Chrome extensions are great little tools that can assist users in a plethora of helpful ways. Whether it’s saving money with Rakuten, making screen recordings with Loom or binging Netflix with friends, there are extensions for just about any task you can imagine. As useful as these Chrome Web Store tools are, today I learned a new (old) trick that I thought you might find useful. Did you know that you can create custom shortcuts for your Chrome extensions? I didn’t but you can bet I will be using them from here on out.
Extension shortcuts have been around for a few years. If you’re like me, you don’t frequent Chrome’s extension page which is exactly where you’ll find these shortcut options. To get there, click your three-dot menu at the top right of the Chrome browser and hover your cursor over “more tools.” You will see the extensions option in that sub-menu. Click that and then, click the hamburger menu at the top right to reveal the shortcuts menu. Alternatively, you can just drop
chrome://extensions/shortcuts into your browser’s URL bar. Once there, you will see a list of installed extensions. some of these extensions may have default shortcuts created by the developer.
To add your own, custom shortcut, just click into the shortcut box for the extension and select the keyboard combo you want to use. Your shortcut can include a variety of key combinations but it must start with either Alt, Ctrl or the Search key. You will also notice a dropdown menu to the right of the shortcut. This will allow some extensions to be used Globally. If you select “Chrome,” the shortcut will only work when a Chrome window is in focus or active. Select “Global” and that shortcut will work with or without an active Chrome window. This comes in very handy for us as we use link shorteners for linking out of our articles to other pages. Now, I can simply click my new shortcut to bring up the link creation extension instead of having to click the extension from the toolbar.
One thing to note is that Chrome and Chrome OS already contain some native shortcuts. For example, Alt+Shift+I brings up the feedback window for reporting issues with your device. You wouldn’t want to override that shortcut. So, before you create a new shortcut, try out your keyboard combo in an open browser tab to make sure it isn’t already assigned to another shortcut. I don’t know about you but this is a game-changer for me. I just wish I had discovered it a little sooner. Hopefully, this will be a great new tool in your bag to help you get the most out of your Chromebook and the Chrome browser. Stay tuned. We have more Quick Tips on the way.