There are many shortcuts and options in the Chrome operating system that help a user navigate with ease. Here are a few tips that will get you to “power user” status in no time.

For the latest on Chromebooks from Google:

Getting Started
-Connect to the WifI
-Log in to your Google account (school or personal)
-Mind Shifting: Traditional Laptop v. Chromebook

Navigating the Chrome OS

1-Sign in/log out

The login/out button is located at the bottom right on your pix/icon

2-App Launcher

-located in the bottom left of the screen (may be a search icon)

-App Launcher is a pop up window with all of your system default apps and the apps you add

*Tip-In the app launcher, right click to add an app to the task bar

*Tip-Right click to Unpin tabs from the task bar
*Tip-Pin a webpage to your apps screen: Settings > More Tools > Add to Applications
*Tip-Access your app launcher from the web on Chrome from a PC or MAC: chrome://apps/


-located in the bottom right on the left icon which is typically your pix or sometimes next to it

-Settings menu includes:

    *Keyboard Settings (Settings > Keyboard Settings)

    *Screen Resolution (Settings > Display Settings)

    *Advanced Settings

4-Keypad Tips and Tricks

-Single tap: select an item

-Double tap: select an entire paragraph

-Ctrl + single tap: right click (or Alt + single tap)

-Two finger tap = right click options

5-Keyboard Shortcuts and Buttons

To access your keyboard settings: Settings (bottom right) > Keyboard Settings

Search Button

-Search icon on keyboard: conduct a search on any item ( or search on the web)

-Alt + search icon = turn caps lock on/off

Note-You can change this button so that the search button is your caps lock by default. 

To reassign the 'Search' button to be a 'Caps Lock' key:

>Settings Menu (bottom right) > Settings (gear) > Keyboard Settings (towards bottom) > Search Drop Down > Change to Caps Lock

Screen Shot

Capture all or a portion of your screen

-Take a snapshot of your screen: crtl + []|| = screenshot (or 'Switch Window' as shown below)

-Take a snapshot of a certain area of the screen: ctrl +shift + []|| = screenshot a section

Note-If you are on a Chromebook with touch screen: Settings > More Tools > Take a Screenshot using touch screen

Keyboard Shortcuts

ctrl + alt + ? = keyboard shortcuts (to see modifier keys hold shift or control keys to view those shortcuts; 'Esc' to close)

Note-Since all the apps and extensions in Chrome OS are running as a function of the Chrome browser, shortcut keys won’t change from app to app like they do on Windows or OS X. 


Top right square in the browser = minimize browser window; split screen

7-Zooming in and Out
Press Ctrl + Alt + two-finger scroll up or down. Setup instructions @

Here is how you do it:

> Click on the status area and go to Settings.
> Scroll down and click on “Show advanced settings”.
> Scroll down to the “Accessibility” section and check the “Enable screen magnifier” option.

You can also zoom in and out using the following keyboard shortcuts:
Zoom in: Ctrl+
Zoom out: Ctrl-
Default to 100%: Ctrl + 0 (zero)

8-Download Files
If you download a file on a Chromebook, where does it go?

To open a file on your Chromebook:
> Sign in to your Chromebook.
> Click the Launcher Launcher.
> Select Files Files app icon.
> On the left, choose the file collection you'd like to browse, like Downloads or My Drive.
> Double-click the file to open it.

If you're opening files on an external storage device, be sure to remove the device safely when you're done by clicking Eject

9-Lock your Chromebook

10-Save Files including webpages for offline reading To save the page, image, or document you're viewing, press Ctrl + S. Then choose where you'd like to save your file:
  • Downloads: To save the file to your Chromebook's hard drive, choose the Downloads folder.
    Warning: Downloaded files may be automatically deleted if your Chromebook is running low on space.
  • Google Drive: To access the file online anytime, from any device, choose Google Drive. You can also make your Drive files available offline.

11-Delete a file

Sign in to your Chromebook.

> Click the Launcher Launcher.

> Select Files Files app icon.

> Click the file or folder you want to delete.

> Click Delete Delete and then Delete. You can also use the shortcut Alt + Backspace.

Note: When you delete a file in your Chromebook "Downloads" folder, it's permanent. Make sure you're only deleting files you won't need later.

12-Find a file
To search for a file on your Chromebook:
> Click the Launcher Launcher.
> Select Files Files app icon.
> Click Search Search. You'll see search results from the folder you're in.
> You can view your files using the Thumbnail view Thumbnail view or List view List view.

You can also search for a file using the front page of the Launcher Launcher.

Using Your Chromebook Offline
When you aren't online, you can still do lots of things with your Chromebook:

  • > Write emailsGmail Offline is built to support offline access, allowing mail to be read, responded to, searched, and archived without network access. Gmail Offline will send your messages as soon as Wi-Fi is available.
  • > View appointments. With offline access from the Google Calendar app, you can view a read-only version of your calendar.
  • > View, create, and edit documents. The Google Drive app lets you view and edit Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Drawings files.
  • > View and edit photos. Your Chromebook comes with a built-in photo editor, so you can view and edit photos that are saved to your Chromebook.
  • > Watch videos. You can download movies and TV episodes to watch offline with the Google Play Movies & TV app. Learn how to download videos on your Chromebook.
  • > View Microsoft Office and Adobe .pdf files. You can easily use your Chromebook to view Microsoft Office or Adobe files without an Internet connection.
  • > Take notes. With Google Keep, you can take and save short notes that will save to the cloud the next time you're online.
  • > Read offline web pages. If you've saved web pages for offline viewing later, they will open in Google Chrome on your Chromebook.
  • > Use other web apps. Some web applications also have offline counterparts, which you can find in the Chrome Web Store. These include The New York Times and Cloud Reader from Amazon.

-App Packs for Education
Many teachers deploying Chrome and Chrome Devices for Education want to pre-install or recommend Chrome web apps on their students' devices. However, given the thousands of Chrome web apps available, it's not always apparent which ones are the best for your class. Google has created Chrome App Packs, which are groups of popular applications from the Chrome Web Store that are tailored to meet students' needs.

These curated apps save teachers time, offer discounts for bulk app purchases, and help teachers find the best apps by category and grade level. Many of these apps integrate with Google Drive to provide an easy way to turn in homework, and many of these apps offer lesson plans for teachers.

App Packs for 3 Grade Levels
App Packs are groups of Chrome web apps bundled by grade level:

  • Elementary School (K - 5)
  • Middle School (grades 6 - 8)
  • High School (grades 9 - 12)
You can access the App Packs from the Admin panel by going to Settings > Chrome > User Settings > Pre-installed Apps and Extensions.

App Packs are only available for Google Apps for Education customers. When you pre-install these apps on your students' managed Chrome devices, your students will see them when they sign in to their Chrome devices. Also, if your students are using Chrome on a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, they will see these apps when they sign in to Chrome with their Google Apps account on that device.

App Packs are Free

More Chromebook Tips and Tricks (depends on your Chromebook model)

-Chromebook commercials

-Chromebooks offline

-About the files app:

-Touchscreen Chromebooks:

Enabling Pinch/Zoom:

  1. Pinch/Zoom: If you can't pinch/zoom on your touchscreen Chromebook, do the following:

  2. Open the Chrome browser.

  3. Type chrome://flags in the address bar.

  4. Find the "enable pinch scale" option.

  5. Choose Enable.

  6. Click Restart at the bottom of the page.

Pinch zoom:

-Other Cool Flags to Increase Productivity:

-Need accent marks?

-Chrome Hidden Menus chrome://chrome-urls/

Monica Isabel Martinez,
Aug 16, 2016, 12:25 PM