Web Browser Wednesday

I’m one of those people who doesn’t know what they would do if their Web browser didn’t have tabs. The problem is that I am a tabaholic and always seem to have 20+ Tabs open at any one given time. As you can imagine, I am often left with very little room for each tab, andfind myself clicking through them all when I’m looking for something. Well, that’s how it was until I decided to put my tabs on the side of my browser.

All of the monitors that I have on both my desktops and laptops are widescreen, giving me extra screen space in the horizontal direction. Because of this extra space I have started to place things like my Windows Taskbar on the side, and that’s when I thought to put my tabs on the side as well.

It’s actually pretty easy to do…


There is no option in Firefox to move the tab-bar to the side, so the first place I turned was to the extensions. It took a little bit of work but I was able to find an extension called Vertigo which was recently updated to work with Firefox 2. By default the extension is designed to place the tabs on the left side of the screen while still allowing normal operations, such as the rearranging of tabs:

Firefox Sidebar

I also noticed that the extension had a few options, including one to adjust the width of the bar:

Firefox Sidebar

Then I saw that the developer commented saying that the problems with TabMixPlus were also fixed, so I decided to try that out as well. One of the cool things that I stumbled across when playing with various tab-bar settings was that changing the tab-bar position to “bottom” in TabMixPlus would position the tab-bar on the right-side of the browser if Vertigo was installed:

Firefox Sidebar

I also noticed that TabMixPlus took control of the width, but that could easily be changed in the settings:

Firefox Sidebar

Personally, I prefer to have it on the right-side because I keep by bookmarks open in a sidebar on the left-side. It just feels weird if you have two sidebars immediately next to each other.

I also tried having TabMixPlus put close buttons on each of the tabs, but that didn’t work out so well. If having a close button on each tab is an important feature for you then you probably shouldn’t try this out.


Opera is a slightly different story because it already has this feature built-in. All you have to do is right-click on any of your open tabs and click the Customize option. You should now see a screen where you can select the positioning from the Placement drop-down list:

Opera Tabs in Sidebar

After you click the OK button, the tab-bar should be in its new position:

Opera Tabs in Sidebar



If you don’t have a widescreen monitor this might not be as beneficial to you since it can take up some valuable screen space. Feel free to checkout our other post on reducing tab clutter if you’re looking for more space-saving techniques.