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Open nearly any file type right in Chrome with Docs Online Viewer

This Chrome extension saves you from having to download files and open them in with another app.

With the Chrome browser and Google Drive, my embrace of the cloud is tight. When I'm working or just Web surfing and come across a file I'd like to view, I get frustrated when I am forced to download it first and then open it with another app. With Chrome extension Docs Online Viewer, I can quickly view documents right within Chrome and continue on my merry way. Not only does the extension save me time but it also helps keep my laptop's hard drive free of clutter because I am downloading fewer files.

The Docs Online Viewer extension is quick to set up and easy to use. After it installs, it places a button to the right of Chrome's URL bar. Its icon features a page with a small cloud on it. Click on it and choose Options.

On the General tab, you can check a box to have the extension open files in a new tab; the default is to open files in your current tab.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

On the File Types tab, you can select which type of file types you would like the extension to open in Chrome. There are 27 in total, and all are selected by default.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

In operation, Docs Online Viewer places its page-and-cloud icon to the right of a link for a file. Click on the icon to open the file in Chrome. This arrangement means that you can still click on a link of a file to download it. Thank you, Docs Online Viewer, for not being obtrusive.

It's likely that the most common type of file you encounter in Chrome is a PDF, and you don't need an extension to set Chrome to open PDFs in the browser instead of downloading them. Enter chrome:plugins in Chrome's URL bar and then click Enable for Chrome PDF Viewer. With this setting enabled, a PDF file will open in your current tab when you click its link.

(Via Lifehacker)