Chrome Extensions: History Button, Extensions Button, Downloads Button

I just created some very simple extensions for Chrome shortly after I taught myself how to create extensions.

As I said, they're VERY simple, but I find them useful, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to share them.

Each extension is a simple lightweight extension that adds a shortcut button to your browser for quick access to your history, extensions, or downloads. It either opens a new tab, or switches to the respective tab if you already have it open in a tab you're not using.

You could nearly accomplish the same thing if you made a bookmark, but this assures you won't open multiple tabs and I like to keep some things separate from the bookmarks bar.

Chrome Extensions Button

Chrome History Button

Chrome Downloads Button

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15 thoughts on “Chrome Extensions: History Button, Extensions Button, Downloads Button”

  1. hello i’m french and i use your great chrome “history” button extension . I search a chrome “search on this page ” button (Ctrl+F) because i like see highligtening words. and i like simplicity of google “search on this page”
    Can you help me 😉

    thanks

  2. @ Dan

    I mainly use Opera, but some sites just refuse to work in Opera, so I also need to use other browsers. I’ve got some tips and possible ideas for extensions for you, I’ll be glad if you take the time to even just read my message, not necessary to make any extension.

    The french guy wants something that is not possible in Google Chrome. If you ever used Opera, you know that when you toggle the view bar you can see a “Search in page” field (with a little trick you can move that field even to the main toolbar – if you want to know how reply me and I’ll tell you how – it will look like in this screenshot or see here if that doesn’t work: http://tinypic.com/r/6rknzl/6 ). It’s very useful when you have to quickly find a word within a long page. Of course you could do that with Ctrl+F, but that gives you an extra message box, pretty inconvenient. In Opera, you just write the word in that box, and the browser instantly highlights the letters in page – as soon as you type them. The fact that you don’t have to hit the “Find” button in a message box is another improvement over the Ctrl+F version. Next to (or just before it) it’s a “Find next” button, as you can see in my screenshot. It’s all about speed and ergonomics. But that’s only in Opera. I don’t know why Chrome or Firefox doesn’t give the option to add that kind of field to the toolbar, like Opera. Maybe the developers are just extremely proud and don’t want to include a good and simple solution just because Opera has it. That kind of feature wants the french guy.

    Anyway, I wonder if you could do a very simple extension for Google Chrome. I haven’t found it yet. I have a mouse with scroll wheel. I can open links in background tabs by middle-clicking, but I can’t open new tabs by middle-clicking on the tab bar (when it’s not full with tabs). We can close tabs in Chrome by middle-clicking on them, then why not opening them in the same way ? This, again, is all about speed. The new tab button is so small. It takes less to open a new tab by simple middle-clicking on the tab bar than hitting the new tab button. This evidently simple feature is present by default in Opera, but absent in Chrome and Firefox. Maybe from the same reason as I stated before. In Firefox, I can get this functionality by using an extension called “Tab Mix Plus”. Anyway, that extension has a lot more features than necessary. So if you could do a simple extension for Chrome to do this (if such a feature can be implemented) it would be great.

    And something more about ergonomics – that’s why I also use all of your 3 buttons (history, extensions, downloads). Because I just don’t want to clutter my Chrome interface with a Bookmarks bar (in which to include bookmarks to history, extensions, downloads, as others sugested), when I can have a simple extension that puts a Bookmarks tree toggle button on the toolbar (this one: https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/dneehabidhbfdiohdhbhjbbljobchgab ). So I’m going to say you another little annoying ergonomics problem in Chrome, which can’t be corrected in any way – in Opera and Firefox you can easily move the buttons. Now that’s a general problem, but the button that I would like to have in other place is the new tab button. It would be great if you could do an extension to move that button out from the tab bar and put it just before the adress bar, on the main toolbar. Somehow like in the screenshot I’ve shown above. The final situation would go like this: when you have just 2-3 tabs opened, it’s easier to open a new one by middle-clicking on the tab bar. But when the tab bar is full, you don’t have any more space to middle-click, so you must use a button. But the default new tab button is not only too small, but it’s also inconvenient to move your mouse pointer to the so-far right edge of the screen. It would be more convenient to have it near the refresh button, it’s closer. I think you understand what I mean and why I’m so frustrated about the ergonomics of Chrome. It has some unique good things like the fact that there is no title bar to useless occupy space like (still) Opera and Firefox have, but why did they just ignored such simple things ? They could do it perfect, and it wouldn’t be so hard, but instead they choose to do a clumsy browser. These little ergonomics problems drives me nuts. And the last little flaw that misses from Chrome is that the reload button doesn’t dynamically change into a “stop” one while a page is being loaded. So if you just want to stop a page to load you can’t do it in other way than closing the tab ! But in that manner, besides it’s so clumsy, you loose the URL.

    (PS Sorry for my eventual grammar errors, I’m not english. You can freely copy anywhere my little discontents and explanations I give, without citing me – I just want that things like the browsers become better in usability and ergonomics 🙂 )

  3. When I’ve said that “is not possible in Google Chrome” in the second paragraph, I’ve referred to the possibility to put such a field embedded in the main toolbar, and not as a little pup-up as it appears by default.

  4. Hi, thanks for the buttons! Since it’s simple, could I ask for the plugins button in the same style?

    P.S. I don’t really care for the shadows down and to the right on each button, but I can live with that 🙂

  5. Hey, Dan. Good work with those buttons. I like them a lot.

    Downloads Button is the same as Control + J.
    History Button is the same as Control + H.

    Could you create a new button which would be the same as Control + F command? That would be awesome!

    Thanks, bro. Cheers. 🙂

  6. Dan is there anyway to create a ‘find’ function shortcut? I would love to be able to easily click on an extension button for this rather than the process as it is. Several extensions exist that mimic find but none simply link to it as far as I know.

    Thanks

  7. Hi Dan, thanks for your useful Chrome/Chromium extensions. I’ve just discovered them and installed all three.
    I wanted to tell you about a small bug I discovered on all of them. The extensions don’t “switch to the respective tab if you already have it open in a tab you’re not using”. They let me open many duplicate history/downloads/extensions tabs, and don’t detect that I already have those tabs open.
    I’m running your extensions on Chromium, not Chrome, but I don’t think it makes much difference.
    Please take a look into it if you can. Thanks.

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