The Google Chrome New Tab page can be customized with extensions and is often one of the best ways to get more out of your browser. While many of these extensions are aimed at productivity, there are quite a few plugins that are specific to certain types of people. If you are a designer, artist, writer, or generally a creative mind, these will inspire you and help you on your journey.
Some extensions offer new tab inspiration for colors and fonts, paintings to admire, and quotes from great minds. Others give you useful tools like a drawing board or a universal search for stock photos, audio, and video.
one. pallette (Chrome, Firefox): Discover new fonts and colors in each new tab
It can be really frustrating to find a unique combination of a color palette and font set to complement it because it always seems like the best ones are already taken. Developer Tim Holman and designer Claudio Guglieri offer inspiration every time you open a new tab with Palettab.
The extension uses free and open source Google Fonts combined with some of the best color schemes from Color Lovers, a community of color enthusiasts who share great combinations for anyone to use. You’ll see five colors chosen by the palette creator and five fonts for each.
Each font is credited with the creator’s name, and the color scheme is given due credit as well. You can hover over a color to see its hexadecimal code, and click the font to go to the Google Fonts page to download it. And if you don’t like the current combo, hit the refresh button as many times as you want to get new combos.
2. Glacial (Chrome, Safari): Essential links and inspiration for designers in a new tab
Muzli is a design oriented magazine for your New Tab page that finds the most inspiring and engaging content for creative minds. It’s made by the people behind the online whiteboarding tool InVision, which has quickly become one of the go-to apps for design collaboration.
The team mines links from all over the web to create a continually updated set of links for you to look for inspiration. The featured marquee shows five of the best items to check out, and you can scroll down for a beautiful, curated grid of design inspiration. Links can be filtered by highlights, trends, design, technology, culture, and news.
The Muzli extension allows you to search Muzli for tools, guides, or other information. It also includes shortcuts to a Muzli color palette generator to quickly try out different combinations. And you can visit Muzli Collections to view collections of design-related resources such as UI kits, product page templates, logos and icons, etc.
While there are several great free whiteboard tools online, there are surprisingly few New Tab whiteboard extensions for Chrome. All we wanted was a fast and lightweight plugin that would activate when you open a new tab and you could quickly draw your thoughts. So it was a treat to see the new The Blackboard, and yes, it has a black background, not a white one. You will have to live with that.
It is true that it is a very basic drawing canvas. The current design tools only let you choose one brush size and one brush color (red, yellow, green, white, blue, and orange). You can quickly undo your latest changes to the board and use the eraser to remove any unwanted items. And if you don’t want any of that, hit Reset to start with a blank canvas.
Blackboard has a button to save your creations, but it’s not clear where they’re stored or how to bring them back up, so don’t bother with this. A screenshot will do a better job. But yes, the entire extension runs offline, so all your data is private and very fast.
If you can’t stand the black background and want a whiteboard, check out the Whiteboard New Tab for Chrome. It also includes a search box.
Discharge: the blackboard for Chrome (Free)
Discharge: whiteboard new tab for Chrome (Free)
Four. stock house (Chrome): Universal stock image, audio, video search in a new tab
If you’re a designer, blogger, podcaster, video creator, or any other type of online creative, you’ll almost certainly need to regularly visit the best free stock photography sites to find images, audio clips, or video footage. Stocks House is a nifty little extension that allows you to search multiple sites simultaneously.
Stocks House currently supports the following sites for a universal image, audio or video search:
Photo: Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay, iStock, Visual Hunt, Stock Snap, Shutterstock, Free Range, Shopify Burst
Audio: NoCRSounds, Videvo, Clip Canvas, SoundEffects+, Pond5, Sound Bible, Pexels
Video: Pixabay, Videezy, Pond5, iStock, Vimeo Free, Pexels, Shutterstock, Videyo, Clip Canvas
You can select or deselect any of these sites before running your universal search. Tapping Enter will open a new tabbed window for all your chosen websites, searching for the keywords you entered.
Discharge: house of shares for Chrome (Free)
5. The freelance creative (Chrome): Inspirational Quotes From Creative Geniuses
The Creative Independent is a website curating essays, articles, interviews, and other sources of thought expressed by some of the world’s leading authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and other creative professionals. Every day they post something new that serves as a spark, inspiration or guide for other creative minds.
Its New Tab extension is a lovely way to get a dose of inspiration and insight into the creative process every time you press Ctrl + T. You’ll see a poignant quote from a famous artist, along with their name and the context in which they were speaking. about it Clicking on the link will take you to the full article on The Creative Independent. But more often than not, just that little snippet will be the boost you need to get those creative juices flowing.
Discharge: The Creative Independent for Chrome (Free)
6. Google Arts and Culture (Chrome): See and understand classic paintings in a new tab
What could be a better source of creative inspiration than looking at a classic painting? The Google Arts & Culture extension shows you a masterpiece from its vaults every time you open a new tab. It includes the name of the artist and the current location of the painting, as well as a link to read more about it on the Google Arts and Culture website.
You can customize the extension to be just a full screen painting for maximum inspiration or display New Tab page productivity elements. Go to the “Manage Extension” options to choose to change the artwork daily or on every new tab and to show or hide the Chrome Apps buttons, Top Sites buttons, and New Tab button.
Discharge: Google Arts and Culture for Chrome (Free)
How to choose the best new tab extension for you
While all of these extensions are great in their own way, you can obviously only use one of them as your new tab. If you are having difficulty with these options, ask yourself which one you are most likely to need multiple times in a business day. After all, you’ll see this extension quite often, so it should be worth your while.