Daily Archives: December 8, 2009

Make Google Chrome Open with Permanently Pinned Tabs [Google Chrome]

Like using the pinned tabs feature in Chrome but wish you could make your pinned tabs permanent? Combine the --pinned-tab-count command switch magic and a list of your favorite pinned web sites to do just that.

Note: We highlighted this tip in a tips box post a few weeks ago, but here’s a more thorough guide for Windows users who like the idea. If you’re using Firefox, check out the very cool App Tabs extension.


Normally you have to use the “Tab Context Menu” to create pinned tabs in Chrome, then repeat the same actions again the next time that you open the browser. Doing so once in a while is okay, but it quickly gets tedious if you have to do it every time.

Setting Up Permanent Tabs

To get started you will need to locate and right click on your shortcut(s) for Google Chrome. Select “Properties”.

Once you have clicked through, you will see the “Properties” window with the “Shortcut” tab displayed. Now you are ready to modify the “Target Path”.

There will be two parts to this:

In the address area for “Target:” you will need to add the following command to the end of the target path making certain to leave a single space in between the final quote mark and the “pinned tab count command”. Enter the number of permanent pinned tabs that you would like to have in place of the “x”…for our example we chose “5”.

It should look like this:

Now for the second part. You will need to add the URL for each website that you would like to have as a permanently pinned tab after the “pinned tab count command”. Make certain to leave a single space in between each URL and the “pinned tab count command” as shown below.

Once you have that finished, click “Apply”, then “OK”.


Once you start Chrome (and each time thereafter) you will have a very nice set of permanently pinned tabs ready to go.

Accessing the “Tab Context Menu” you can still temporarily turn the permanent tabs back into “normal ones” by clicking on “Pin tab Command” to “deselect” it. You will also be able to close the tabs in the normal fashion if you do not need them at the moment.

If you love using pinned tabs in Google Chrome and have been wanting to make them permanent, then you should definitely give this a try.

Best Outlining Tool: Microsoft OneNote [Hive Five Followup]

Last week we asked you to share your favorite outlining tool and then we rounded up the top five nominations for a vote. Now we’re back to share the results.

Leading the pack was Microsoft OneNote with 30% of the vote. Although not a dedicated outlining application, its outlining functionality combined with ease of use and ease of capture made it a strong contender. Following OneNote was FreeMind (22%) a mind-mapping application many readers have repurposed for use as an outlining and organization tool. Rounding out the top three was Microsoft Word with 13%—not the most sophisticated outliner in the world, but it's on millions of computers and it gets the job done.

For more information on the winner and the runners up, check out the full Hive Five. Have a topic you’d love to see covered in the Hive Five? Fire off an email to tips@lifehacker.com with “Hive Five” in the subject line.

18 Extensions Worth Downloading from Google Chrome’s Gallery [Downloads]

Google’s extension gallery for its Chrome browser opened for business this morning. We've taken a look around the offerings—most of them, anyways—and pulled out a few picks that deserve a spot in your formerly pristine browser.

Actually, rating these extensions by “worth the slowdown,” as is often the case with Firefox, doesn’t seem applicable here. Chrome renders pages just as snappily on a Linux install with eight extensions loaded, and the memory use seems not all that different. Your mileage may certainly vary.

We pulled out extensions from the gallery for highlighting that do something a bit different from widely-available bookmarklets, or at least fill a crucial need for those who use the web productively. You can disagree with our picks or tell us how blind we must be to miss a great one—do so in the comments, and if we missed a really great one, we'll update the post.

You need to be running either the Windows dev version of Chrome, the just-released Linux beta, or a daily build that supports extensions. Mac users are, unfortunately, left out of the add-on party for the moment.

Google Mail Checker: Just what it sounds like. It sits in your address bar, keeps track of your unread messages, and opens Gmail when you click it. Take note that the author states it “does not yet work well” with Google Apps mail.

RSS Subscription Extension: Puts an RSS icon in the address bar when standard feeds are detected, and delivers the feed to a reader selection page when clicked. You can add custom readers beyond the standard five using URL syntax.

Xmarks for Chrome Beta: Just like the early Chrome alpha, this extension ties Chrome into your Xmarks bookmark account, synchronizing you between Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and across multiple profiles, if needed.

iMacros for Chrome: We haven’t had nearly enough time to discover what this cool tool is capable of, but it seems like a nice solution for anyone missing their crucial Greasemonkey scripts and other Firefox-only helpers.

Aviary Screen Capture and Picnik Extension for Chrome: We’ve already spilled some digital ink on the neat Aviary extension, but Picnik does the same type of instant web page capture—and also lets you pick a particular image from a quick list that pops down.

Flash Block and FlashBlock: Both do the basic task of turning off Flash on all web pages, until you turn it back on for all pages from that domain. FlashBlock uses a keyboard shortcut, while Flash Black has a settings dialog with a list you can edit.

AdThwart and AdSweep: As you might guess, they both block ads, though they use different blacklists to do so. We’ve previously covered AdSweep in its early days, and AdThwart looks like a fledgling sibling.

Brizzly: The helpful, time-saving, at-a-glance Twitter/Facebook client for the web integrates smoothly into Chrome. Click the button, and you get a quick read on what’s happening in your social streams, with images automatically shown and videos embedded. You can, of course, also tweet or update Facebook from here.

Google Voice Notifier, Google Wave Notifier, and Google Alerter: The first two do just what you’d think they do, but make lots of sense for services you want right away and might only occasionally check, respectively. The last is a kind of uber-notifier that checks Gmail, Wave, and Reader for new items. If you’re a heavy Reader user, you’ll obviously want to turn those pings off in the settings.

Chromium Delicious Plugin: All your recent bookmarks from the Delicious bookmark service, as well as quick saving of bookmarks from selected text/links or manual creation.

ChromeMilk: There are many, many tools that bring to-do manager Remember the Milk into your browser, but this one's notable for popping up your task list right from the address bar—and offering Remember the Milk's very slick iPhone interface as an option for pro membership owners.

LastPass: As previously mentioned, this extension fills in the gap that Xmarks’ lack of password syncing leaves on Chrome.

Fittr Flickr: Adds keyboard shortcuts, additional photo information, lightbox-style galleries, and more to Flickr photo pages, in the style of Gina’s own Better Flickr for Firefox.

What have you found that’s worth installing, and bragging about, in the Chrome Extensions Gallery? Share the links and love in the comments.

Chrome Extensions Gallery Officially Opens [Chrome Extensions]

Right after the Mac and Linux betas of Google Chrome arrived, Google threw open the doors to its Chrome extensions gallery. Jump in, browse the most popular and highly-rated add-ons, and grab something good for your new browser.

As noted, the big letdown is that these extensions don’t work on Chrome’s Mac beta, at least for the time being. On a Windows machine running the dev version, or in the Linux release, it’s a two-click install for most extensions. You can sort by popularity and rating, and see what’s being featured by the Chrome team. You can also browse by most recent uploads, but that seems like it’ll get out of hand before too long.

The obvious point of comparison is Mozilla’s Add-Ons gallery for Firefox. Notably lacking from Chrome’s gallery is RSS feeds for search terms and popular/recent categories. On the other hand, Chrome’s gallery seems far more friendly to multiple, big screenshots, which we all can appreciate.

Find a great app in the Chrome gallery? Tell us about it in the comments. We’re definitely taking a look around, and taking suggestions, for more coverage.

Things To Do Turns Chrome’s New Tab Page into a To-Do List [Downloads]

Google Chrome: If seeing what needs to be done next is a lot more useful for you than seeing where you usually go on the net, you’ll want to use Things To Do to transform Chrome’s new tab page.

There are no options or settings to Things To Do—simply install the extension, and your new tab page is taken over by a very simple to-do list. Type in items, "X" them off as you complete them, and have your web wanderings out of mind as a bonus.

Things To Do is a free download, requires a development build of Chrome on Windows or Linux (for the moment).

Repair a Broken Ethernet Plug with Zip Ties [Clever Uses]

We’ve all been there at some point, you’ve got a perfectly functional Ethernet cord that somewhere along the line had its tab broken off. Don’t buy a new one or re-terminate the cord. Fix it with zip ties.

While we're no stranger making our own Ethernet cables—you can probably find a few RJ-45 connectors hanging out with the dust bunnies under our work bench—sometimes it's not convenient or you don't have the tools to strip an Ethernet cable, strip and reposition the pairs, and re-terminate it. It's an even bigger annoyance when the only reason you find yourself having to do it is a missing plastic tab on the connector plug.

Over at the ever-growing how-to site Instructables, they have a tutorial on how to fix a broken RJ-45 connector using two zip ties, a razor knife, and a pair of pliers—although if you're going full MacGyver you could skip the pliers. When you're done you'll have a functional tab on your Ethernet cable. Check out full tutorial at the link below and if you have your own clever use for zip ties or other inexpensive tools—duct tape anyone?—we want to hear about it in the comments.

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