SharePoint and Chrome

I’m a SharePoint user and a Chrome user. Unfortunately, that’s not a good combination.  With the release of SharePoint SP1, Chrome joins that crowd as “officially supported, with limitations”. The limitations refer to some enhanced browser experiences that depend on ActiveX controls aren’t available. Not a big deal. I sometimes miss the Datasheet View, Explorer View, and Multiple File Upload, but I don’t use those features very often.

What’s more annoying is the file open functionality. Chrome insists on downloading files first before they are opened, which is at odds to SharePoint’s approach for editing a document. When I open a Word or Excel file stored in SharePoint from IE, the file path remains the http path to the document in SharePoint. This enables the transparent experience of checking out and in, and saving the document directly back to SharePoint. In Chrome, I have a document stored in my local Downloads folder, so I have to save it and then manually re-upload it. Yuck.

To workaround this, I would just remember to use IE when working with SharePoint. But the problem is that Chrome is my default browser and I get a lot of links to SharePoint documents that are sent to me by email. My workflow has been to click on the URL (which launches Chrome), remember I need to use IE, copy the URL, open IE, and pase the link into it.

So, I tried an IE Tab extension for Chrome today. I evaluated a few that were available and settled on IE Tab Multi. This extensions provides the ability to launch IE as a tab within Chrome. It has an ability to auto-detect URLs, so I entered the SharePoint site I use. It works great. Unlike the other, more download IE Tab extension, this one doesn’t suffer from a double authentication side-effect.

So, now my workflow is simple: click on the link. Chrome opens and my document launches just the way it would if I was using IE directly. As a bonus, I now get to use the full SharePoint experience without those “limitations”.