May 26, 2012, 7:35 AM — Chrome has some handy ways to keep your myriad bookmarks just a click away, and for Facebook junkies to keep status updates front and center.
Chrome's Bookmarks Bar puts my most frequently visited sites across the top of the browser, just one click away.
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The problem is that I have so many favorites, they don't all fit. Instead, they get squeezed out of view, requiring me to click the little double-arrow on the right end of the Bookmarks Bar. Then I'm stuck perusing a drop-down menu, which takes, like, all day.
The solution I've found is to condense those favorites icons, or favicons, by eliminating the text that accompanies them. It takes a bit of time, but I think it's worth the effort. Here's how:
1. Right-click any icon in your Bookmarks Bar, then click Edit.
2. Remove the text from the Name field, then click Save.
3. Presto! Now you've got just the favicon for that favorite.
4. Repeat the process for all the other icons in your Bookmarks Bar.
Keep in mind that because not every Web site has an easily identifiable favicon, you might not want to take this approach for each and every favorite.
For example, sites like Facebook, Ebay, and PC World have instantly recognizable favicons. But others are more vague, and if you have any bookmarklets, those are usually represented by nothing more than a gray globe -- and therefore shouldn't be shortened.
Thus, you'll want to fiddle with this to find the best arrangement for your particular setup. You could always reduce a favicon's name to an abbreviation, like "LMI" for LogMeIn (which has a fairly generic-looking favicon). That would allow you to condense your Bookmarks Bar while keeping your icons easy to identify.
Now, for all your Facebook addicts, here's a neat way to keep Facebook Status updates in your view.
Right now, you probably find yourself hopping back and forth between a Facebook tab and whatever else you happen to be doing in your browser. That's not terribly productive.
You can use Chrome's MyStatusBar extension to add a Facebook status bar to the bottom of your browser, where it stays visible in every tab you have open. That way you can keep up with the latest messages, friend requests, and notifications, all without clicking away from your current page.
Here's how to get set up with MyStatusBar:
1. Head to the extension's page in the Chrome Store, then click Add to Chrome.
2. Wait until you see a new tab, then click the Login to Facebook button at the bottom.
3. That'll open a pop-up window, where you'll click Log in with Facebook.
4. Now you'll see a permissions list. You'll probably want to allow them all to get the maximum benefit from MyStatusBar, but you can certainly disable any you're uncomfortable with. (Needless to say, using an extension like this requires access to your account.)
5. On my system, I had to click the X in the bottom-right corner of that window, the one just above the blue MyStatusBar bar, to make the Allow button visible. Without clicking that button, you can't finish the setup.
And that's it! Now just open a new tab and you'll see your Facebook status bar at the bottom. Neat!
It works much like the standard status bar, but adds a Search field and a handy "Share this page" button (useful for sharing any page that doesn't have its own Facebook button). My only complaint is that when you click, say, the message or notification icon, it opens a new Facebook tab rather than a pop-up showing the actual content.
That said, you can scroll through status updates by clicking the up/down arrows, which is definitely nice. As something a Facebook junkie myself, I'm liking this add-on a lot.