15 essential Chrome add-ons for Google Plus beginners

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In previous posts I introduced some handy Chrome Google+ extensions and userscripts for Google+.  As more people joined Google+ more add-ons like these were rolled out (but none by Google).  Here is a summary of the essential add-ons that everybody should consider installing.


Sharing is the gist of all social networks so let begin with it.

(1) Extended Share for Google Plus

Extended Share for Google Plus

Cross sharing with this Chrome extension.  It adds an option to share posts you find on Google+ to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.  More than 30,000 users now!  Download it here.

Quick Access and Notifications

How to get quick access to Google+ and display of notifications?

(2) Surplus

Surplus - Chrome Extension for Google Plus

When you’re in most Google sites, you find a thick black sandar bearing a notification count.  Click on it will bring up a bubble than shows the latest notifications.  This Chrome extension adds an icon near the address bar for you to call out this bubble, without going into any Google sites.  Download it here.

(3) Notification Count for Google Plus

Notification Count for Google+

This tiny Chrome extension adds an icon next to your address bar.  It’s only function is to show you the number of Google+ notifications, no matter you’re viewing Google’s sites or not.  Download it here.

(4) G+ Count Favicon

An alternative is G+ Count Favicon, which uses Google+ favicon on the tab (i.e. the icon of the web page) to show the number of notifications.  Download it here.

(5) Google+ Enhancer

Google+ Enhancer adds notification count of GMail, Calendar and Reader

Image via userscripts.org

This is a userscript that makes the sandbar shows not only Google+ notification count but also those for Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Reader.  Very useful for heavy Google users.  Download it here.

(6) +Enhancer

Want a quick access to Google services on any web page?  Use +Enhancer this extension that displays the sandbar no matter what web site you are browsing.  Download it here.

(7) Hide Notification Count on Sandbar

Hide Google Plus Notification Count

On the other hand, if you don’t want any distraction from Google+ (sometimes it’s very addictive), try Hide Notification Count on Sandbar, an extension that hides the bar except in Google+.  Download it here.

User Interface and Layout

Like most Google products, the user interface of Google+ is clean.  Here are a few add-ons to modify the look and feel.

(8) Google+ -> Contrast, Denser, More Features

Google Plus - Contrast, Denser and More Features

Image source

This is a userstyle that gives you high degree of customization over the user interface.  With it, you can make the following changes to Google+:

  • Status bar always be on top
  • Change background
  • Padding, margins and font changes
  • Put Shared and +1′s on the same line
  • More contrast and denser interface
  • Remove Go Mobile Link
  • Reduces Max Image Size
  • Floating left panel
  • Thin scrollbars
  • Chatbox list could scroll after specified lenght
  • Move Add To Circles Popup down 30PX instead of directly over the button to avoid accidentally adding people to the wrong circle

Download it here.

If you just want some light add-ons to alter the look of Google+, try Google Plus Bar Color Changer or Google+ Custom Theme userscript.

(9) +Photo Zoom

+Photo Zoom is a very helpful extension.  When you place the mouse cursor on a photo in Google+, the photo will be enlarged.  You can control the zooming rate by mouse gesture.  Download it here.

(10) +Comment Toggle

Google Comment Toggler

This extension by default hide comments in posts.  Click on the drop down icon on the right to show them.  This is quite useful because you don’t always want to read the comments, especially if there are a lot.  Download it here.

(11) Usability Boost for Google Plus

This little one also attempts to make viewing comments easier, while it did this by highlighting them.  Download it here.

(12) Google+ Commander

This userscript adds some keyboard shortcuts to Google+, such as:

  • c – comment
  • s – share
  • + – Plus 1 a stream
  • gg – go to top
  • G – go to bottom
  • n – show notification panel
  • i – focus to a form of new entry
  • esc – close the current active textbox

Download it here.

(13) Helper for Google+

This extension has some awesome functions, the major ones include:

  • Share Google+ posts on twitter
  • Translate posts with Google Translate to a language you specify
  • Get desktop notifications on new posts
  • Linked hashtags in posts
  • Search in Google+ posts and profiles directly from the address bar

Helper for Google Plus

Download it here.

Integration with Facebook and Twitter

Some of you may not be able to get rid of Facebook and Twitter.  I know.  The following userscripts bring Facebook and Twitter to Google+.  Use one to rule them all.

(14) Show Facebook in Google+

Facebook in Google Plus

Image via Crossrider.com

This userscript brings Facebook to Google+.  A button is added to switch to Facebook once you clicked on it.  Download it here.

Please note that there is a thread a thread on reddit.com talking about the security concern over this userscript.  Be sure to read this thread before committing to it.

(15) Show Twitter in Google+

Twitter in Google plus

Image via Crossrider.com

Similarly, this one shows tweets on the Google+ screen.  Download it here.


How to Install

Just press the “Install” button in Chrome Web Store to install Chrome extensions.

Most userstyles and userscripts could be used in other browsers such as Firefox.  To install userstyles, use Stylish for Chrome or Firefox.  There are some more userstyles for Google+ available for download from Userstyles.org.

For userscripts, Chrome users can download the userscript and install it directly.  Firefox users need to install Greasemonkey.


Follow me on Google+  ===> Peter Mugi @ Cloud High Club

Read more articles about Google+ with this tag ===> “googleplus

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