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I really like browser tabs, but I wish… November 15, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Information Technology, Microsoft, Open Source, Software, Technology, Web, Windows/Microsoft.

You can hardly find a current version of a web browser today that doesn’t support tabs. And, for the most part I’m glad they have become a standard feature. But, I really do wish that there was a way to see, in one list, all of the tabs in all of the windows like there is with the list of windows (in the menu bar).

I tend to open about ten (or more) tabs per window. So, when I go looking for that web site I was reading earlier that I know I left open in one of the tabs in one of the windows I end up going through each browser window and then looking at each tab to see if I can find it. But, if the list of windows in the menu bar under the Window menu would list not just the contents of the active tab in each window but also list all of the tabs in each browser window, then I would easily find what I’m looking for and go straight to it.

No, I did not know there was a way to do that in Safari, or Firefox, or Internet Explorer, or name your browser. So, please tell me! Otherwise, can someone please write a Firefox extension that will do what I need?




1. Laura - November 16, 2006

if I understand correctly what you’re trying to do, Firefox 2.0 is your friend, no extensions needed. Grab it if you haven’t upgraded yet.

There will be a little dropdown arrow at the far right of your tabs. Click on it, and it gives you a list of all your tabs. Beautiful, eh? 🙂

As a quick note regarding 2.0’s tabbed browsing options: it comes with a couple different possible configurations. My preference is to keep the red X that closes the tab on the right hand side of the bar, like in previous releases. To maintain that behavior, type about:config in your address bar and double-click on the preference titled “browser.tabs.closeButtons” (you can type that in the Filter box to make it easier to find). Make sure the integer is set to 3. Or, if you want a little red X on every single tab, change it to 1 (or to remove altogether, which I think is silly, use 2).

2. generalmole - November 16, 2006

There is a new Firefox 2 extension out called Showcase. It wil allow you to view all your open tabs either in a sidebar or in a separate winow kind of like an Expose screen. The even show screenshots of the webpages open in them so you can see what is open and not just the name of the window.
Check it out, I think it will do what you’re looking for.

If you prefer the Safari interface the new Open Source Shiira web browser project has this functionality built-in. It is built using the Apple WebKit and looks and feels very similar to Safari but with several enhancements. It has alot of promise in its 2.0 release, currently it is at 1.2


3. DrBacchus - November 16, 2006

The trouble with both of these solutions is that Matsu does not have merely one browser window with multiple tabs, but multiple browser windows each with multiple tabs.

So, yeah, the dropdown thingy on firefox 2.0 is certainly a big step in the right direction, but it’s only about halfway to what you’re asking, I think.

4. Matsu - November 16, 2006

Thank you Laura and Generalmole for your help. I am afraid that DrBacchus is correct about my need (or wish). I am looking for a single list of all tabs in all windows so I don’t have to manually switch to each window to see the various tabs (and contents).

I guess my web browsing habits are somewhat unique. I often have ten to twenty browser windows open (right now, I have 28!) and in each window there are five to ten tabs.

I suppose another option for fixing this problem would be professional therapy, but that’s not really what I am looking for… I don’t have a problem! Really, I don’t!

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