Must-Know Chromebook Hacks

Sarah Baird, Pawprint Staff Reporter

Now that Hillcrest High School uses Chromebooks in almost every class, knowing how to use your Chromebook is essential. Here’s a list of the top 15 Chromebook hacks! Some of them are beneficial to your schoolwork, some of them are time-savers, some of them are fun, and others a little bit of everything. Enjoy! 

1. Copy/paste and cutting: If you need to get a quote, email address, or any other info from one document or tab to another, these hacks will save your life! To cut (take words AWAY from one document), use ctrl + x. To copy (similar to cutting, but it leaves what you’re copying in the original document, use ctrl + c. Finally, to paste (putting whatever you cut/copied wherever you wanted it), use ctrl+v.

2. Split screen: At the top of Google Chrome on the school Chromebooks, there are three buttons – one minimizes your screen, one makes it smaller, and one closes the window. This hack focuses on the middle button. If you click that button on all of the windows you need to access, you can see multiple windows at once. That makes researching and note-taking much easier. Another way to split your screen is to drag the windows you need to the left side of the screen.

3. Pinning: One of the most annoying things about the school Chromebooks is that they close all your pages every time you shut them. It’s inconvenient to have to reopen the essential tabs (like Canvas) all the time. All you need to prevent that is to pin the necessary pages. Click on the tab(s) you want to pin, and lots of options will appear. Find and click on the one that says pin, and that tab 

will reopen every time you log onto your Chromebook.

4. Screenshots: To take a screenshot on a Chromebook, you place one finger on the ctrl button as you place another finger on the “show windows” button. The screenshot will then appear with any other recent downloads/screenshots at the bottom of the screen (near the time).

5. Text-to-speech: If you have trouble reading (or just don’t like it), you can search text-to-speech in the search bar and find it in “accessibility.” Then turn on that function. Highlight what you want to have read out loud and then hit the search button + s.

6. Undo: Hit ctrl + z to undo. If you made a mistake, it’s a simple fix! (Side note: the opposite of this – the redo button – is ctrl + shift + z.)

7. View your history: If you need to reopen an old page, you can find it by searching ctrl+h.

8. Lock your Chromebook (without losing all your tabs): Just use search + L, then you need to put in your password, and your screen will reopen when you come back to your computer.

9. Caps lock: Unlike other computers, a Chromebook doesn’t have a caps lock button. However, there’s still another way to access it. To enable it, click search + alt to turn on caps lock, then do the same thing to disable it after.

10. Add another Google account: Do you want to be able to access your personal email at school? You can! Go to your CSDdocs email, click on your profile picture, and then hit “add new Google account,” and put in your log-in info.

11. Screen recording: ctrl + shift +  show windows button. When you press this, you can then select how much of your screen you want to capture. If you only want to screenshot part of your screen, this is the best way to do that. If you toggle from the camera to the video camera on this tool, you can record your screen.

12. Change wallpaper: Go to settings, search wallpaper, and select the new image you want.

13. Scan QR codes: Open the Chromebook camera, and you’ll see a QR code icon in the top right corner. Click on that, and it will illustrate where you need to put the code for the scan to work correctly.

14. Access the clipboard history: If you want to save multiple things on your clipboard to copy and paste, you can use search + v, and you’ll find the last five things you copied.

15. Find: If you’re looking for a specific topic, you can put in a keyword using ctrl + f, and it’ll show you where that word shows up on the page you’re reading.

HONORABLE MENTION: Rotate the screen: ctrl + shift + rotate (directly above four). Use this to rotate your screen 90 degrees. To spin your screen all the way around, you can use ctrl + shift + alt + rotate.