Are you a googler? Well, you may not be an employee of Google, but I am sure you have used at least one Google services. If you are like me, who are using multiple Google products (from Google search engine, to Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Reader, Picasa and many more), you will appreciate the beauty of the Google Shortcuts extension for both Firefox and Chrome.
Google Shortcuts displays all Google services as buttons or as a space-saving dropdown menu next to your address bar (or anywhere you like it). You can then access your frequently used Google services with a single click from the toolbar. It currently supports over 110 Google services and it is highly configurable and customizable.
Install Google Shortcuts for Firefox or Chrome.
After the installation, immediately you will see a row of icons appears beside the address bar. The default list of Google services include Gmail, Reader, Google Encrypted Search, Maps, Calendar, Wave (is anyone still using this?), Dashboard and Settings.
Don’t like the way that it is messing up your toolbar or that you can’t find your favorite Google services in the list? Don’t worry. Just click the Settings button and you will be able to configure it to your liking.
In the Settings, you can add the Google services that you use frequently and remove those that you have totally no interest in. You can also arrange them in the order you like and even edit the URL of the shortcuts. What makes it even more powerful is the various function buttons such as “Gmail This” or “New Doc” to quickly email a selected text from the webpage to your friend or to quickly create a new Google document on the fly.
And if you think Google Shortcuts only handle Google services, then you are wrong. You can even create your own shortcuts with a custom name and URL.
The Advanced Options is where all the good things are. Here, you can define the layout of the Google shortcut, either as a horizontal or vertical toolbar, or as a dropdown menu. I personally prefer the dropdown menu as it does not clutter my toolbar with icons. You can also configure the tab behavior (to open a new tab or in background tab) and also use Google Apps for all your Google services.
The Import/Export Option allows you to backup your Settings and import to another Firefox browser.
The Import/Export feature is only available in the Firefox version. This also means that you won’t be able to export your Firefox Google Shortcuts settings and import it into Google Chrome.
There is no doubt over the usefulness of this Google Shortcuts extension. It is highly configurable and could save you ton of times typing the URL on your address bar. If you are not using it, go install it now.