10 Google Chrome extensions for designers

10 Google Chrome extensions for designers

Disha Sharma's Layout avatar

If you’re a web designer who follows the standard design process, your tasks include things like:

  • Researching
  • Wireframing
  • Choosing a color scheme
  • Picking the right font
  • Testing several variations
  • Collaborating with clients and teammates

And some more…

Do you know you can do all these and more right within your browser? Yes, if you’re a Google Chrome pro, then you can do all these tasks through Chrome’s extensions. Most of them with just a couple of clicks.

So, save a ton of time and try out these 10 Google Chrome extensions for designers.

1. Responsive Web Design Tester

Post Google’s mobile-friendly update, responsiveness is the buzzword! So, here’s an extension that lets you test your website across all major Android and Apple mobile devices.

It works offline too, so it’s a great option even while you’re working on your design locally. It has presets for all popular devices, but you can add your custom dimensions too.

Once you select a device for previewing, the current tab opens up in a popup window showing how your page would look over that device.

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2. TypeWonder

Fonts really set the mood of a site, but it’s quite a task to pick the right one. You know the drill – going back to your code, making changes, and previewing. And all of this over and over again.

But here’s where this handy font extension steps in. TypeWonder lets you change the font of any website in your browser.

Just visit your website and click on the extension’s icon. You are given several font options. Clicking on any one almost instantly creates a preview of your website in that font. If you’re happy with the preview, you can get the relevant code to add to your site and its CSS file.

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3. Tab Packager

Researching is a big deal. And if you’re a designer who takes researching seriously, I can safely say that at any point, you have at least seven to ten tabs open.

What if you had to get the opinion of your designer friend or teammate about the sites that you’re referring to? You’ll bookmark all the pages in a folder, export all of it, and then pick the set to send across, of course, after opening your mail program. Quite some work!

Luckily, you don’t have to work this hard. Tab Packager lets you package all the open tabs. And then you can send across the package’s link with just one click. You can share via email, Twitter, and many more services.

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4. TrackDuck

Effective communication is behind every successful project. But it can get consuming to go back and forth with emails trying to work out minor tweaks or for making big changes.

Now this might sound like a bit of an overstatement, but TrackDuck is like a mini-Asana, exclusively for designers.

TrackDuck is a visual collaboration tool that lets you add websites as projects. Once you add a project, you can invite your teammates to it. Whenever you leave a comment on this project (or website – which you can do just by clicking on the extension’s icon), a task is generated about the comment. You can assign this task to your fellow teammates, add attachments and screenshots, and integrate it with lots of collaboration tools like Trello and Basecamp.

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5. ColorZilla

You never know when you’ll see a lovely color that will inspire your next web project’s palette.

So, how do you capture any color on the web?

Well, here’s ColorZilla – it’s easily every designer’s favorite Chrome goodie. Its most basic and popular feature is getting the code for any color on a webpage.

Another feature is that it lets you get the color scheme of any website. You’ll have to click on the Webpage Color Analyzer option, and a palette showing all the colors on that webpage will appear.

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6. WhatFont

There are so many times when you come across a website that uses the perfect font, color, and size. In fact, it might be so good that you want to use the exact combination on your site.

But you don’t have to take the Inspect Element route anymore – WhatFont dissects any font on a webpage with a single click.

Just click on the extension’s icon and hover over the text section that you’re interested in. WhatFont produces the font type, size, height, color, and family.

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7. Instant Wireframe

If you define the information hierarchy of your website before you design it, you’ll create a user-friendly site. And wireframing is the best way to go about this.

Instant Wireframe extension lets you view a reasonably good wireframe of any web page. It’s still in beta but does a fair job.

If you come across a site that you’d like to view the wireframe of, just click on the extension’s icon in the address bar. Worth trying!

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8. Page Ruler

There are a few ways in which you can measure the dimensions of a webpage’s elements. But most of them involve several steps and take time.

Page Ruler is the handiest way to do this. Page Ruler lets you see an element’s height, width, and relative position. You can also analyze the elements div-wise.

And it’s excellent for creating pixel perfect banners, featured images, and other marketing collateral.

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9. Palette for Chrome

Websites are full of images, and you can’t say when you’ll see an image good enough to inspire  a color palette.

But you don’t have to worry as Palette for Chrome has you covered, always. Just right click on the image that you find interesting, and choose this extension’s option. It will instantly create a color palette inspired from the chosen image. You can specify the number of colors that you’d like to generate for the color scheme.

I would have liked it more if there was a way to export the color scheme. But the extension is still a must-have.

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10. ExtensionMuzli – Design Breakfast

You know, when you’re just beginning, you subscribe to all the top blogs within your niche. Your RSS feeds are all fired up. But as your work piles up, you get somewhat disconnected. And it’s not that you don’t need inspiration, it’s just that it gets difficult to catch-up.

ExtensionMuzli is built to make up for this. It curates stories from about 12-15 of the top design resources. There’s also a web designing jobs section if you’re looking to switch.

Once you install this extension, your new tab will feature some of the latest inspirational or educational design stories from across the net. It offers a neat way to keep a tab on the latest within your niche.

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So, there you go. Power your Chrome with these amazing web designer extensions, and watch your productivity skyrocket. How do you break up your designing process, and what extensions do you use for what tasks? I’d love to learn more.

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