50 Chromebook tips for maximum productivity

    Chromebooks could also be all about simplicity, however do not be fooled: Beneath their intuitive outer layer lies an internet of superior choices. And you do not have to be an influence person to embrace it.Make your method by way of this huge assortment of next-level ideas, and you will be zipping round Chrome OS like a professional very quickly.Getting round Chrome OS1. The Chrome OS launcher — the drawer-like interface that seems while you faucet the Everything key (a.ok.a. the Search key or Launcher key) or while you hit the circle icon within the lower-left nook of the display screen — is definitely a robust common search software. Just begin typing as quickly because it seems, and you will discover and open apps, pull up web sites, and even get solutions to particular questions proper then and there — no clicking or digging required.2. The launcher has some simply ignored additional powers, too. Try typing in calculations like 172.4/3, as an illustration, or unit conversions like 14.9 ft to meters to place Google to work on the system degree. IDG/JR Raphael
    The launcher’s search field can pull up apps and web sites and carry out all types of different features. (Click on any picture on this story to enlarge it.)
    3. On most present Chromebooks, that very same launcher panel can also be a portal for interacting with the Google Assistant. And that opens up the door to some attention-grabbing Chrome-OS-specific prospects. You may ask Assistant to create a brand new doc, spreadsheet, or presentation, as an illustration, or ask it what’s in your agenda for a particular upcoming day. (See my listing of 22 worthwhile methods to make use of Google Assistant on a Chromebook for much more helpful instructions to think about.)4. Chrome OS has a hidden gesture for accessing the totally expanded app drawer space of the launcher, which is very advantageous while you’re utilizing a Chromebook as a pill: Simply swipe up from an open space on the backside of the display screen, and — identical to with Android on Google’s Pixel telephones — your full listing of put in functions will seem.5. Want to get to the totally expanded app drawer space of the launcher with out touching your display screen? Hit Shift and the Everything key collectively. Shazam!6. You can cover the shelf — the row of pinned favorites on the backside of your display screen — both by right-clicking it or long-pressing on it after which choosing the “Autohide shelf” possibility that seems. That’ll trigger the shelf to vanish anytime you might have an app or window open after which reappear while you mouse over its space or swipe upward from the underside of the display screen. The shelf will nonetheless all the time present up while you’re viewing your desktop, too.7. Quickly open any merchandise in your shelf by urgent Alt after which the quantity key that corresponds with its place: Alt-1 for the primary app within the listing, Alt-2 for the second, and so forth.8. Right-click or long-press on any app in your shelf or inside the primary launcher to disclose a sequence of program-specific shortcuts. You’ll discover probably the most choices with Android apps, lots of which supply one-touch hyperlinks to features like composing new messages, beginning new paperwork, or leaping to particular folders or accounts.IDG/JR Raphael
    Time-saving shortcuts are sometimes only a click on or press away, particularly with Android apps in your Chromebook.
    9. Chrome OS boasts a distinctly Android-like mixed Quick Settings and notification panel in its lower-right nook, and take notice: You can open it with out transferring your arms off your keyboard by urgent Shift-Alt-N from wherever within the system.Managing apps and home windows10. You won’t notice it, however your Chromebook has a helpful Overview interface for juggling open apps and home windows. You can get to it by urgent the button that appears like a field with two traces in your keyboard (within the operate row, on to the left of the brightness controls) — and as soon as there, you may transfer to some other app by clicking its thumbnail or utilizing the Tab key to concentrate on it after which hitting Enter.You can shut any app, in the meantime, by clicking the “x” in its higher proper nook or by swiping up or down on it immediately on the display screen (offered you might have a Chromebook with a touch-enabled show, that’s; in any other case, all you may accomplish is making a smudge and making your self look foolish).11. Prefer to get round together with your trackpad? Make a psychological notice of this helpful hidden trick: You can swipe upward with three fingers in your trackpad from wherever within the system to open the Overview interface and see all your open apps and home windows. You can then swipe downward with three fingers to return to your most not too long ago used course of.12. When your convertible Chromebook is in its pill mode (with the keyboard both indifferent or swiveled across the again), swiping up as soon as from the underside of the display screen will reveal your shelf of pinned favorites. Swiping up once more and holding your finger down will open that Overview interface, identical to it does with the present Android gesture system, whereas swiping up and letting go will take you again to your desktop dwelling display screen.13. Also in pill mode, you may open two apps facet by facet in a split-screen association by going into the Overview display screen after which dragging any app’s thumbnail to the left or proper facet of the display screen. When you see that half of the display screen mild up, let go — then both choose one other lively app from the Overview interface or open a brand new app out of your launcher to fill the opposite half. You can set this up with any mixture of internet sites, Chrome apps, Android apps, and even Linux apps (extra on these in a second). IDG/JR Raphael
    Chrome OS’s split-screen mode could be a priceless approach to multitask whereas utilizing a Chromebook in its pill mode.
    14. While viewing two apps in that split-screen setup, press and maintain the black bar within the heart and drag it in both path to make both facet bigger or smaller.15. Prefer a snappier Alt-Tab-like technique of switching between processes? Your Chromebook has that, too — fairly actually: Just press Alt-Tab as soon as to toggle backwards and forwards between your two most not too long ago used apps or home windows, or press and maintain Alt-Tab to drag up a fast switching utility that’ll allow you to transfer amongst all your actively open gadgets.16. Should you ever really feel the urge to maneuver backwards in your Alt-Tab listing — from proper to left as an alternative of left to proper — holding down Shift together with Alt and Tab will put you in reverse and allow you to get it achieved.17. Snap any app or window to the facet of your display screen by hitting both Alt and [ (left bracket) for the left side or Alt and ] (proper bracket) for the precise facet. Repeat the command a second time to return the app or window to its default centered place.18. You can reduce an app or window by urgent Alt and – (the minus key). Press that very same key sequence once more to deliver the app or window again up into its earlier place.19. Maximize an app or window by urgent Alt and = (the equals key). Press that very same key sequence once more to maneuver the app again into its default centered place.20. If you are likely to hold a variety of stuff open without delay and work on a number of tasks on the identical time, consider using Chrome OS’s Virtual Desks characteristic. Like the digital desktop techniques on Windows and macOS, Virtual Desks permits you to manage your open apps and home windows into separate work environments. You can create new desks and swap between your present desks by searching for the instructions on the high of the Overview display screen. Note, too, that you could rename any desk from its default “Desk 1”-style title by clicking on its title and typing no matter you need into that area. IDG/JR Raphael
    Virtual Desks are a spectacular approach to develop your group on a Chromebook.
    21. Give your Chromebook’s major app listing some additional group by creating folders inside the Chrome OS launcher. All you’ve got gotta do is click on or faucet on any app after which drag it on high of one other app’s icon. You can then click on or faucet to open the folder and provides it a reputation. And when you ever wish to take an app out of a folder, simply click on or faucet the app in query and drag it out.Improving your textual content enter22. Don’t make your self use that awkwardly outsized on-screen keyboard that comes up by default in a Chromebook’s pill mode. Instead, faucet the third icon alongside the keyboard’s high row — the one that appears like a rectangle with a smaller, darker rectangle inside it. That’ll shrink Chrome OS’s keyboard down into a much more manageable phone-like keyboard that you could then transfer round (utilizing the “handle” on the keyboard’s backside) and place wherever you want.23. If handwriting is extra your factor, be it with a stylus, your finger, or some other appendage, faucet the second icon alongside the Chrome OS keyboard’s high row — the one that appears like a hand-drawn squiggle. That’ll offer you an open canvas on which you’ll write something you need by hand and have it transformed into textual content as you go. IDG/JR Raphael
    Your Chromebook can convert even the sloppiest, most ridiculous-looking excuse for human handwriting (as seen above) into common, legible textual content with out bother.
    24. Chrome OS’s on-screen keyboard has a built-in microphone icon that makes voice-to-text easy for pill use, however you may truly faucet into the identical excellent dictation system even when utilizing your Chromebook with its bodily keyboard. Just open up your Chromebook’s settings (by clicking the clock space within the lower-right nook of the display screen after which clicking the gear icon within the panel that pops up). Click “Advanced” after which “Accessibility” within the left-sidebar menu, then click on “Manage accessibility features” and activate the toggle subsequent to “Enable dictation (speak to type).”That’ll put a small microphone icon within the lower-right nook of your display screen, subsequent to the notification panel, and you may then faucet it anytime to begin talking and have your phrases transcribed wherever your cursor is lively.25. Find your self lacking the Caps Lock key? Press the Everything key and Alt collectively to activate Caps Lock. When you are able to STOP SHOUTING, use that very same key sequence to change again to regular textual content.26. Alternatively, when you actually miss Caps Lock — and do not thoughts giving up Chrome OS’s Everything key to have it — you may remap the Everything key in order that it features as Caps Lock by opening your Chromebook’s settings, clicking “Device” within the sidebar, after which choosing “Keyboard.”27. You’d be forgiven for failing to note, however your Chromebook has a built-in clipboard historical past operate you should utilize to look at your most not too long ago copied gadgets after which pull any of ’em up on demand. Just hit the Everything key and V collectively. You’ll see your most not too long ago copied gadgets, whether or not they’re textual content or pictures, and you may then click on on whichever one you wish to insert into an open discipline.IDG/JR Raphael
    Chrome OS’s clipboard historical past operate is totally invisible, however as soon as you discover it, you may always remember it once more.
    28. Find the proper emoji to loosen up an e-mail, firm tweet, or Slack chat by urgent the Everything key, Shift, and the area bar collectively. That’ll open up Chrome OS’s helpful emoji picker, and from there, choosing the image you need is as simple as 🥧.NEXT PAGE: Simplifying safety, embracing system instruments, and past

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