July 27, 2011, 8:24 AM — Google+ is all the rage right now. Even under its limited-invite "field trial" phase, the social sharing service is growing in leaps and bounds, with oodles of new users joining every day and even more champing at the bit to get in.
Most of us, however, are only beginning to scratch the surface of what Google+ can do; like many Google products, G+ is brimming with advanced features and untapped tweaks. That's why I decided to put together this massive list of Google+ tips and tricks. It includes some of the best power-user pointers I've found both from my own experimentation and from following some really smart folks in the Google+ universe.
For more G+ tips and general tech talk, be sure to join me on Google+ as well. I promise I won't bite -- at least, not unless you ask really nicely.
Google+ Tips Part 1: The Stream
1. Use hotkeys to get around Google+ faster. In your Stream, press "j" or "k" to move through posts, and press Enter to start a comment. (Pressing Tab and then Enter will cause your comment to be submitted; hitting Tab twice and then Enter will cause it to be cancelled.) You can also press "q" to jump to the Google+ chat box.
2. Hotkeys work in the notification drop-down, too: Press "j" or "k" to move up or down in the list, and then press Enter to open any individual notification. When viewing a notification, "j" or "k" will let you progress forward or backward to other items. Pressing "Esc" will close the notification window altogether.
3. Want more hotkeys? Check out the G+ Extended extension for the Chrome Web browser. It adds a series of additional options, including hotkeys for +1'ing posts, sharing posts, and expanding comments.
4. If comments are getting out of control in your Stream, try the +Comment Chrome extension. It collapses all comment threads so you see them only when you click to expand. Another good option is the G+me Google+ extension; it leaves comments expanded by default but gives you a one-click option to collapse any thread or post on demand. It also provides badge-style comment counters to help you keep tabs on new activity for items you've collapsed.