Let me tell you how I love Chrome. I love Chrome the way a child loves their mother. I love Chrome the way fish love the sea. It is a love that will never die, only grow with each new browser extension I discover.
What’s a browser extension when it’s at home?
A browser extension is a little add-on to your internet toolbar. They sit in the top-right of your browser window, next to your Bookmark this page star.
Browser extensions are built by the kind of geniuses who create apps in their lunch break. They can do useful things like turning every mention of ‘millennial’ into ‘snake people’.
I’m going to tell you about extensions that work great in Chrome because – you may have heard – I use Chrome and Chrome Canary. That said, all of these are available for other browsers so do give them a try.
The 5 browser extensions I can’t do without
The ultimate spelling and grammar checker, Grammarly is a must for anyone.
Chrome has its own spellchecker but this is one a bit more in-depth. Adding the Grammarly browser extension means anything you write online (social posts, blogs, emails) is checked and has errors flagged, along with suggestions for corrections. It also gives you a definition if you double-click on any word on the whole internet.
My favourite thing about the Grammarly browser extension is that I get insights for my week’s writing. How many words I’ve done, how dynamic my vocabulary was and how accurate my copy was. Then it ranks me against other Grammarly users – what bliss! You also get a list of your most common mistakes, which is a great way to improve.
Pinterest ain’t new and nor is the Pin It Button. It’s one of the first browser extensions I ever got and I still use it all the time. Click the Pin It Button while you’re on a web page and it’ll find all the images you could pin.
You pick the one you want, then it takes you to your Pinterest account to edit the description and pin the image. I use it most for pinning my blog posts into my Pinterest portfolio.
3. Page Ruler
Page Ruler is a drag-and-drop measuring tool. It will tell you where on a page something lives and how big it is in pixels. I use it literally every day to find out how big an image needs to be or what size a text area is.
You just click the Page Ruler button in your toolbar and get measuring. I sometimes measure things just because I can.
You may have used BuzzSumo for checking how many shares a piece of content has. The BuzzSumo browser extension is brand new and does exactly that but in a handy drop-down over whatever page you’re looking at, instead of you having to paste a URL directly into BuzzSumo.com.
The Buzzsumo browser extension also gives you a total share count for a page without you even asking – the number appears over the button in your toolbar. It won’t work for every random little page yet but big sites have been indexed, so you will see the count for those.
5. Word & Character Count Tool
Does what it says on the tin, I’m pleased to report. I got sick of having to copy and paste text into Wordcounter.net every time I wanted to check my character count – although it’s great for that and many more things. I needed something quicker, on-page.
This extension means all you have to do is highlight the text you’re interested in then right click to your context menu and hit Word & Character Count. It’ll give you a little popup in your bottom right of your screen, showing word count, character count and sentence count, as well as number of unique words – and that’s exactly what you want.
Do yourself a favour and get yourself some browser extensions. They make so many annoying things simple and quick.