The 5 Best Firefox 4 Addons For Tabbed Browsing

firefox   The 5 Best Firefox 4 Addons For Tabbed BrowsingApart from addons, the single most influential browser development during the past decade was tabbed browsing, which started as an extension itself. Tabs enable you to easily switch back and forth between open sites, without cluttering the taskbar with multiple open windows. The problem is that you quickly end up with too many tabs and they become hard to navigate.

In this article I have profiled the 5 best Firefox 4 addons to organize tabs, work with them, and hibernate them. These addons can help you to group and manage your tabs, add more vertical or horizontal space to your browser window, and reduce the load Firefox puts on your system resources.

TabGroups Manager

TabGroups Manager is my favorite tab-related extension. As the name suggests, you can create groups for your tabs, accessible via the group tab bar.

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When you find yourself with an excess amount of groups that slow you down, you can hibernate selected groups to save system resources. Right-click a group tab and select > Hibernate. You can continue to send (not move) tabs to hibernated groups or move them from one open group to another via the right-click menu. Moreover, you can re-organize groups via the > Group your tabs button.

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‘Group your tabs’ is an exciting new Firefox 4 feature, which becomes available with extensions such as TabGroups Manager. When you click the > Group your tabs button, Firefox switches to a separate view. White boxes indicate your open groups and thumbnails show the respective tabs. Among many other things, you can drag and drop the tabs from one group to another. To open a new group, drag a tab to the grey space and to see a group box, drag a second tab on top of it.

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A similar extension, TooManyTabs, was recently reviewed by Ann: TooManyTabs Turns Your Firefox Into A Task Management Powerhouse

New Tab King

New Tab King makes use of the empty space in new tabs by filling it with thumbnails of your most used websites and a search bar through which you can search your bookmarks. Much like in Google Chrome, you can pin selected thumbails and re-arrange them via drag & drop.

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That alone would be great. However, there is a lot more to discover in New Tab King. Not only can you customize the look of the new tab, via the extension’s options window you can access an incredible array of additional features. Click > [CTRL] + [SHIFT] + [A] to launch  the addons window, then find the > Options button for the New Tab King extension.

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Search Tabs / The Search Sidebar

Strictly speaking, this is not a tabs addon. However, it provides quick access to additional search results when performing a search on Google, Yahoo, or Bing. It thus saves you opening multiple tabs.

To the right of your search engine results you will see a bar with a favicon list of websites, e.g. Amazon, Wikipedia, and Facebook. When hovering over a favicon, results from that specific domain or account will be shown. For example if you are logged into your Google Mail account, it will show show results from your personal mails. The tool comes pre-equipped with a host of sites, but you can customize it and add any domain you frequently search.

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For some unknown reason I could not get this extension to work on my Windows XP computer, even after disabling most other extensions and cross-checking compatibility of the rest in Firefox 4 installed under Windows 7. I would think that blocking flash disables this extension. However, that was not the culprit.

Vertical Tabs

Vertical Tabs moves your tabs into the vertical and also allows you to group them. I would recommend this extension for those of you with a high-resolution wide-screen monitor, which allows you to spare a few pixels of horizontal space to gain a better overview of your tabs. It’s great when you do research and open many tabs with identical favicons.

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Like TabGroups Manager, Vertical Tabs supports > Group your tabs. Also note the > List all tabs button, which is another highlight of this extension as it provides a search feature.

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Vertical Tabs is an experimental extension for Firefox 4 only.

Custom Tab Width

If you don’t have any vertical space to share, you might want to work on your tabs width. This minimalistic extension does only one thing, it allows you to customize the width of your tabs. To shrink tabs indefinitely, set the minimum width to 1.

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A stylish alternative to Custom Tab Width is FaviconizeTab. It reduces selected tabs to the size of its Favicon. Note that Custom Tab Width overrides FaviconizeTab, thus you have to decide for one of them.

Need more ideas to manage your tab overload? Have a look at these articles:

How do you organize and manage your tabs?

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20 Comments -

Hamalsharatan

Tab control! Opens new tabs to the right of the current one. Thank goodness for it!

Nick Hill

no mention of Tree Style Tabs?

Tina

Nick,

thanks for the feedback! Tree Style Tabs is a possible alternative for Vertical Tabs. It’s cool because links opened from within a page are attached to the ‘parent’ tab in a vertical tree-like list. This is an experimental extension.

alex

anyone know of an addon that lets you click a bookmark on the bookmark tab, and say you already had it open in another tab it would open that tab instead of opening the page in a new tab?

Tina

Alex,

that would be a great addon. Unfortunately, I have no idea whether it already exists.

Hozefa KB

Tina

Yes, unfortunately it is not compatible with Firefox 4.

Hozefa KB

Sahil Dave

fabtabs is also a good one…i use it to differentiate tabs with colors..sometimes it goes clumsy as a ‘black’ colored website makes the tab black and if i go away from that tab, i cannot view the title of the tab and the bookmarks are also not visible.
I am attaching the screenshot of my website. you can see how the bookmarks are not visible.

Imrael

I like TabMixPlus because it is one of the few addons that enables you to have a multi line Tab Bar. Considering 30-60 open tabs on a 1280 width laptop screen, multiline Tab bar is a must for me

Max Drown

I use the “Multirow Bookmarks Toolbar” addon for this function.

Brad Jobs

Oh, thanks for sharing a review about these addons.But as long as I am using Google Chrome, I won’t be needing any of these. But thanks for the information.

Eddie Weber

New Tab King is honored to be included in your top addons list! Regards from the the New Tab King team and keep us posted with feedback.
–Eddie
http://www.newtabking.com

Tina

Eddie,

one feedback I have is that you should consider people who don’t run their browser in full screen mode. With high resolution widescreen monitors, it doesn’t make sense to plaster the entire screen with a single browser window. I for example always have two browser windows (usually Firefox and Chrome) open next to each other.

The problem with New Tab King and a minimized browser window is that I have to scroll to see everything. So I have been missing out on the sidebar because I’m too lazy to scroll. New Tab King should wrap up in whatever width the browser provides, no scrolling!

Eddie Weber

Totally makes sense and along the lines of other feedback we got – Appreciate it and hopefully we’ll get the scrolling issue out of the way soon.
–eddie

Eddie Weber

New Tab King is honored to be included in your top addons list! Regards from the the New Tab King team and keep us posted with feedback.
–Eddie
http://www.newtabking.com

Jonathan Steyn

What a Ausome Page thanks for sharing this page is Content rich

Randall

You did not mention “tab overflow scrollbar”.

The best thing since sliced bread.

Tina

I guess I have to check it out. Thanks for sharing, Randall!

Grrrg

If it ways it’s the five best then it must be true.