Web Browser Wednesday

It’s been well over a year since we’ve jotted down some excellent tab-related Firefox extensions, and so we thought that it was time to do another round. Since the last article there have been numerous milestones, including the release of Firefox 2. As you can imagine between then and now a lot of new extensions have made their way out the door.

Almost all of the extensions we’re going to mention in this article have never been highlighted before on our site, and a few of them have not even become popular enough to hit the mainstream Mozilla Add-ons site. So we’re pretty confident that there are at least a handful of the extensions that you haven’t heard of.

–Installing Sandbox Extensions–

Some of the extensions are located in the Mozilla Sandbox, which is essentially a holding room until they become popular. To access the Sandbox you need to have a Mozilla account, but if you really don’t feel like creating one here is a generic username and password you can use:

Password: bugmenot

We’ll make sure to label all of the extensions below that are still located in the Sandbox.

–Multiple Tab Handler (Homepage)–

One feature that I’ve always wanted in any browser is the ability to manage multiple tabs similar to how I manage files and folders on my computer. Opera comes close with their window manager panel, but it’s not as natural as I would like it to be.

 Multiple Tab Handler

This extension is about as good as it gets, and once installed you’ll be able to Ctrl+Click on tabs to simultaneously select them. Then you can duplicate, reload, bookmark, close, or move the selected tabs to a new window. The only other thing I would like to see in this is the ability to reorder all of the selected tabs.

–Tab Scope (Homepage)–

This is a killer extension that I’ve quickly fallen in love with. Ever since we wrote about this several months ago I’ve become more and more accustomed to using it. At first glance it may look like any ordinary tab preview, but underneath the slick appearance lies some powerful controls.

First off, Tab Scope provides real-time previews of websites. For example, if you’re uploading some images to a site you can watch the progress bar move from within the preview.

The thumbnail preview is also fully navigatable. You can use the forward, back, and refresh buttons located at the top to move throughout the site, or you can click on links. You can also scroll up and down on the website if your mouse has a scroll wheel.

–Ctrl Tab (Homepage)–

This extension is located in the Sandbox. Read the instructions at the beginning of the article on how to download it.

There are all kinds of extensions out there that try to bring the Alt-Tab feature to Firefox. By default in Firefox pressing Ctrl+Tab will cycle through all of your open tabs, but there is no interface for it. This extension not only adds an interface, but adds a pretty slick one if I may say so myself. As you use the Ctrl+Tab key combination you’ll see a popup located at the bottom that shuffles through your open windows. Take a look at the sweet reflections, too:

Ctrl Tab 

–Fancy Numbered Tabs (Homepage)–

This is a rather new extension that provides an extremely simple, yet useful feature. It replaces the red “X” close button on the first 8 tabs with a number corresponding to their position. This makes it easier for you to utilize Firefox’s built in tab switch feature: using CTRL+[1-8] you can switch to the respective tab.

Fancy Numbered Tabs 

[via Firefox Facts]

–Separate Tabs (Homepage)–

Don’t confuse this extension with the Separe extension, because they are similar in name and appearance but differ in how they work. This extension automatically sorts your tabs according to the domain name:

Separate Tabs

One of the things that I noticed is that new tabs are automatically added to the end of the list, and when the site finishes loading it is sorted. If a site hangs up and never gets to finish loading it will probably never get sorted.

–Tree Style Tab (Homepage)–

This extension is located in the Sandbox. Read the instructions at the beginning of the article on how to download it.

Tree Style Tab Tree Style Tab is a unique extension that not only lets you orient the tab bar vertically, but it also lets you treat the tabs almost like folders. As seen to the right you can nest the tabs within each other, and there is an expand/collapse button available for easy control. When collapsed a number is shown next to the close button representing how many child tabs there are.

By default Tree Style Tab will automatically nest new tabs that are opened from the parent site, but you can also drag and drop tabs onto each other for manual nesting.