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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Make ChatGPT Work for You With These Browser Extensions

It's hard to escape ChatGPT right now, with the conversational artificial intelligence bot taking on everything from web search to essay writing. More than 100 million people have tried out ChatGPT since it launched.

Whether you're using ChatGPT for free or paying for ChatGPT Plus ($20 a month), the impressiveness of its text-generating capabilities aren't really matched by its interface, which sticks largely to the basics.

That's where third-party browser extensions come in: They can help you get easier access to ChatGPT from other websites, add missing features such as a chat exporter, and suggest better prompts for getting better answers out of the AI bot.

These extensions are all compatible with the latest versions of Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, except where stated.

Merlin

Merlin sits in your browser and puts ChatGPT right at your fingertips, ready to spring into action at a moment's notice: Whether you need to compose a reply to a social media post or summarize a long block of text, Merlin can help you out.

The Ctrl+M (Windows) or Cmd+M (macOS) keyboard shortcut is how Merlin is activated once you've selected a block of text. You then need to tell Merlin what you want it to get ChatGPT to do: summarize, reply, write, or whatever it is.

For example, you can highlight all the text in an email and get Merlin/ChatGPT to compose a response. Having the chatbot right inside your browser makes it really convenient to use, though you are limited to 31 requests per day.

ChatGPT for Google

You don't have to wait for Google's own version of ChatGPT to arrive, because ChatGPT for Google shows results from the chatbot alongside the standard results from Google whenever you run a search.

Clearly this is going to work better for some queries than others: ChatGPT can't tell you the latest sports scores, but it can explain what DNA is. Make sure that you're currently signed into your ChatGPT account in your browser to get the responses to load.

The ChatGPT box is neatly integrated alongside the standard Google search results, and you can launch a separate ChatGPT conversation right from it. You can also have the add-on run manually rather than automatically, if you don't want it on every search.

Enhanced ChatGPT

Enhanced ChatGPT does exactly what its name suggests: It adds some handy new features to the basic ChatGPT interface, including an option to export your chats in Markdown format and a selection of tools to help you with your prompts.

Some of those prompt tools include triggers for finding images on the web, getting travel advice, generating translations, and programming in JavaScript. They'll pop up immediately once you've installed the extension.

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Look for the new Export Chat option down in the lower left corner when you've set up the add-on. You don't get anything in the way of export options, but it can be helpful to have a copy of your chats to refer to.

WritingMate

If you're planning to do any writing using ChatGPT on the web, from emails to social media posts, then WritingMate can help. You can launch it via a Ctrl+M (Windows) or Cmd+M (macOS) keyboard shortcut, or use the floating icon that appears on the right of the browser window.

You're able to use ChatGPT in any way you like, right in the webpages you're looking at, and there are some helpful prompts included with the extension too. ChatGPT responses can be swiftly tweaked and refined as well.

If you need more than 10 messages per day or longer messages, you can sign up for a $15-per-month premium account. The access you get to the tool for free should tell you whether or not you're going to find it useful.

WebChatGPT

There's no doubt that ChatGPT is an incredible bit of technology, but it also has its limitations: It doesn't have access to the most up-to-date information, and can't search the web as such.

WebChatGPT (for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox) fixes that, dropping in traditional web search results alongside AI responses in the ChatGPT interface. It also tries to integrate both types of responses to give you something coherent and useful.

This approach works better for some queries than others: Try prompts such as "Who is the President?" and "give me the latest Wired headlines" to see the difference that the extension makes to ChatGPT.

Promptheus

For some of us, it's much easier to talk than to type, and Promptheus enables you to talk to ChatGPT just as you would with a real person. It may give you a whole new perspective on interacting with AI.

You use Promptheus from inside the ChatGPT interface, and you simply press and hold the space bar when you're ready to talk. There are a few extension settings you can play around with too, such as the option to send prompts automatically once you stop talking.

As an added bonus, the extension also gives you easy access to ChatGPT from any webpage—just click on the add-on icon in your browser toolbar to start interacting with the AI bot.

ChatGPT Export and Share

One of the most important features that ChatGPT is missing is the ability to get content out of the ChatGPT interface into other places—you're pretty much limited to the good old copy-paste method.

ChatGPT Export and Share (which works in Chrome, Edge, and Firefox) is here to solve the problem. It takes a little bit more time in terms of setting it up in your browser, but full instructions are provided, and the end results are worth it.

Once the extension is installed, you'll see new export buttons down below the prompt box. You can save your chats as images and PDFs, and there's also the option to create shareable links to them.

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