Friday, November 18, 2016

My Favorite Browser Extensions

The CTB has been delving into a lot of serious subjects lately.  So I thought it was time for a little fun.  In this post, I share a note about my favorite Google Chrome browser extensions.


I primarily use the Google Chrome browser for most of my day to day work.  Except for the occasional update hiccups, it has worked well for me because of the ability for “add-ons” to extend the browser’s functionality.  The following is a list of the extensions I currently use that make online life a little easier and more productive:


LastPass password generator/fill tool.  We wrote about this a couple of weeks ago here.

Google Password Alert – According to Google: “Password Alert is a Chrome extension that helps users avoid phishing attacks by detecting when they enter their Google password into any websites other than the Google Sign in page You can choose between resetting your password or ignoring the alert for the specific account.”

GhosteryThis extension, available for many browsers, allows one to better control the website trackers and ads that appear.  It is amazing how many “trackers” and web ads show up on the major websites.  I have seen as many as 80 trackers and ads trying to load for just one page. Ghostery therefore greatly speeds up web page display and makes websites useful again.  But note that it will block items such as video players and will leave an icon on the page to give you the option to turn off that block and run the app.

PDF Viewer – Most browsers now have the ability to display PDF documents without download. This extension uses the HTML5 standard and an open source JavaScript library to render the PDFs and is faster to load the pages and supposedly makes them safer to view.  I have generally had good luck using it.


Awesome Screenshot Capture – This is one of my favorite extensions because it lets me capture parts or the entire web page that I am viewing for saving as an image or printing.  The response screen then allows for cropping or editing the image.  It is an indispensable tool for creating user help or reports.

Google Translate – this one is obvious.  Google Translate automatically converts web pages from one language to another.  Now is it perfect?  No, the translation itself is not perfect.  But it is continuously getting better and, in my opinion, it is good enough to help to understand what one is looking at.  It also provides the ability to convert searches into another language.   For example, I used this technique when I was looking for reports from Austria on the first court E-filing project that occurred in 1989.

Google Translate is now 10 years old and supports 103 languages.  For more on their progress see this blog post from their Product Lead, Barak Turovsky.

Now do I want more?  Yes.  I would like to see the ability that has been provided in mobile phones to OCR and translate words in pictures.  For more on that click here.

Grammarly – My newest extension is Grammarly that I installed just this week.  So it is in the testing phase.  But it has been helping me already in this post. It is described as:

“Grammarly's free writing app makes sure everything you type is easy to read, effective, and mistake-free. Adding Grammarly to Chrome means that your spelling and grammar will be vetted on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, and nearly everywhere else you write on the web.”

URL Shortener – I use the Google URL Shortener to save and set links heShortenere Court Technology Bulletin and e-mail when they are excessively long.  The extension generates a link like this and then automatically places it into the “copy/paste” bin to use.  And I see that they have added the ability to generate a 2-D bar code for the link to paste into your document or e-mail. Handy.

TabSaver – I use this extension when I am doing research for an article or report so that I can easily save web pages that I have found to retrieve later.  It works well, but I don’t use it as much as I thought I would?

Last, here are some articles for extensions that are available for the Firefox browser.,2817,2358592,00.asp

So to paraphrase a popular credit card commercial tagline: What is in your browser?

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