Introduction to Google Chrome

February 2, 2011, By Christian Cawley

If you’re not already using Google Chrome, it can only be because you haven’t heard of it or seen it in action.

The new browser from Google is a breath of fresh air in a world of Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, offering a clean-cut, page-first-addins-later approach to web browsing on Windows. More than anything, Google Chrome is reminiscent of Safari, offering little in the way of buttons and lots in the way of page content.

Introduction to Google Chrome

Getting anyone to switch browsers is a tricky job, but where Google Chrome succeeds is that it offers the same as Mozilla Firefox did a few years ago – an alternative to the established names and a focus on the user experience.

You can download Google Chrome from www.google.com/chrome; installation requires an internet connection.

Using Google Chrome

Getting started with Google Chrome is simple. After installation the browser will launch, displaying a new tab with a couple of Google Chrome websites ready to be viewed (a welcome page and the Google Chrome Themes Gallery)and some bookmark options.

All empty tabs display a selection of your most visited websites by default (much like Opera or Safari) and you can use the Import bookmarks now… option to bring your favourites from Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer or any other browser that Google Chrome can detect on your system.

Bringing the favourites into Chrome is a good idea so you can see just how good they look with minimal buttons and maximum screen real estate. Using the Import Bookmarks and Settings tool you can also choose to import Search engines, Saved passwords and Browsing history just by checking the boxes and clicking Import.

With your favourites imported, it’s time to open one, and see how great it looks in Google Chrome!

Browsing and Navigating with Google Chrome

The first thing you will have noticed when launching Chrome for the first time is the prominence of the address bar over all other controls. Only a back, forwards, refresh (which appears as a stop button when pages are loading) and a settings icon are present, with every other feature hidden away. Google Chrome wants you to browse, not get side-tracked with countless unnecessary features.

So to open a new web page, either select it from your favourite bookmarks (via the spanner-like Settings > Bookmark manager) or type the URL into the address bar. Note that you can quickly add a website to your favourites by clicking the small star symbol on the right-side of the address bar.

Websites can be read and browsed in the usual way – scroll up and down as necessary, right-click links to open them in new windows or tabs, etc. Using the Back and Forward buttons will help you to navigate back and forth through the pages you have viewed in the current tab while left-click and holding these buttons will display the history of the tab to allow you to quickly jump to the page you want.

Finally, although there doesn’t seem to be an Internet Explorer-style status bar you can check the URL of a link by hovering the mouse pointer over it – the URL will be displayed in the bottom-left of the screen until you have moved the mouse, and links can be copied by right-cliking and selecting Copy link address.

Watch out for further Google Chrome tutorials in future!

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