Cheats and Chromebook guide to work online and offline

Chromebooks are inexpensive laptops that instead of having Windows as their operating system have Chrome OS, a modified version of the Chrome browser.
Google Chrome OS has matured a lot since its initial launch, it is not only a Chrome browser, but a functional operating system also to work on the computer in a traditional way, without limitations .
Chromebooks are laptops complete with keyboard, touchpad, mouse support and USB and HDMI ports to connect other peripherals such as an external hard drive or another monitor.
We have already seen, in the 10 reasons to buy a Chromebook, some of the main features of this special laptop.
Now let's take a step forward and see how to best use Chrome OS also to work on the computer, a simple operating system, but which still requires a little learning.
This guide to the Chromebook will find the most hidden functions in Google laptops which, remember, can be purchased online on Amazon (better on at a really advantageous price not exceeding 300-350 Euros.
1) Tricks and options for mouse and keyboard
Compared to normal laptops, the Chromebook is inspired by MacBooks and has a touchpad that supports finger gestures.
A right mouse button is missing, which is replaced with two-finger touch.
The mouse wheel is also missing, replaced by dragging two fingers down and up on the touchpad.
The wheel button, the central one, is done by touching the touchpad with three fingers.
In Chrome settings you can change the speed of the pointer and the click with a touch.
If you prefer, you can connect a traditional mouse to the Chromebook, both with the USB port and with a Bluetooth device.
Bluetooth can be activated from the settings.
Keyboard shortcuts are as important for working with a Chromebook as they are on any other laptop.
The Chromebook supports all standard keyboard shortcuts, including Ctrl-C, Ctrl-X and Ctrl-V for copying, cutting and pasting.
By pressing Ctrl-Alt- "> this help page.
For example, screenshots can be taken by pressing Ctrl-Switch Window (which is a double rectangle key located at the top of the keyboard).
The screenshot is saved as a png file in the local file storage, navigable from the Files app pre-installed on the Chromebook.
2) Work offline
A Chromebook, being based on a web browser, does its best when connected to the internet.
Chromebooks can still work offline, even if you have to set up offline access to avoid getting stuck.
The only condition is to use Google services and, specifically, Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar which support offline use. and Microsoft Office applications do not currently support offline use.
In other articles, guides to use Gmail offline and Google Docs apps offline.
Likewise, from the gear icon you can enable Google Calendar offline after installing the Google Calendar app.
Not only that, there are many other Chrome applications that also work offline, including the photo editor and the notepad for writing.
A useful trick is to access a web page in offline mode, using the print option and saving that page as a PDF in the local memory.
The Chromebook offers a few gigabytes of local storage so you can save files and download them from the internet.
For example, you can save photos, mp3 files, videos or whatever you want to keep for offline use.
Chromebooks also support flash drives, USB sticks and SD cards so you can open PDF files, Microsoft Office documents, images, videos and even music files with Chrome using the Files application, which works similarly to Windows Explorer.
3) Print
Chromebooks still don't support printers connected via USB (it would certainly be better if they did).
You can still print from the Chromebook using Google Cloud Print .
In practice there must be a printer connected to another Windows or Mac computer where the Cloud Print service is configured on the Google Chrome browser.
By keeping that PC on, you can print from the Chromebook to the connected printer, from anywhere, via the internet.
4) Remote access
One of the main reasons against the Chromebook is its complete lack of compatibility with traditional desktop programs.
One of the strengths, however, is the ability to remotely access your Chromebook to a Windows, Linux or Mac computer without problems and for free.
We explained how easy it is to install the Chrome remote desktop app to access Chrome from any PC via the internet, shared using the same application.
The Chrome Web Store also offers other applications for remote desktop access to servers and computers such as VNC Viewer.
5) Applications for doing things
Google Docs on Chrome is the obvious choice for working on the computer with programs similar to Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
Meanwhile, Microsoft also offers in the Chrome web store Office applications online to use Word Excel and Powerpoint via Chromebook.
You can also use the web-based version of Apple iWork on a Chromebook by visiting the iCloud website, just like you would on Windows.
Chrome OS has integrated a small image editor, but the app for working photos and images even without being online is Pixlr Editor, similar to Photoshop, very fast and complete to resize, crop, write and apply filters on images.
Those who work on the PC as a webmaster or blogger can use Caret as an app to modify the code as they would with Notepad ++.
Google Keep is the best app for taking notes synchronously with other computers and mobile phones while Any-do is an excellent tool for organizing things to do, which also works offline.
On Chromebooks it is also possible to install Android applications that can always be downloaded from the Chrome web Store such as, for example: Duolingo, Evernote, Sight Words and Vine.
They open in separate windows, are identical to the same apps for smartphones and tablets and also work offline.
Skype on the web also works on Chromebooks to make calls, chat and video calls .
6) External screens and monitors
Chromebooks can connect to an external monitor or TV via a normal HDMI cable.
In Chrome settings there are all the viewing options, also to fix the image on TV.
The Chromebook also interfaces very well with the Chromecast, to transmit videos on TV in wifi.
7) VPN connections
The Chromebook can connect to any VPN thanks to L2TP, IPsec, PSK, OpenVPN networks and with certificate-based authentication.
Other types of VPN do not work and even incompatible external programs cannot be installed, as mentioned above.
To connect to a VPN, open the Chromebook Settings page and add a new private network under the connections section.
8) Full integration with Google Drive and its apps
We have seen, in another article, the best apps / extensions for Google Drive on Chrome, which work very well on a Chromebook and which use Google Drive as an archive to save files online.
9) Map a network disk
To connect to resources shared by another computer on the network via Chromebook you can install the app, developed by Google, Network File Share for Chrome OS .
You can then create a link, from the Chromebook's resource explorer app, to a NAS server or an SMB drive for Windows, Mac or Linux.
In conclusion, with a Chromebook, which we remember it costs very little compared to Windows laptops and offers exaggerated, comparable and better performance than a Macbook, you can already do almost everything and more will be feasible in the future.
Applications for Chrome OS will only increase and improve as the spread of Chromebooks becomes ever wider.

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