Chrome for money

Convert currencies automatically in Chrome with this free extension.

Google's free Chrome browser is making a serious push in the browser wars. How do we know? We're seeing a lot more extensions for Chrome, such as Chrome Currency Converter from Phaistonian. It's a free add-on that automatically converts prices on a given browser page into your selected currency, using the latest currency exchange rates.

We opened Chrome and browsed to a well-known tech retailer's Web page, which displayed prices in U.S. dollars. Then we downloaded Chrome Currency Converter, which installed automatically when we opened it in Chrome. We opened Chrome Currency Converter's options in Chrome's Extensions management page, which functions much like the Add-Ons page in Firefox. The extension groups options together in three boxes: Basic, Visual, and Formatting. We selected the Bulgarian lev randomly as our base currency for testing purposes. In the Visual options, we chose Display icon and Highlight changes. The Formatting options included price rounding, decimals, symbol position, and other display-related choices. We clicked Save options, returned to our open tab, and refreshed the page. The prices in U.S. dollars vanished, replaced by different sums bearing the Cyrillic letters of the lev's symbol, all highlighted in yellow. Next we browsed to a U.K. retailer, and it too displayed prices in levs. We changed the currency to Thailand's bhat (THB) and the South American rand (ZAR), and each time the prices changed to reflect the new currency. Currencies that have common symbols, such as the Japanese yen, displayed the appropriate symbol; others used the typical international codes. Hovering the cursor over a price displayed the original price and currency in a pop-up box.

Chrome Currency Converter adds a much-needed capability to Google's Chrome. Free extensions like it are helping make the up-and-coming browser a real contender.

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