Saturday, November 14, 2009

Google Chrome Extension: Boss Key and Button


(Some people complain that the extension does not work for them. If you are one of them, please read the notes at the end of this help.)

This Google Chrome Extension allows you to quickly hide your browser windows by pressing the F12 key or the right button of your mouse.

Features
- Press the F12 key to hide your browser windows. You can also choose to use another boss key.

- Press the right button of your mouse to hide your browser windows. You can also choose to use double right clicks.

- Hide the browser window to the bottom-right corner of your screen. A little window with a Restore button is put there and you should use it to restore the browser. You can also press Shift-F12 on that window to restore the browser.

- Open and focus on a new tab. On the new tab, you can choose to open a preset web page. On the top of the web page, you can see a gray bar which signals that this page is a cover page and you should not use it. When the window is restored, this cover tab will be closed automatically.

- Do the hiding for all the open browser windows. All of them will be hidden at the same place, i.e. the bottom-right corner of your screen. When you click the Restore button, all browser windows will be restored to their original places and all cover tabs will be closed.


Installation
Latest version: https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/oodmocecapemhoekoombagkkbocnddjb.

The old versions can be downloaded here: http://code.google.com/p/chrome-ext-boss-key-and-button/. Download the file bkb_XXX.crx and drag&drop it to the Chrome browser to install it.


Options setting

- Enable Boss Key: if it is checked, you can hide the browser window(s) by pressing F12 key. You can also choose Alt-` or Number Pad + as the boss key.

- Enable Mouse: if it is checked, you can hide the browser window(s) by pressing the right button of your mouse. You can also choose to use double click right button as the boss button.

- Hide Window: if it is checked, the browser window(s) would be shrunk and moved to the bottom-right corner of your desktop and a Restore button would be shown when you press the boss key or button; if it is not checked, you can choose to only open a cover web page to hide the current page you are reading.

- Not use Restore Button: if it is checked, the Restore button window is also hidden. If you want to restore the browser, find and focus on the Restore window with the title of "______________" in the desktop's task bar, then press Shift-F12 to restore the browser.

- To All Windows: if it is checked, the boss key or button would act on all open windows; if it is not checked, it would only act on the current window.

- Cover URL: input the URL of the web page you want to open when the boss key or button is pressed. If it is empty, no cover page will be opened.

Notes
The original function of the right button of the mouse is disabled. But you can use Shift-right button to show the context menu. If you do not like this, you can disable the boss button feature of this extension on the Options page to prevent this side-effect.

You must use the Boss Key or Boss Button on actual web pages, i.e. the address bar should have a URL starts with "http://", "https://". If you are staring at an empty page or "chrome://" page when you press the Boss Key or Boss Button, they would not work. The reason is that the extension uses content script to listen to your key and mouse input, and Chrome restricts the permission of content scripts as a security feature. Read my another post about how the limitations of content scripts can affect extensions.

The extension is tested on the latest version of Chrome in the beta channel. If it is not working on your Chrome, try to upgrade it to the latest version.

Version 2.1 enables content scripts on all frames of a web page. This feature is not supported by the old version of Google Chrome. If you are running an old version of Chrome, you may want to try version 2.0 or 1.2 of this extension.

The extension should work right after you install it. If not, try to restart Chrome.

12 comments:

Mandamus said...

When I hit the boss key in chrome, my system goes "PINNNNG".

like I've hit an invalid key.

Anonymous said...

TotototDuo 4 days ago
Click "options" button, show up a screen whit nothing. Ver 8.0.552.237.
Gianluca Jan 19, 2011
When I click "options", nothing happens. Google Chrome 8.0.552.237.
Gurman Jan 13, 2011
When I click "options", nothing happens. Google Chrome 8.0.552.215.
Kevin Dec 21, 2010
When I click options, Nothing comes up. I am unable to use the extension.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, it works now.

Anonymous said...

I just wish it would open up Chrome on the same monitor it was before it hid it. When I restore it always comes up in the primary monitor.

Anonymous said...

Does the extension view our browsing and personal data? If I were to do something like online banking, is this information recorded?

Please let us know.

Thanks.

Kobus247 said...

How do you get to the option menu of this app??

Mike VB said...

No longer works correctly in Chrome.
Chrome Version 28.0.1500.72 m
It now opens a partially minimized version of Chrome and in the main window opens your webpage.
http://screencast.com/t/0WwAa7n1Z

Mike VB said...

Extension has stopped working as of today, 07/23/2013.
Chrome Version 28.0.1500.72 m
It now loads a second instance of Chrome that's partially minimized and loads your webpage into the original window.
http://www.screencast.com/t/0WwAa7n1Z

Zen said...

Hi Mike,
That is the new behavior of version 3.0. The new tab and the new window help to cover what you were browsing. By default, the original window should be minimized.

You can change the default behavior by going to its options:
* Uncheck "Open a phony window with URL" to suppress the new window.
* Uncheck "Open a cover tab" to suppress the new tab opened in the original window.
* Check "Hide Window" to minimize the original window.

Mike VB said...

@Zen, thank you, I was unaware of the update.
Why all the drastic changes?
I can no longer use Shift-F12 to restore which I used frequently.
Also when it minimizes it loads: http://www.toptip.ca/search/label/Software
When you Alt-Tab to bring the screen back you can't use boss key again till you close that tab or it just keeps refocusing on that tab.
All in all I feel the previous version did a better job.

Zen said...

Hi Mike, in the new version, you use Shift-F9 to restore (close all the covering Tabs). As F12 conflicts with Chrome's built-in shortcut key, so version 3.0 switch the default boss key to F9. You can change it back to F12 in the Options although it is not recommended.

Mike VB said...

@Zen,
I have Shift-F9 working, thank you.
Open a cover tab works, (no option to choose what page to load), but it no longer hides my current open tabs so all the titles of the tabs are showing.
Are there plans to add this option back in?
I do appreciate the time you've spent on this extension and for your responses.

 
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