Firefox now gives us a lot of tab management features straight up from the starting blocks. Pinning tabs is old hat. Tab Groups (also known as Panorama) are an easy way to organize a lot of tabs, and that sounds more interesting. Scroll buttons to move through multiple tabs does its bit for visibility. And of course, you can drag and rearrange your tabs to organize them better. The point I am trying to make here is that there is a fair bit of flexibility on offer when it comes to tab organization.
But even so, there are boatloads of add-ons available that take on tab organization and give you the power tools to really set up Firefox for your use. So, what’s a 6KB sized Lilliputian add-on doing on our list of Best Firefox Add-ons? At first glance, it seems that Tab Badges is playing David amidst the Goliaths. Scroll a bit up and you will see that Tab Badges is categorized under Custom Interface. Let’s do the explaining here.
The Singular Role of Tab Badges
Truth be told, Tab Badges is unremarkable. It is unremarkable till you really get down to using it with a browser that’s choc-a-bloc with open and pinned tabs. You see, Tab Badge adds a nice little red indicator on each tab that displays the number of unread email messages, Twitter updates, Facebook notifications etc. The badges and their true ‘color’ (i.e. potential) comes to the fore when you have many of them pinned and there’s what I like to call – a tab jam. Here’s a screenshot:
Now, you might say that Firefox by default displays the number of unread notifications and alerts within a bracketed number. Does one need a separate add-on to tell us the same thing? I would shout a resounding ‘yes’ here because the same number disappears when a tab is pinned. So, if you are in the habit of working with multiple tabs, you have to scroll horizontally between your in-active though open apps just to check if something has come up. That could give someone a case of the OCD’s. Not for me…I don’t think a 6KB add-on is going to put a dent in my computer’s CPU. And the red (or any other customized color) kind of looks cool. Red is best because it is the color for warning…and action, isn’t it!
Tweak It A Bit
Even an ultra-minimal Firefox add-on like Tab Badge gives you a few options to play around with. Hit Options.
There are two Badge Styles – Badge inside tab and Text on tab. I prefer the former because it is clearer and tells me at a glance the actionable browser tab. But for your interest, Text on tab looks like this:
You can customize the color of the badges. Two fields allow you to set up exclusions and inclusions with the help of blacklists and whitelists. You can also blacklist the badge from any website by right-clicking on it.
You will not get the Firefox Tab Badge displayed for that particular website. Delete the domain from the blacklist field and you can restore the badge.
Without Frills But Useful
It is tiny and without any frills. But it is also a featured add-on. According to Mozilla, it assures downloads, notoriety, and provides a healthy dose of congratulations to the developer for their hard work and good idea. But I am more interested in your take. Does the badge alert make your active tabs standout amidst the clutter? Does it add to your tab management prowess in any way? Tell us in the comments.