Web Browser Wednesday

Tabs are probably one of the things that have almost become a requirement for Web browsers. Without tabs I know for sure that my productivity would dramatically decrease because they help me multitask in a way that keeps all of my Web browsing separated from my other applications. Heck, I probably average around 20 tabs open at a given time, and I can’t imagine having a separate window for each one of those cluttering up my Taskbar.

Now that I’m am addicted to tabs I find myself looking for ways to keep them better organized and separated. Sometimes this consists of opening a few different windows and separating out the tabs between them, or there are even some Firefox extensions that can help you get a little more organized.

—Firefox Extensions—

Seeing that Firefox is one of the most customizable browsers available I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to you that there are a few extensions that can help reduce your tab clutter. The first extension is called Faviconize and you can set it up to collapse a tab down to only its icon. If you keep a large number of tabs open at any given time then this will save you a lot of room:


Then there is the Tab Groups extension which is essentially folders for your tabs. This is useful for me because I always have articles that I want to read when I get more time later on. I know that if I bookmark them I’ll forget to go back and read them, but with this extension I can keep the tabs open without cluttering up my tab bar:

Tab Groups for Firefox

The Separe extension is a little like the Tab Groups extension in the sense that you group your tabs, but it doesn’t use a folder-like structure for them. Instead it basically creates a blank tab that is orange in color, and you can place it anywhere on the tab bar to serve as a divider. It also includes a group management window that allows you to move tabs from one side of a divider to another:



—Drag and Drop—

Being able to drag and drop tabs between browser windows is something that both Firefox and Opera support. The concept is simple: open up multiple windows for your browser and drag tabs between them.

Opera Drag and Drop

Opera and Firefox each do drag and drop differently. Firefox actually makes a duplicate tab in the new window and doesn’t close the original, whereas Opera closes the original tab after it has been moved to the new window. I actually prefer the way Opera handles it because the reason I am moving a tab from one window to another is to reduce clutter, and by it automatically closing the tab in the original window it saves me an extra click.



I love seeing how tabs have evolved over the years and how they have become an important part of a user’s daily lives. I’m not sure what new additions will be added to tabbed interfaces, but if I had to guess I would would say being able to select multiple tabs simultaneously would be the next big thing (maybe hold down the Ctrl key and select multiple tabs?). You could then drag multiple tabs from one window to another, or close only the selected tabs. That may not seem like a ground-breaking feature, but it is something I have wanted for quite some time.