I like my web browser UI as compact as possible. To achieve that I have no problem of getting rid of some of the lesser used interface elements. Basic examples are compacting the menu or the bookmarks into a single button to save screen estate. Yes, even on a 1920x1200 monitor. Most developer efforts to reduce the interface elements aim at low screen resolution users. Netbook and tablet PCs come to mind where every additional pixel helps display more of websites and services.
Google has recently added a new experimental option to Chrome Canary and Chromium that is called Compact Navigation. Once enabled it reduces the interface of the Chrome browser further by getting rid of the address bar of the browser. The result? A single toolbar on top of Chrome and the rest of the browser window available for websites.
Lets start with how you enable Compact Navigation before we take a look at the feature in detail. Load the about:flags configuration page in your version of Chrome and locate the entry Compact Navigation near the end of the listing.
Adds a "Hide the toolbar" entry to the tabstrip's context menu. Use this to toggle between always displaying the toolbar (default) and only opening it as a drop down box as needed.
Nothing changes after you have enabled the feature. Right-click on a tab in the Chrome browser and select Hide the Toolbar from the context menu. This puts the new feature in motion. You will notice that the address bar has been removed, that the back and forward buttons have been moved to the left of the tabbar and that the wrench icon to the right of it.
The address bar is displayed when you press Ctrl-t to open a new tab, or when you press Ctrl-l. Regardless of your choice, it will only be displayed for a short time before it is hidden again on the screen. The size of the address bar is smaller than the standard address bar. It opens in proximity of the active tab.
Compact Navigation removes the page's web address from the browser interface, which may have security implications. If you do not know the address, you lose an effective way of identifying phishing websites.
Still, if you want more screen estate then Compact Navigation delivers it to you. The difference to fullscreen mode? Compact Navigation can be used with any window sizes, not just in full screen. (via Browserscene)
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.