being brand new!

Chrome follows Google’s minimalistic theory that their number one search engine has always used. K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid) has always been the word to describe Google’s products. Despite their sheer power, Google believes that sometimes less really is more. Chrome is no different. With its sleek, modern lines, and an unobtrusive interface that stays out of your way, Chrome is a blast to use.

All the better yet, Chrome is open source - allowing any programmer or developer to donate time improving or changing the functionality and interface of the browser.

Being new and still under development, there isn’t a lot of tweaking around to do. Google has stuck with the simple design, and hasn’t packed it full with thousands of options for you to play with. It is already very fast, and will probably just get better “with age”. Beta versions are only somewhat like the fully released product, and new versions come out one-after-the-other when a product is brand new. Issues will be cleared up with later versions, and no doubt new ones will be introduced.

The first thing you might want to customize, is the location Chrome downloads files to. By default, this is the My Documents folder, which is fine for some people - but is an annoying place to store every single file you download. You can click the wrench icon (upper right corner), and select options to bring up the Options Window. Just click on Minor Tweaks, and select Browse to choose your preferred download location.

Back under the default Basics tab, you can select Chrome to be your default browser. Interestingly enough, Chrome is just about the only one that doesn’t try to force itself on you. IE, Firefox and Opera all try to make themselves default upon first use. The default browser is the one that is automatically deployed when you open an HTTP based “offline” link from a file, document, or third party program. For ease of use, you will definitely want to make your favorite browser the default one. If you’re not sure yet, you can wait to make Chrome the default browser until you’ve had a chance to try it out.

Another annoyance that is easily fixed, is the lack of a home button on the toolbar. Sometimes you just want to head straight to your home page, without having to repetitively press the back button, or manually type in the URL. Nobody is sure why Google didn’t include this button by default, but it is very easy to add. It will probably appear by default in a later version of Chrome. Under the same Basics tab, you can select “Show Home button on the toolbar” to bring this handy shortcut to the screen.

6:15 PM

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