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Auto-Hide Bookmark Toolbar in Google Chrome

January 13, 2011 on 10:52 am | 1 Comment

auto-hide bookmark toolbar chromeIn this article, I’ll explain a way that you can auto-hide (kinda) the bookmark toolbar in Google Chrome on Mac OS X. I personally like to use as few toolbars as possible in my browsers, since they eat up valuable screen real-estate. I’ve never really been a fan of the Bookmarks toolbar, but with my increased preference to use the HTTPS version of the sites I login to, I’ve began relying on the bookmarks toolbar to avoid accidentally visiting the non-HTTP version of a site.

In an ideal world, Google Chrome would have an option built in that would make the bookmarks toolbar appear when you hover just below the address bar and then disappear again when you move the mouse away. To be fair, you can show and hide the bookmarks toolbar pretty easily by using the Command+shift+B command.

Using AppleScript/Automator to auto-hide the bookmark toolbar

automatorIn spotlight, search for, and run, the application ‘Automator’.


1) Once Automator opens, select the ‘Service’ option and click ‘Choose’.

2) On the right side of the Automator window, change ‘Service┬áreceives┬áselected’ from ‘text’ to ‘no input’ and change ‘in’ from ‘any application’ to ‘other>Google Chrome’

3) On the left side of the Automator window, scroll down the list of available actions and double click on ‘Run AppleScript’. An AppleScript window should then appear on the right side of the Automator application.

4) Delete everything in the AppleScript to the right and insert the following:

on run {input, parameters}
tell application "System Events"
tell application "Google Chrome" to activate
keystroke "b" using {command down, shift down}
delay 3 #Adjust this time delay to your preference. 3 seconds is enough for me
keystroke "b" using {command down, shift down}
end tell
return input
end run

5) Click File>Save As and then enter the name ChromeBMAutoHide

6) Open System Preferences, click on ‘Keyboard’ and then ‘Keyboard Shortcuts’. Click ‘Services’ on the left and then scroll down the options on the right side of the window until you spot your newly created service. Select the service and assign a shortcut key. For example Cmd+Shift+K

7) That’s it, you’re done! Now, when you’re in Google Chrome, you can press Cmd+Shift+K and your bookmark toolbar will appear for 3 seconds (or longer/shorter depending if you edited the script) and then automatically disappear after.

Example usage video

If anyone knows how to export the Automator Service file, please let me know! Then I can host it here and save people the trouble of having to go through the above steps. Thanks!

1 Comment »

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  1. Neat solution. I just end up creating new tabs every time I want to use a bookmark. Have you tried binding it to Cmd+Shift+b ?

    FYI You should be able to tar up the service bundle located at ~/Library/Services/.workflow/ and redistribute that for people to drop in their own Services directory. It won’t include the keybinding, but it will contain the AppleScript.

    Comment by Alan — 22nd February, 2011 #

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