How to use Chrome's latest 'new tab' page

Google's given the world an early peek at the new 'new tab' page in the fresh-from-the-oven Chrome 15 beta. It's got some cool organizational tools, and we show you how to use them.

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The blank Web site that stares back at you when you open a new browser tab is no longer a vast field of dead white space. Google is making Chrome's 'new tab' page a robust launch pad from which you can interact with your recently visited sites, Web apps, and bookmarks. It's currently only available in Chrome 15 beta, but it'll be handed over to the majority of people in the stable version of Chrome soon enough. Here's how you can use it, and thankfully it's intuitive.

The new page splits up your Most Visited sites, Chrome Web apps, and Bookmarks into three chunks. Arrows appear on the left and right page gutters. If you don't see them, mouse over that area and the background will light up. Use them to flip through the three default categories, and conveniently, Chrome will remember the last one you looked at and return you to it when you restart the browser.

There's a clever and intuitive organizational feature included, too. You can click and drag items from any of the three pages to the bottom bar and create custom categories for keeping them organized. Double-click where the new category label is blank to name it. You can also mix and match items in a custom category, so you can have your Google Calendar Offline Web app live next to your Gmail bookmark next to your Google.com frequently visited search. To remove an item, drag it toward the bottom right corner of the page, and a trash can will appear for you to drop it into.

Combine this with the age-old but still highly useful bookmarking method of location bar stars, which will appear on your Bookmarks page, and you've got a powerful yet simple way to ensure that you're always putting the parts of the Internet you care about most right where you want them.

About the author

Senior writer Seth Rosenblatt covers Google and security for CNET News, with occasional forays into tech and pop culture. Formerly a CNET Reviews senior editor for software, he has written about nearly every category of software and app available.

 

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