10 really cool Google Chrome hacks

Behind the scenes, Chrome can run in three processing modes. The most efficient of these is single process mode. To use this mode, open Chrome's properties in the Start menu and add the string '-single-process' (without the quotes) to the end of the Target box. Now, no matter how many tabs you open, the browser will use just one process.

If you add the string '-process-per-site' to the Target line, Chrome will open a new process for each tab, but if you open the same site in two tabs, it will run them on the same process. The string '-process-per-tab' will force Chrome to create a completely new process and use a new memory space for each tab, which is its default.

8. Download YouTube videos

While other browsers need a plug-in to download YouTube videos, Chrome can do the same with a small piece of JavaScript. Simply right-click on the bookmarks bar and select 'Add page…' Call it 'Download Video' and enter the following JavaScript on one line in the URL box:

javascript:window.location.href = 'http://youtube.com/get_video?video_id=' + swfArgs['video_id'] + "&l=" + swfArgs['l'] + "&sk=" + swfArgs['sk'] + '&fmt_map' + swfArgs['fmt_map'] + '&t=' + swfArgs['t'];

Now, go to a YouTube page and set a video running. Then, click on 'Download Video' to download it. The progress is displayed in a bar at the bottom of the browser window, but if you press [CTRL]+[J] you'll open a tab containing the download history.

One word of warning, though. The downloaded files are stored with the file name 'get_video' with no extension. Rename each with a sensible name, and give it the extension '.flv'. If you don't have any software that is able to play '.flv' files, you can download the free VLC Media Player.

9. Compare browser resource use

If you're not sure which of your browsers is using the most resources, there's a very simple way to see this information in Chrome, regardless of which browser you want to examine.

Simply hold down [Shift] and press [Escape]. This starts Chrome's internal task manager. If you now click on the 'Stats for nerds' button, a new tab opens and displays memory usage information for all running browsers, regardless of type. The lower part of the page also gives detailed information about individual Chrome processes. You can lose the task manager for a better view.

10. Make images dance

Here's an entertaining hack: it makes the images dance around in formation.

First, go to a web page containing plenty of images – a Google image search, for instance, or the display of your most visited sites. Delete everything in the Omnibox and enter the following JavaScript as a single line:

x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25;
y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24;
x4=300; y4=200; x5=300;
y5=200; DI=document.images;
function A(){for(i=0; i-DIL; i++){DIS=DI[ i ].style;
DIS.top=Math.cos(R*y1+i*y2+y3)*y4+y5}R++}setInterval('A()',5); void(0);

When you press [Enter], the madness begins. To stop it again,hit the 'Refresh' button.


First published in PC Plus issue 278

Now read 30 Google Chrome tips, tricks and shortcuts

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