Google is experimenting with a new feature in Chrome that will make it easier to access browser features and settings with a few simple keystrokes. This new feature, called Commander, is currently available in Chrome Canary 91. Google describes it as a “text interface to common chromium functionality.”
The purpose of the Commander (via Techdows) is to let you quickly execute various browsing actions without having to remember or press awkward key combinations. It acts as a universal search bar for all browser shortcuts, menus, settings, and more. To access the Commander, you’ll need to enable its feature flag first. To do so, type chrome://flags/ in the address bar, and from there, search for Commander. Once you locate it, enable its flag and relaunch Chrome. Now, hold the Ctrl key and press the spacebar. A small pop-up search bar will open up at the top.
As soon as you start entering letters inside this box, a drop-down menu will surface a list of actions, commands, and settings relevant to your letter. For example, if I type “g,” I get suggestions for opening New Google Meet, New Google Form, New Google Sheet, Show Settings, and so on. Similarly, if I enter “o,” I get “Open bookmark,” Open recently closed tab, Open the file, Zoom out, etc. Clicking on one of these suggestions will execute the given activity or task.
The Commander search bar hovers over at the top and can be summoned from any screen. If you’re not well-versed with various esoteric browser shortcut keys and combinations, Commander can definitely make your browsing life a lot easier.
Chrome Commander is very similar in concept to Chrome Action, which allows users to perform common actions such as clearing browsing data, opening incognito mode, translating a page, and more right from the address bar.
The Commander is available in Chrome Canary 92 for Windows, Linux, and Mac.