Nowadays, browsing the Internet has become as natural as breathing: everyone does it, and it's actually hard to live without. However, just like everything else, web browsing has its own little secrets that can help you get things done faster or get through a boring day at work even when most of the fun websites are blocked. Here are a number of browsing-related tricks I've picked up over the years which could actually help you out.
- If you press Ctrl and Enter while typing the address you want to visit in the address bar, the browser will automatically add ".com". It may not seem like much of a gain, but your tasks usually require you to quickly go through a large number of websites, this key combination can help save some valuable time. Furthermore, you can use Shift + Enter to add ".net" and Shift + Ctrl + Enter to add ".org"
- The Ctrl + left mouse click combination will automatically open a link in a new web page. When you're reading a long document in your browser, and somewhere along the way you find a hyperlink that you're curious about, quickly launching it in a different tab is much more convenient. Additionally, clicking on a link using your mouse wheel instead of the regular left mouse button, will also open the page in a new tab.
- One cool trick that not many people know is that you can easily do a reverse search on an image you find on the Internet by dragging and dropping it into Google's search bar (the place where you write your search terms). As an alternative, you can right click the picture and press the "Search Google for this image" button (works in Google Chrome).
- This one is quite helpful, but unfortunately it only works on Macs. Pressing Cmmd + Shift + T will automatically open the last tab you closed. If you're like me and accidentally close tabs that you need all the time, this combination will prove very handy.
- Whenever you use Google, you're automatically redirected to the service's version of the country you're in. If you're visiting countries like China or Israel, this means that you probably won't be able to use their version of the search engine. To escape the local version of Google and go to the global one all you have to do is type "google.com/ncr" in your address bar.
- In case if you're using Gmail, you probably know that certain threads can become quite annoying. However, the good news is that you can easily mute them. All you have to do is to open the respective thread, click on the More button and then select the Mute option. This will stop any further replies to that particular email from ever bothering you again.
- If you're the kind of person who writes a lot on blogs or websites, then you've probably already lost your texts a couple of times because of pressing the wrong button and accidentally leaving the page. A simple way to prevent this problem from ever happening is to install an extension called Lazarus which works on Mozilla and Chrome. (There was also a Safari version, but it doesn't seem to be available any longer.) This handy tool automatically saves everything you type, and then allows you to conveniently restore your texts in the boxes they were written in. It's free, easy to use and efficient, so I recommend you give it a go.
- If, for some reason, you need to turn your browser into a text editor, you can do so by typing this command: "data:text/html,%20<html%20contenteditable><Title>Notepad</Title>" (without the quotes) into your address bar. I have no idea why you would ever need to use this instead of an actual text editor, but it works.
When you are really bored at work and don't know what else to do, there are few fun activities that the Internet provides. These tricks will probably work even if your access to the Internet is limited to specific websites, so, when completely out of ideas, you can always try them out:
- One of the more commonly known Google Easter Eggs is the Do a Barrel Roll command. When you type that exact phrase into Google's search box, the results page will automatically spin 360 degrees clockwise. Don't worry; it will only do so once so you won't get dizzy.
- If you don't have any games like Solitaire or Minesweeper to pass the time, Google offers an easy alternative. All you have to do is search for the term Zerg Rush, and your results page will turn into an arcade game. The "o"s from Google's logo will start attacking the links on the results page (destroying them), and you will need to shoot them (using your mouse pointer) and hold them off for as long as possible.
- Shooting "o" letters not really your thing? Let's try something different. Do you remember the "oldie but goodie" Atari Breakout game? If you use Google's image search for the query Atari Breakout, the results will automatically be turned into the blocks that you need to break in order to win the game.
- Bacon Number is an interesting Google game, but this time it doesn't employ any kind of graphics. This game is based on something called degrees of separation, and what you need to do is find celebrities with high Bacon Numbers. The idea behind it is that Kevin Bacon has worked with a lot of people, so finding a famous person who he's not connected with in some way, is actually quite difficult. If you want to play, simply search for the name of a person (preferably a worldwide known celebrity) then add Bacon Number and press the Google search button. Finding someone with a bacon number bigger than 2 is actually quite difficult.
- Most of us old-timers probably know the Konami Code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a), but what some may be unaware off is that there are lots of websites where using it will trigger hidden Easter Eggs. If you want to test it out, head over to the Digg website, type the code and see what happens (don't forget to turn up the volume). Additionally you can also try it on Wired and Vogue, but you will need to press a multiple times to keep them coming.
- And finally, a tip that you may already know, but since it's very handy I'll write it anyway. When you're at work, you probably don't want Facebook to start playing videos automatically. To stop this from happening simply go to the Facebook.com/settings, select the Video option from the toolbar situated on the left and then click on Off.