Architecture can be demanding. As designers, we perform enough roles to fill a Shakespearean drama – from artist, scientist, and mathematician, to economist, cartographer, and writer. Fortunately, one trait many of us share is curiosity – a willingness to embrace new ideas, continually asking how we can improve ourselves and the world around us. The internet, therefore, is somewhat of an architect’s playground – a labyrinth of inspiration, ideas, and hacks.
As the internet continues to respond to societal needs, browsers such as Google Chrome are hosting an array of clever gadgets to enhance productivity, many of which you may not be aware of. From page rulers and palette generators to screen recorders and time trackers, designers can equip their browser with an arsenal of icons to rival a CAD toolbar. Below, we’ve listed 14, just to get you started!
The days of gently placing a steel ruler against your pristine computer screen are over. This simple extension allows you to measure the dimensions and positioning of elements on any web page, providing a quick, useful tool for compiling visual or online presentations.
You knew this already of course, but ArchDaily has its very own Google Chrome extension, optimizing your search through our extensive library of architects, buildings, and materials.
For visual renderings, architects can obsess for hours over details such as what color of sky they want. Luckily, this Chrome extension will instantly give you the color value for any web page, without the need to fire up Photoshop.
Another rendering aid, this clever extension will create palettes for any image you click on, giving a coherent, relatable, satisfying blend of color to your renders or presentations.
Many architects change their favorite font with the seasons. With that in mind, the WhatFont Chrome extension will recognize the font and size for text on any website, giving your portfolio, website, and presentation booklets a refreshing upgrade.
With so much attention given to imagery, architects can be forgiven for letting their writing skills slide. Fortunately, with this simple thesaurus extension, your project descriptions can add depth to a presentation, rather than protract from it.
Designers can sometimes work long nights, particularly when approaching deadlines. When there aren’t enough hours in the day, the glare of a computer screen can be a struggle to work with. The Screen Shader extension can at least provide some respite for your eyes. Take care not to use it when rendering however, or your informed, sensitive choice of colors may be hampered.
If you’re the resident BIM expert of the office or want to showcase your clever modeling techniques, use this Chrome extension to record your computer interface, and share your tutorials with the world.
The internet is loaded with websites offering file conversion, to the extent that choosing one can be frustrating. This extension aims to cut out the middleman, converting your PDFs into JPEG, PNG or DOC files with ease.
We’ve all had the soul-destroying moment when a Revit file crashes, taking that carefully-drafted email you’d prepared with it. Fortunately, this Chrome extension will autosave everything you type, so as to avoid form-killing timeouts and crashes. Needless to say, we recommend disabling it when inputting sensitive personal details.
With the power of the internet comes the responsibility to avoid procrastination. With deadlines looming, and client meetings imminent, this extension will block all unwanted distractions and help you stay focused on the job at hand. After all, cat videos will still exist when your presentation is over.
Time management can be a struggle for architects, given the unpredictable nature of the design process. The Tracking Time extension can connect with popular organizers such as Google Calendar and Outlook, with a ‘start-stop’ feature to take note of how long you’ve spent on project tasks.
With such a busy schedule, it can be hard for designers to keep up to date with the latest trends and stories. The RSS Feed Reader extension therefore represents a useful, accessible source of news from the design world and beyond.
All designers are faced with draining tasks which require patience, time, and a welcome distraction. This audiobook extension can keep your mind busy while your CAD masterpiece slowly takes shape.
Being an architect is hard. At times, you’re expected to act as everything from a graphic designer to a handyman (or woman), from a data scientist to a writer, or from a computer programmer to a public speaker. And, you’re expected to do all these things on little to no sleep and for a much lower wage than you’re probably worth.