[Chrome, FireFox] Quickly access Google websites with Google ShortcutsOctober 4, 2012 2 Email article | Print article
What is it and what does it do
Google Shortcuts provides a toolbar or drop-down menu (you pick) that lets you quickly get into your favorite Google websites, such as Gmail, Google Search, Google Docs, etc.
- Easy to use
- You can easily customize it
- Automatically comes in toolbar mode instead of drop down menu
- Lack of keyboard shortcuts
This extension is really simple and easy to use. Basically what this does is provide you with buttons, in a drop-down menu or a toolbar, to click which take you to a Google website. No muss and no fuss. You can go to Gmail, Google Reader, Google Search, Google Maps, Wave (?), and Dashboard by default. However you can customize the shortcuts and that is where the true power of this extension comes into play.
Most people want their computer screen to look a specific way, and everybody has a different taste. So the best thing that a product can do is to be customizable and that is what was done with Google Shortcuts. When you click on settings, you will be prompted with a screen like this:
Once you are there, you can customize the add-on to your hearts content. And if you select to use a drop-down menu instead of toolbar, then you can customize it even more. And if Gmail, Reader, Google Search etc. don’t interest you then you can pick from over 100 different Google services (yes, they own a lot).
Of course with every extension or program there are some negative aspects to it. While this add-on does not have a lot, it does have a few. The first one is when you pick the vertical orientation on the toolbar it looks something like this:
Now I don’t know about you, but to me that is just ugly and not attractive. While this next negative may seem like a small one because you can easily change the toolbar settings, I still have to point it out.
Another con is when power users, like me, want to save time, they don’t want to have to reach for their mouse to click on an icon. The lack of keyboard shortcut support with this add-on is really disheartening.
That brings me to the first improvement that I would suggest — add keyboard shortcut support. The other suggestion I have for the developer is why not make the vertical toolbar go down the left of the screen. instead of sitting at the top and wasting space. Most sites do not even use all screen space on larger monitor, so it would be nice if this extension is put in that area. (Do Firefox and Chrome even allow this?)
Conclusion and download link
Overall, this is a really great extension. It speeds up your productivity by providing you easy-to-click buttons for accessing Google services, and it is really customizable. This is an extension that I will be keeping on Firefox for a long time.
Requires: Firefox, Chrome