Useful Chrome Add-Ons

Most web nerds like myself have their favorite browser and accompanying add-ons. My favorite browser at the moment is Chrome, although I was once an avid Firefox fan.

These are a few of the Chrome add-ons that I love but haven't seen much mention of elsewhere for whatever reason. My hope is that readers will find at least one neat thing on this list they haven't seen before.

Google Dictionary

As someone who reads a lot of blog posts and articles on the internet, I frequently come across words I haven't seen before, or I've forgotten the definition of. With this extension, I can simply double-click a word and a popup bubble will appear with the definition inside.

If used on a person's name, it will attempt to display a text excerpt from that person's Wikipedia page. You can also hold down the CTRL key, highlight a multi-word (or hypenated) phrase, release the CTRL key, and most of the time get a decent result. I use this add-on ALL the time.


Footnotes on the internet are typically implemented poorly. Most of the time, clicking on one takes you out of the reading experience by jumping you down to the bottom of the article and making you click to jump back to where you were reading, likely at a different scroll position than where you came from. Footnotify aims to make this experience better.

Click on a footnote link, and the webpage fades into the background as the footnote pops up in its own bubble. Simply click outside of this bubble to dismiss the footnote and resume reading exactly where you left off. Works on almost every footnote I've ever tried it on, with very rare exceptions.

Hover Zoom

Sometimes web images are presented as tiny thumbnails that must be clicked or opened in a new tab to be seen at full size. With Hover Zoom, you can simply hover over an image and its full-size version will appear. I will say that it can be annoying on certain webpages — for example, I find it irritating when browsing Amazon, Flickr, and Facebook — but you have the option of "whitelisting" sites so that Hover Zoom won't work there.

Go Extensions

I tend to visit my add-ons page a lot, and this extension makes it super easy. Rather than clicking the hamburger button (≡), going to Tools, and clicking "Extensions" I can just click a single toolbar button. Anything that saves me a couple actions on a frequent basis is great in my book. Seems like a small thing but it adds up.


It used to be that when I came across a nice typeface and wanted to know what it was, I'd have to right-click a word, choose "Inspect Element," and then scan through the CSS styles to find the name buried within all sorts of other text. Now I simply activate WhatFont, hover over a word, and it pops up a bubble telling me what the typeface is.

I can also click a word to get even more information, such as the line height, its color hex code, and even what web service is serving the font. It supports Typekit and Google fonts, which are probably the most common font sources I come across these days.