The Chrome New Tab Page on desktop (Mac, Windows, Linux) and Chrome OS can be customized by third-party extensions so that users “discover something new every time [they] open a new tab.” Google’s new “Tab Maker” tool lets anyone create such an extension with “no coding required.”

New Tab extensions can be used to “share images, text, links or GIFs that inspire, educate or inform.”

Millions of new tabs are opened every day in Chrome but up until now, customising them required coding experience. With more to share than ever before, we wanted to open up this platform to anyone, regardless of coding skills. If you already have some coding chops, check out the Chrome Extensions documentation.

Tab Maker offers 11 template styles that can be further customized. Notably, what content appears in the extension is determined by a Google Sheet that you manage and can continuously update. The tool is WYSIWYG and full instructions are available here.

Google pitches the tool as letting you “turn the Chrome new tab page into a publishing platform.” Examples include:

  • Find out the latest news and updates from local independent businesses
  • Explore galaxies and learn something new in every tab
  • Enjoy updates from the dogs and cats of the internet
  • Turn the new tab page into a gallery of emerging artists, and

Once customized, you download the extension as a ZIP file and share with other Chrome users (after enabling the browser’s “Developer mode” in chrome://extensions. There’s also the ability to distribute on the Chrome Web Store, which requires making a developer account and one-time registration fee. 

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: