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10 handy Userscripts for Google Chrome

So it's finally a year old, and many of you have been playing with Google Chrome as a secondary browser for quite some time now. Heck, quite a few of you are probably using it as your primary browser by now - which may explain your interest in this post.

Just because Chrome doesn't boast the huge assortment of add-ons that Firefox does doesn't mean it's not extensible. With Userscripts alone, there is plenty of functionality you can add to Google's browser. Here are ten scripts I find handy!

AdSweep
can be had as a Chrome extension, but since they're pretty well just packaged Userscripts you might as well just use the script version. It does an excellent job vacuuming up excessive adverts without mangling page layouts too badly.

AutoPagerize
is a classic Greasemonkey script, if such a thing exists. When reading multi-page articles, AutoPagerize will automatically load the next page's content inline. I find it useful on lengthy-but-split-up reviews like the ones on Tom's Hardware Guide.

Better GMail
has also made the jump from Firefox and Greasemonkey to Chrome. Since it's a collection of individual scripts, you can drop in only those you want to activate. Components include mouseover row highlighting, folders4gmail, and various page element hiding scripts.

BlockFlash2
(pictured above) is just what you've been looking for if you're missing FlashBlock for Firefox. While it's not as full-featured, it gets the job done. Flash elements won't autoload after dropping in BF2 - they'll be replaced with a blank placeholder and appear only when you give the go ahead. You can whitelist sites, though you'll have to do it manually by editing the .js file.

Google Reader Prefetch More improves responsiveness in the popular feed reader by caching more than the default number items. Check the difference in your scrollbar slider after installing.

Multi-Column Google
allows you to switch between one, two, and three column search results using hotkeys. Just pressalt+1 to revert to single column view - alt+2 or 3 to go multi. It's a perfect fit for widescreen displays.
PBTweet caught my eye for its Twitter-boosting powers. This one packs all kinds of usefulness (if you're into Twitter), like threaded replies, image previews, short URL expansion, auto-refresh, autoloading more tweets when scrolling, retweet and translate buttons, and more.
RSS Feed Detection adds a handy, inobtrusive tab at the top of any page containing a feed. That's about all there is to it, but it makes subscribing to feeds you happen upon while surfing.

Textarea Backup with Expiry is a must-have for anyone who spends a lot of time online commenting, posting on forums, blogging, or filling in forms. Think of it as autosave for your browser. Had half a form filled out and Chrome decided to pull the ol' "Aw, snap!" on you? No problem. Re-open your tab and pick up where you left off.

Windows Live Cleaner is perfect for those of you who might be using Google's browser but are using Microsoft's web apps - like Live Mail, Calendar, and Home. It removes the top toolbar, most ads, and provides full-width email message display.
YouTube Perfect adds loads of functions to increase your streaming video enjoyment. The script allows you to download clips, switch back and forth between Flash and MP4 playback, and watch videos in "lights out" mode - a totally black page with the current clip front and center.

Got a favorite Userscript that plays well with Chrome? Share it in the comments!

Need help getting the scripts installed? Just follow Google's directions on this page at the Chromium developer site.

Tags: google chrome, GoogleChrome, greasemonkey, userscripts, webkit

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