We have compiled a huge list of extensions that can help software engineers become Chrome power users.
We all have read those articles with tips and tricks on how to be more productive. The Internet is full of them, but the actual truth of being a productive software engineer lies somewhere in between your dedication to finish your work, and the tools you utilize for your tasks.
Because most of our workdays are spent looking at the browser, we decided to compile a list of cool and useful Chrome extensions to make your work easier. Picking the right Chrome extension can save you time and energy, and enable you to be more creative and hopefully more productive.
Although we have this comprehensive list of popular Chrome extensions for developers, we highly recommend installing only those apps that are important to you. Install only those extensions that you will actually use, because there is no point of having productivity tools that you would never open. Keeping a bunch of apps that you don’t use is bordering on hoarding, but what’s worse is that you are hurting your Chrome experience.
Google won the browser war because it made Chrome simple and fast -- or at least faster than its competitors, like Firefox, Opera, and Safari. But, when you install too many extensions, you are taking away a little bit of speed from Chrome every time it loads. And that is not good. If you want a bad Internet experience, install Internet Explorer 6.
Also, something to keep in mind is that Chrome extensions may be awesome one day, and terrible another. The reason for this is that extensions are software created by 3rd-party developers; and while your favorite extensions can work flawlessly, they may also suddenly stop working completely if the creators don’t take care of them.
Sometimes Google can break extensions when updating Chrome and its core technologies, and sometimes developers will forget to update their software, or even completely abandon it. Those lazy procrastinating developers should know that we have a list of extensions that could boost their productivity.
Must-have Chrome extensions to make your online life easier
So let’s start with the must-have Chrome extensions. These are tools that will improve your Internet experience, and will help you enjoy life as a software engineer. Some of these extensions provide simple ways to manage passwords, or keep notes; some will beautify Chrome, and others will make it a more effective browser.
- Adblock Plus is one of the most popular extensions, because it can fix the Internet. At the moment, banner ads don’t really work and can be really annoying. Adblock Plus has over 50 million users who prefer to hide annoying ads and keep their privacy, although the service has started whitelisting some partner ads. A great alternative is uBlock Origin. This addon flawlessly blocks unwanted ads and is easy on the battery and the CPU.
HTTPS-everywhere is an extension that can keep you safe and protect you against surveillance and account hijacking.
LastPass and 1Password are password management tools. Think about how many passwords you have to remember, but you keep forgetting! With these two extensions, you can save a lot of free space in your brain, and remember just one master password.The best part is that these tools will autofill your sign-in forms, and will generate a unique and random password that is hard to crack.
Grammarly. We all make spelling mistakes, but Grammarly can fix your grammar, too. It works with Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and nearly everywhere on the web. Grammarly is available for different browsers as well.
Chrome Remote Desktop. A must-have extension from Google for every tech support person or developer working with clients who have a hard time with computers. It enables remote access to another computer and, as a fully cross-platform service, works with virtually any device, including Chromebooks.
Any.do is perhaps the best minimal todo list that can be synchronized over desktop and mobile platforms. Enough. Said.
Evernote Web Clipper is an awesome place to keep your ideas and notes, and its Web Clipper for Chrome is an even better app to save links, bookmarks, and screenshots from the web with one click.
Momentum will give you a moment to relax and get inspired. This Chrome extension replaces the blank new tab with an inspirational background, quote, and a todo list.
Chrome extensions to make you more productive
There are little things that make a great software developer a better professional, and those little differences can be counterbalanced with the use of great Chrome extensions that can boost your productivity. These extensions can help you to focus on important work that will yield valuable results.
- Stay Focused. If you want to work, you need to remove distractions. This is what Stay Focused does – it stops you from opening time-consuming nonproductive websites. We are looking at you Facebook! Still, to use this extension to its full potential, you would need to have some amount of self-control. An alternative is Block Site.
Web Timer. Do you know how much time you spend reading comments on Reddit, looking at code on GitHub, or scrolling endlessly on Facebook? Now you’ll know. A great alternative is Noisli. This Chrome extension can help you focus on your work by setting the right working environment.
Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides was probably created by Google to annoy Microsoft. With this extension, you can edit Office documents without needing Office.
Google Calendar is a calendar, of course. Made by Google, and with a cool feature to synchronize your phone, or other desktop calendars, like Microsoft’s Outlook or Apple’s iCal.
Capture Webpage Screenshot Entirely is an extension that can help you save your screenshots or highlighted text as .png, .jpg, and .gif images. You can even send them to Photoshop, or in an email.
AirDroid is an extension that can connect your desktop computer with your Android phone, without using a USB cable. You can even send and receive SMS via your desktop. An alternative for sending SMS is MightyText SMS from PC, which will enable you to send and receive SMS messages on your PC and Mac.
Send Anywhere is a cool Chrome extension that can help you move files across the web without signing up.
Pushbullet is like a Swiss Army knife for messaging your friends. It connects with SMS, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.
iCloud Bookmarks stores your bookmarks to be accessible on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, and PC. A great alternative is Xmarks Bookmark Sync. It lets you sync bookmarks over various browsers and computers.
Writer is an easy and simple extension to ignore distractions and focus on writing.
Session Managers will let you save sessions of your open tabs, which you can view and re-open later. A great alternative is TabCloud, which allows you to save window sessions and restore them at a later date or on another computer.
Extensions to use Gmail like a pro!
Boomerang for Gmail can help you schedule times that Gmail messages will be sent. You can write an email, and then schedule it to send whenever you need it to be sent, even after one week.
Google Mail Checker. It is debatable how productive this extension is, mainly because it shows the number of unread Gmail messages in a big red button. It can distract you from your tasks at hand, or it can be an awesome notification app to remind you about urgent messages.
Checker Plus for Gmail is an extension that will bring your Gmail inbox to Chrome. You can manage multiple accounts without opening Gmail.
Todoist for Gmail is a convenient tool that adds a todo list in Gmail to track your daily tasks.
Gmail Offline. Why didn’t Google think of this? Oh wait, they did. This extension is built by the Gmail team to support offline access to search, read, and respond to messages.
Sent from Gmail is a button to send messages via Gmail. Simple and easy to use.
Rapportive is a Chrome extension that will add LinkedIn profile details to your Gmail contacts. It will connect messages with the smiley faces of people you communicate with.
Become a Chrome power user, a master of dark arts?
You are a developer and a Chrome user. And you might think that, as an avid fan of the web, you know a thing or two about how to use your browser. But are you really a Chrome power user? Do you have the tools that will make you a master of the information overload. We can help with some awesome extensions:
Disconnect was voted one of the best Chrome extensions by Lifehacker, because it visualizes and blocks invisible websites that track your search and browsing history.
Save to Pocket and never miss a post. Pocket is a great app to save those cool articles and videos you would like to read or see later. Just one click and the link is saved forever. A couple of awesome alternatives are Readability or InstaPaper.
Intab. If you like to keep multiple tabs open, then Intab is an extension for you. It is an awesome idea to keep the flow of reading by opening a tab… wait for it… in a tab. Bad pun, but the extension is awesome.
Panda 5 will allow you read multiple websites at the same time.
Ghostery. There is a disregard to privacy nowadays, and Ghostery can tell you exactly who is tracking you and why.
Buffer is a button with which you can schedule tweets and Facebook updates to be posted at a later time. It goes well with Pablo. This is an extension made by Buffer that can help you create beautiful images with photographs from the community.
Bitly. Long links are just too looooooong to share in an email or on social media. That is why you should use Bitly to shorten your links, and make your updates more professional and appealing to your readers.
AlienTube for YouTube is an extension that embeds comments from the awesome Reddit community into YouTube. You can also try Magic Actions for YouTube, which is used by over 2 million people who like to have auto HD quality and a function to increase volume with a mouse scroll.
Shine for Reddit will make Reddit a bit more visually attractive.
Save to Google Drive. Like Evernote, Save to Google Drive is an extension that will help you save web content to your Google Drive with a few easy clicks.
Vysor will let you control your Android phone via your desktop.
Browsec VPN Privacy. With this extension, the Internet will be your playground. No one will stop you from accessing every website you want. You also can try Hola to hide yourself on the web and access every available site, without geographical restrictions.
Proxy SwitchySharp enables quick proxy switching.
Unseen. With Unseen you won’t have the pressure to reply to your friends on Facebook. This extension hides the dreaded ‘seen’ tag in chat.
Clear Cache. One click and your history and cache are cleared.
Developer tools that will help you build better things
Chrome is the favorite browser for many software engineers, and it is just reasonable that you can find hundreds of extensions that are meant to help them. These are apps that are dedicated to making life easier for developers, and some of them are so unique that you might even learn something from them.
Tempermonkey is the most popular user script manager for WebKit-based browsers, like Chrome. It offers easy script installation, an overview of which scripts are running, and a built-in editor.
Speedtest by Ookla will measure your connection speed.
YSlow. Find out how to speed up your website with tools from Yahoo.
Postman is used by over 2.5 million developers to build, test, and document their APIs.
DHC REST Client is designed by developers for developers to make direct HTTP/REST resource discovery, manipulation, and testing.
Sight is a syntax-viewing extension that highlights your code.
Octotree is an extension to show GitHub and GitLab code in an easy-to-navigate tree form.
ProductHunt is an official extension from Product Hunt to share and view all the latest and coolest products.
Web Developer. Over one million developers use this Chrome extension that is actually a toolbar with various web developer tools.
META SEO inspector will show you all the metadata in the page. It could be useful for developers who need to verify the HTML of their site for the Webmasters' Google Guidelines.
HTML Editey enables you to create HTML files right from the Google Drive.
Codeanywhere is a light text, code, and markup editor that you can use on Chrome. Can connect to FTP, SFTP Servers, Dropbox, GDrive, or GitHub accounts.
MeasureIt. An instant ruler to measure the pixel width and height for web page elements.
WhatFont can help you discover every font used on web pages.
Chrome Apps & Extensions Developer Tools is an extension from Google for building and debugging Chrome Apps and Extensions.
Nitrous will help you set up development environments and code in the cloud.
CheckMyLinks. This extension can help you find and fix broken links.
IP Address and Domain Info. Does what it promises, lists detailed information about domains.
Responsive Web Design Tester will help you test if your website is responsive for different screens.
Web Server for Chrome serves web pages from a local folder over the network using HTTP. You can use it to send files over a local network, or for basic web development on a Chromebook.
MockFlow is an app that will help you design wireframes, with its only downside being that you need to pay to unlock its full features.
FluidUI is a Chrome app for designing mobile prototypes.
Cookies. This is a visual cookie editor for editing and whitelisting cookies.
- Emmet LiveStyle. Updates a page stylesheet while you edit CSS, LESS, or SCSS files in your text editor, without file saving or reloading.
Insane Chrome extensions because the web is a fun place
They say the Internet was built by cats… for cats. With that insane conviction in mind, it is hard to take most of the web seriously. Think about it, Facebook is filled with weird gifs, cats, dogs, lols… And why should you take all that craziness with a serious face? We found some terrible Chrome extensions that will give you an insane online experience. And, most importantly, they will help you blow off some steam.
Panic Button One click can hide all your tabs and save you from embarrassment.
Cloud to Butt is a stupid and fun extension that replaces the word ‘cloud’ with ‘butt’. Now you can save your files in your butt.
nCage Yes. Nicolas Cage will replace every picture on the web. It is fun to install it on your friend's computer, or your own, if you are a fan.
Website Destroyer destroys sites with weapons, hammers, and axes, and can help you release some anger. It is a great and harmless anger management tool.
Drumpfinator For all the Donald Trump haters out there, this one replaces the word ‘trump’ with ‘drumpf’. Drumpf for President 2016!
Decreased Productivity. It allows you to go crazy with your browsing experience. It strips the pages to only show text and links. It is a useless and fun add-on that will help you avoid work.
libdoge If you have ever thought about getting a pet, this is what it would look like.
Wow, that was a big list of Chrome extensions!
Yes, this list is long, but there are even more extensions on the Chrome Web Store. We collected only those extensions (and some weird ones) that we thought could help software engineers improve their work and be more productive -- and maybe find out new and interesting things about the web. The list is not final, of course. If you have an extension that you love, please share it with us on Twitter @syncano or on Facebook.com/syncano.
If you want to learn more about Syncano and what we are building, write to us at [email protected].