There are various ways to go to a Chrome settings page. You can use the Chrome menu and select the Settings submenu. You may also type chrome://settings/ in the Chrome address bar or omnibox which will take you directly to the Chrome Settings page. However, we can do better. We can add chrome setting page URL to search engines and jump to desired setting rather quickly.
Type chrome://settings/searchEngines in the address bar.
Scroll down to “Other search engines” and add a new search engine.
Enter “Chrome Settings” as a name for your search engine or whatever you would like to call it, “set” as the keyword you’ll type for activating search (again your choice) and URL as chrome://settings/search#%s
That will be all!
Enter your keyword “set”, hit the TAB key and enter the keyword for the setting you are looking for. This will automatically open your chrome settings page, with only the matching setting options displayed and highlighted. This is especially useful if the option you are looking for is buried somewhere under advanced settings.
You may also use Chrome URLS to directly jump to some important settings. I have listed some of the most useful ones that you can directly type or bookmark. This will surely save you a few clicks right away.
URLs for Chrome Settings
Go to Chrome Settings page directly.
Manage Chrome search engines to be used from omnibox.
Add new user to Chrome.
Import bookmarks, history and other data saved in other browsers.
Manage Chrome content settings.
Manage cookies and site data.
Clear your browsing data in Chrome.
Manage auto fill settings.
Add new address to chrome auto fill.
Add new credit card to chrome auto fill.
Manage font and related settings.
Manage language and input settings.
Add/Remove words to chrome dictionary.
Manage advance sync settings for Chrome when you are logged in.
Few days back I wrote about how you can easily search your bookmarks from Chrome omnibox. But this approach is still limited by Chrome’s Bookmark Manager. In my quest to look for an even better solution, I found Dewey. Apart from clean and elegant interface, it provides some powerful search capabilities. This could be really useful when you deal with large number of bookmarks.
Dewey. Better Bookmarks for Google Chrome.
Before we dig deeper into Dewey, I need to state that it’s a Chrome App and NOT an Extension. The reason I stated this is that after installing the app, I kept wondering how to launch it. I didn’t see any launch button in the toolbar which is very common with Chrome extensions. Chrome no more shows Apps in the New Tab Page. Therefore, it was a bit puzzling to start with but there are a number of ways to launch it.
Once you launch it, it will load a neat and pleasant interface with a big search box and a page full of bookmark tiles. As you scroll, it will keep loading remaining bookmarks smoothly. You can sort your bookmarks by Date, Title and URL. I wish they add sort by usage frequency and make it default so that it can easily replace my New Tab Page.
The above picture shows the single tile for a bookmark as displayed by Dewey. As you can see, along with an icon and title, it displays folders under which the bookmark is stored. By default it converts all the folders into tags (the ones highlighted in yellow) for a bookmark. You also get an option to exclude/hide top-level folders (Bookmarks bar, Other bookmarks, etc.) as they do not make sense in most cases. You may also add custom tags if you want. All the tags will be stored and synced, so once created it will be available on all your machines if you’re signed into to Chrome.
The edit icon which appears on mouse over, will allow you to edit bookmark title, url, add/remove tags or delete the bookmark altogether. Currently it does not allow you to modify the folder structure through this dialog.
Coming back to search, you can start with a simple free text search. But if you need to dig, you have 3 options. You can search by tag, title or url. So if you chose to search by tag, e.g. tag:color, it will look for “color” only in tags and exclude all others. The same is true for search by title and url. Take a look at the demo below and you will understand exactly what I mean.
Great interface supported by keyboard navigation, ability to add custom tags which also sync across and exclusion search are the three important aspects which make this a great app. Highly recommended!
If you look at my previous posts, you will see that I am in love with Chrome omnibox and search engines. I keep exploring how these two can work together to do some routine things in a more productive manner. This useful tip will enable you to search your bookmarks and history easily from Chrome address bar itself.
By default when you start typing in the Chrome address bar, it does show your bookmarks as suggestions indicated by entries with a . However, it only lists the top two or three bookmarks. Sometimes you need to dig deeper and perform a search in your Bookmarks Manager. Recently, I stumbled upon something really useful. You can easily configure your Chrome to search for your bookmarks directly from omnibox or address bar. In-fact, there is an extension which does that for you. Head over to the Chrome Web Store and install Bookmark Search. This extension basically performs steps mentioned below automatically and adds a new search engine entry for you.
However, if you do not want to burden your Chrome with extensions, you really do not need to. Alternatively, you can follow these simple steps:
Type chrome://settings/searchEngines in the address bar.
Alternatively, you may right click on the Chrome address bar and choose Edit Search Engine… from the menu options.
Either of the above steps will open the settings page for Search Engines in Chrome.
Scroll down to “Other search engines” and add a new search engine.
Enter “Chrome Bookmarks Search” as a name for your search engine or whatever you would like to call it, “bm” as the keyword you’ll type for activating search (again your choice) and URL as chrome://bookmarks/#q=%s
Enter your keyword “bm”, hit the TAB key and enter your search term. This will automatically open your chrome Bookmark Manager with the search result.
You can use this trick to easily search for your history as well. Just add another entry with following URL.
For my work, I get to be a part of one big virtual team. Naturally, I need to deal with different time zones and keep those at finger tips. Nowadays this is very common and I’m sure most of you fall into this category. As we started living more and more in browsers, we need good tools to take care of time zones. Today I am going to show you two web sites that do a great job in simplifying this time zone math.
1. Every Time Zone
Never wrap your brain with time zone math again.
Every Time Zone
Every Time Zone is my current favorite due to its slick design and simple interface. The site conveys a lot through colors. When you visit the site, it shows you one vertical line indicating your current time. You can click somewhere else on the timeline to see various zone timings for a given local time. Simple and beautiful. One small glitch is that there is no way to select a future date which some of you may find limiting while looking to schedule a meeting for a future date. A link to this page anchor on top right allows you to get a direct link to the current view and share it with others. Do check it out, I’m sure you will love it.
2. World Time Buddy
World Time Buddy and is a simple, elegant and perhaps the most comprehensive time converter and world clock. I have been using it actively for a while and it is part of my Chrome apps for a long time now. It is loaded with features, which amazingly do not add to the complexity. You can add, remove, sort and reorder locations. It detects your location by default, but you can mark any other location as home too. You may also rename locations if you are signed in and group locations by tabs, which is offered as a premium feature. You can use it as a full fledge scheduling tool as it allows export options to Outlook, Google Calendar etc. It also allows you to create an event page and share with others. Just like Every Time Zone, you may also share a link to your view with others. Country specific weekends highlighting and daylight savings warning (a week before the change) is really useful. It is really a complete tool for your scheduling needs.
They also offer a couple of useful widgets for clock and events, which you can embed in your web sites. World Time Buddy is also available as iOS and Android mobile app on App Store and Google Play Store.
Other than these two, there are several extensions available for Chrome and Firefox. FoxClocks is one popular extension for Firefox also available for Chrome now. It is very comprehensive and shows selected zone times in your browser’s status bar. Some low on memory Chromebook users do complain about memory consumed by this extension. In that case you may turn it on only when required using one click extensions manager for Chrome.
How do you take care of your time zones? Please let me know if I missed something which should be part of this small list.
LMGTFY is an abbreviation for Let Me Google That For You. A few years back some cool guys launched a service called lmgtfy.com with a thought.
LMGTFY is for all those people who find it more convenient to bother you with their question rather than google it for themselves.
The idea is simple but fun. If someone asks you a question and you want to answer in a fun way but also letting them know that they should have just Google it themselves. Head over to lmgtfy.com and type your search query and click on Google Search or I’m Feeling Lucky button. Instead of the results page you get a link with an option to copy, shorten or preview it. The preview will show you what exactly the people with whom you will share the link will see. It plays a short demo showing the query text typed into the search box automatically and button you chose to press during link creation is pressed. Next you are taken to actual Google search result page. Along with a basic Google search the service also supports other vertical searches like Image, Video, Maps and many more. They also launched support for Wikipedia last year.
Use LMGTFY to educate others
Since its launch, then, many people started using it for this very purpose. You find lmgtfy links on many discussion threads. Apart from this, I believe this awesome service can be used for educational purpose as well. The web is filled with many hacks about how to use Google search efficiently. However, most people still use it in its basic and simplest form, i.e. to type questions or keywords into the search box. Below are examples of my top 5 favorite Google search tips explained using lmgtfy.
Last year, Google introduced a feature to set the timer using search box just by typing something like “set timer for 5 minutes”. I personally found it very useful and started using it. But after some days it stopped working. Since then its being ON and OFF. It works for me on google.co.in but it does not work for me on google.com. Anyway, while many are waiting for this to work again, you can use this simple alternative to get your clock ticking.
Easy alternative to broken Google search set timer feature
e.ggtimer.com is a simple and useful service for the timer. However, what makes it really useful is the fact that it allows you to set the timer through URL parameters. So, if you type a URL like http://e.ggtimer.com/5minutes will set the timer for 5 minutes. But we can do better.
Let us make this easier and more efficient by adding it as a search engine.
Type chrome://settings/searchEngines in Chrome address bar OR right click in Chrome address bar and select Edit search engines…
Scroll up to “Other search engines” and add a new search engine.
Enter To Set Timer For as the name of your search engine, timer as keyword (or any unique keyword of your choice) and URL as http://e.ggtimer.com/%s
Press ENTER and click Done.
Now, go to your Chrome address bar, enter your keyword “timer”, hit the TAB key and enter time value e.g. 5minutes or 20seconds or 1hour5minute30second. If you just enter a number say, 20, it will default to seconds. It also displays the timer count down on the tab title which makes it much more useful. Once the time is up, it beeps and pops up a message.
The service also offers some more fun and interesting timers. For e.g. instead of any time value, if you just use pomodoro, it will open a preset timer of 25 minutes with short breaks and long breaks as described in the Pomodoro Technique. Quite a useful timer if you follow this technique for your tasks. There are also fun presets like morning to get your blood pumping and brushteeth, a 2 minute timer for healthy teeth. If you are into fitness and follow tabata, there is a timer called tabata too.
We all know that Chrome is a great browser. This is exactly why many a times we expect more out of it. If the browser itself does not fulfill the need, we try to find extensions. It’s very easy to overload your Chrome with all these useful extensions. But eventually this takes a toll on your computer memory and things slow down. This is why we need to manage these extensions carefully.
The need for the extension manager is especially critical on Chromebooks, as one does not have loads of memory to play with.
Thankfully, this is very easy. If you are ready to spend next 15 minutes (5 minutes for reading this post + 10 minutes for a one-time setup), you would never have to worry about it again. Read on…
Adding another extension to manage extensions may sound counter productive, but it is not. Extensions Manager (aka Switcher) and SimpleExtManager are two little gems which really make this easy. Extensions Manager is my favorite of the two simply because I find it more usable (more on that later). But SimpleExtManager is definitely not far behind and you should definitely try both and see which one suits you the best.
One Click – Enable/Disable/Uninstall
Both these extensions offer basic essential capabilities very well. Both add an icon to Chrome toolbar which, when clicked, will display a list of all extensions, applications and themes you are using. Extensions Manager nicely categorizes these by different views or tabs like All, Extensions, Applications, Themes, Enabled, Disabled and Recent. SimpleExtManager shows a single vertical list with categories like Extensions, Applications and Themes as separators. You can enable, disable and uninstall individual extensions right from here just by one click. You can also go to the options page of a given extension if there is one.
Both Extensions Manager and SimpleExtManager also provide search/filter capabilities that is useful in case you deal with large number of extensions like me. Just type first few characters and it will start filtering the list immediately.
UNDO capability is provided only by Extensions Manager and it could be very useful if you unintentionally or accidentally click on something.
Another important feature which both these offer and where Extensions Manager scores for me is grouping. Simply start dragging individual extensions from the list and drop it on the flashing New Group tab on the top / title bar. Once your drop is complete, just double click on the tab to rename it. Groupings not only keep your extensions organized, but also allow you to turn ON or turn OFF entire group of extensions together. I organize my extension broadly as follows. I have one’s which I use all the time, so I call those Alltime. Another group is called Web Design which contains handy utilities like Eye Dropper, WhatFont, Resolution Test etc. that I use only when I’m working on my site. Similarly, I have groups called Blogging, Social and Utilities. I turn ON only the individual groups when I’m doing a particular task.
In order to toggle a group ON or OFF, just select the group you want to work with and select Switch ON or Switch Off button.
Additionally, it also shows a thin red line below group heading which is called Group Statistics Meter indicating the amount of active extensions in that group. It also shows the stats in a tool-tip for completeness.
If you want to remove the extension from the group or remove entire group, just drag and drop it outside the window. This will not remove the extension or all the extension in a group from the Chrome as expected. This is simple group manipulation.
For SimpleExtManager, you need to go to options pages in order to create, edit or delete groups.
Developer behind the Extensions Manager is said to be working on feature which will allow automatic syncing of configurations across devices. Currently it offers a way to export and import configurations to keep your Chrome on different devices in sync. SimpleExtManager does not offer any way to do this at this point of time.
SimpleExtManager seems to more actively developed (last updated in Dec 2013) as compared to Extensions Manager which was last updated 8 months back. According to this discussion in Oct 2013, as per the developer the maintenance will be restored soon.
The reason I prefer Extensions Manager over SimpleExtManager is due to the fact that it saves me number of clicks and scrolling. The UI/UX is much more powerful. SimpleExtManager is on the other hand may appeal to those who are looking for cleaner and simpler layout and don’t mind extra clicks and scrolling to get to the same functionality.
Update: The following post is updated with respect to the recent changes in Google Drive search interface. Some of the tips mentioned in the original post are no longer available and some new things are now introduced.
If you find these two posts useful, you may find this one useful too. Consider a scenario that you want to search only the PDF files in your Drive OR you mostly deal only with Spreadsheets in your Drive and would like to always restrict your search to those files. Using Google Drive, you can do this using the advance search drop-down menu provided in the search box.
But you can also easily modify your Chrome custom search engine URL for Google Drive and do this directly from your Chrome omnibar. Say you want to restrict your search only to PDF files in your Drive. In that case, your search engine URL will be
Few days back, my wife’s self-hosted WordPress blog was under Brute-force attack. Someone was relentlessly trying to get through the admin authentication page for almost 6 hours straight. I will give credit to a number of safeguards we have applied that kept the battle going so long. Based on the logs, it started somewhere around midnight while we were asleep and continued until early morning when an SMS notification on my mobile alerted me to put an end to it. When I told my wife about it, she wondered how on earth I came to know that her blog is under attack.
Talking about safeguards, the least you can do to secure your blog is to have a strong and unique password. I research a lot about password and share my findings on this blog. Go through this checklist to see if your password falls into the “weak” category. If you have a weak password, the battle will be lost much before it reaches Brute-force attack stage. I also wrote about various tools and techniques to generate and manage passwords and take the pain out of remembering the complex passwords.
There are a bunch of other things you can do to secure your blog/site. However, as the title suggests, we will focus on how to get SMS alerts when your WordPress site/blog is under attack. It takes around 15-20 minutes to set this up but it is well worth the effort.
To cook this recipe (no, I’m not talking about an IFTTT recipe here), you need two main ingredients.
Limit Login Attempts plug-in for WordPress
We need to use number of Google services to cook it up. This includes Gmail (labels and filters), Google Calendar (notifications) and a Google Drive Spreadsheet with Google Apps Script to tie it all together. But first of all, you should install Limit Login Attempts plug-in for your self-hosted WordPress blog. This alone is good enough to give you a good night’s sleep. It is simple but powerful plug-in. You should read a short overview by wpbeginner (if you are in a hurry) or a detailed summary (recommended) by How To WordPress 2.0 about this plug-in.
If you have read any of the above posts, by now you must have understood that, Limit Login Attempt blocks the IP after a defined number of unsuccessful login attempts. It also provides an option to get email notification after a certain number of lockouts. Check this option to enable email notification to site administrator after 1 lockout so that you start getting notifications as soon as the attack begins.
As I mentioned Google in this recipe, I would recommend that your blog’s admin email account be managed by Gmail. So next, we need to configure your Gmail quickly.
Create a new label in Gmail and call it “sendsms”.
Now your Gmail is set. Every new email coming from [email protected] i.e. potential email notifications coming from Limit Login Attempts, will now have sendsms label applied automatically.
Next, we need to setup your Google Calendar so that it sends you SMS for the new events.
Open Google Calendar and go to Settings (Gear icon on top right corner).
Click on Mobile Setup tab and complete the setup by selecting your country, mobile number and received verification code.
You may create a new calendar or use an existing one. Go to Reminders and notifications for your calendar and check the SMS option for the new events. This will ensure that you get an SMS notification for every new event.
So essentially, what we are trying to bake here is that, for every email notification of lockout by Limit Login Attempts, we will create an event in Calendar upon which you will receive an SMS. How to make this happen? This is where this useful Google Apps Script from Tech Awakening is handy. This allows you to get SMS alerts for new and important emails on Gmail with Google Docs. This is what you need to do.
Make a copy of this spreadsheet. Just click on the link and select “Yes, make a copy” when prompted.
Select Tools and open Script Editor. This will open the Google Apps Script attached to this spreadsheet.
Select Resources and go to Current projects’s triggers.
We need to add a new trigger so click Add a new trigger link.
Select Time-driven, Minutes timer and every minute and save it.
You will get a pop-up asking for authorization. Click Continue to grant the necessary access.
Now click close and save the trigger again.
That’s it, it is all done. From now on, this spreadsheet in your own Google Drive will be monitoring your Gmail account every minute. As soon as the email arrives, which qualifies the filter we have created earlier, our new label sendsms will be applied . For every new email with this label, a new event will be created in your calendar and you will receive SMS notification for it.
I wrote a couple of articles that focus on adding the ability to search various Google services from the Chrome address bar. Chrome provides a number of ways to add custom search engines. If the site for which you want to add the search engine exposes an OpenSearch provider, then Chrome auto detects the search engine and automatically adds it. For e.g. this site exposes an OpenSearch provider. So if you visit chrome://settings/searchEngines and scroll down to Other search engines, you will see an entry for the webstruck search engine as shown below.
Firefox too auto detects open search provider for current site but does not add it automatically. Instead, when you click on the search box drop down, it shows an option to add it manually. Although Internet Explorer supports open search providers unlike Safari, there is no auto detection and no easy way to add custom search engines.
How to add a new custom search engine provider?
There are web services like Mycroft Project & searchplugins.net that host a huge list of useful custom search engine providers. You can add these to Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer easily with one click. Just search for the providers you are looking for at Mycroft Project or searchplugin.net and click to install. The search engine will be ready for use instantly. As explained later in this article, Chrome and Firefox allows you to edit a newly added search engine and provide keyword of your choice so that you can easily search from the address bar itself.
How do I create my own custom search engine provider?
By any remote chance if you do not find the search engine provider you are looking for, you can create one easily. Mycroft Project and searchplugins.net both provide the option to create a new search engine provider. You just need to enter a search URL and the name. The other default values should work just fine most of the time. If you are interested in details, Mycroft Project offers description for each field. Once the plug-in is ready, you can install it right away and test it. Although plug-ins created using above services work in Internet Explorer, there is another easy to use tool called EnhanceIE that works only for Internet Explorer although it also generates OpenSearch provider only.
How do I customize an existing search engine provider?
As mentioned above, Chrome allows you to edit all the details for a search engine very easily. Just right click in the address bar and select Edit search engines…. Here you can edit name, keyword and URL itself for each search engine provider.
In Firefox, you can click on the dropdown in the search box and select Manage Search Engines…. Firefox allows you to edit only the keyword for the search engine. If at all you need to edit the URL, you need to get little geeky. The search engines installed with the Firefox setup are put under Firefox installation directory like C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\browser\searchplugins. The search engines that are installed separately using the above techniques, reside under your Firefox profile folder. Type about:support in the Firefox address bar and click on Show Folder button next to Profile folder label. The search plugins will be located under seachplugins folder. You can open and edit these files in any text editor, as these are just XML files. You may refer to OpenSearch description document for details of each entry although most entries are self-explanatory.
How do I remove a custom search engine provider?
It is easy to remove search engines from all the three browsers we are discussing here. In Chrome, you can just click the X button when you hover over search engines in Manage search engines dialog. Firefox also provides Remove button in Manage Search Engine dialog itself. In Internet Explorer, click on Tools icon and select Internet Options. Select Programs tab and click on Manage add-ons button. Select Search Providers in the left pane to display a list of all search engine providers. Select the one you want to remove and click on the Remove button at the bottom.