One of the things that gave me pause when considering the move to Chrome from Firefox was having to give up the wide range of add-ons that the Mozilla service provides. But while Chrome can’t yet match Firefox’s huge extension ecosystem, it’s rapidly catching up, and many of my favorite “must-have” Firefox add-ons are are now available as Chrome extensions, or at least have Chrome equivalents. Here are the five Chrome extensions that I wouldn’t be without in the course of my daily blogging work:
- Postponer — Read it Later is a tremendously useful service for keeping on top of the latest writing in your field. Stumble across an interesting sounding article but don’t have time to read it now? Save it to your Read It Later list so you can check it out later, from any computer. If you have an iPhone, you can sync your Read It Later list with the phone, meaning you can catch up on those articles when you get a spare moment while on the go. Unfortunately, there’s no official Read It Later extension for Chrome, but Postponer, a pair of extensions, does the job admirably.
- After the Deadline — This useful extension has been available for a while as a Firefox add-on, so it’s good to see it released for Chrome. It’s a fairly comprehensive spelling and grammar checking tool. It can highlight misspelled words, misused words (“weather” instead of “whether,” for example), grammar and style issues. It’s certainly not perfect — it won’t catch all of your mistakes and it’s also quite a hefty extension — but as a quick sanity check, it works really well. I find it especially useful as Chrome’s built-in spell-checker doesn’t seem to work with WordPress (please see the disclosure at the bottom).
- Clip to Evernote — Note-taking app Evernote is a tremendously useful tool for writers. You can capture and access your notes wherever you happen to be, on pretty much any device. The official Chrome extension lets you swiftly clip interesting snippets of web content and save them to your Evernote account, without having to open new tabs or mess about with bookmarklets.
- Word Count — Word counts are crucial for many writers. Word Count’s a simple extension that enables you to highlight some text on a web page and hit a toolbar button to get a word and character count without having to waste time copying and pasting the text into a word processing app.
- Webpage Screenshot — This is another simple but extremely useful extension if you often need screen grabs. On my Mac, I normally snap screenshots using OSX’s built-in tool (Cmd+Shift+4), but if the page or image that you need to grab is bigger than the current window, this extension comes in handy. It can take a screen grab of an entire page, or just the current window.
Disclosure: Automattic, maker of WordPress.com, is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.
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