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Open pages in Chrome as panels with PIP Viewer extension

Dock your Facebook, Twitter feed, a YouTube video, or any Web page you'd like in a panel as you go about your day using Chrome.

You can juggle multiple tabs in Chrome, and you can juggle multiple windows. With Chrome extension Picture in Picture Viewer, you gain a third option: the ability to open a Web page as a Chrome panel. It's a great way to dock your Facebook news feed, Twitter feed, or a YouTube video, whether you are keeping an eye on a TED talk or a Cleveland Browns game from the mid-1980's when Bernie Kosar was at the height of his powers.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

When the Picture in Picture Viewer extension installs, it places a button to the right of Chrome's URL bar. Clicking on the button opens your current page in a Chrome panel, but before you can do so, you have to enable Chrome's experimental Panels feature. Head to chrome://flags/#enable-panels and click Enable for the Enable Panels option and restart Chrome.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

With panels enabled, the extension will open your current page with a click of its button. A small window drops down from the button as well, letting you enter a URL to open another panel. Click on the gear icon on this window to adjust two settings. You can enable Mobile View, which will open the mobile version of a site when available. And you can enable Embed View, which for YouTube, for example, opens only the video player for a video instead of the full YouTube page. Both settings are enabled by default, and it is my opinion the extension is most useful this way. I wish there was a third setting that closed your current tab when you opened it as a panel, but instead it stays open as a rule.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

On the extension's page in the Chrome Web Store, it warns against right-clicking in a panel because it will crash Chrome. I tried it and can attest that Chrome does indeed crash with a single right-click in a panel. You've been warned, twice.

(Via AddictiveTips)