Get even greater control of Firefox tabs
After a recent update of Firefox I found that the Tabs Open Relevant add-on (see review here) had ceased to work. Having grown used to this extension to the point of dependency, I was once again swamped with a vast number of confusingly sorted tabs.
When the tabs relative story was posted, one of the comments from our readers (thanks chan) recommended Tab Mix Plus. Eager to regain my sanity, tame the information overload and get out an overdue review, I hopped on over to the Firefox add-on site to give it a bash.
What I found impressed me immensely.
After the easy installation I had to restart Firefox. Upon restarting I was prompted with a message saying that Tab Mix Plus was not compatable with Relative Tabs and I was given an option to cancel or to disable Relative Tabs. Disabling and restarting once again, I was ready to navigate away.
At first, hoping to open new tabs adjacent to the one that I was looking at (as done by Tabs Open Relative), I was disappointed to discover that this was not the case. (As I later discovered, however, this option can be selected within the extensive options offered).
Forging on regardless, there were two features that struck me first:
When opening a link in a new tab, a blue progress bar within the tab marked the progress of opening the site. Nice, no more jumping back and forth between partially opened sites.
Once the site had fully opened, the title of the site appeared in red italics to indicate that the tab had not yet been viewed. As soon as that tab is opened, the title reverts to its standard format.
Digging deeper into the many different options, aside from the immense freedom to customise the options and operation of the extension, I was impressed by a few particularly nifty features.
The way in which tabs and new links open can be configured in many ways. New links can be forced to open in a new tab, rather than in an annoying new window as is done by default in Firefox.
It was with great joy that I discovered the option to open bookmarks in a new tab rather than in the current tab. As I generally start my day going through a long list of bookmarks and bookmarked RSS feeds, I am looking forward to the time and frustration this will save.
By default, as I discovered, tabs can be dragged and dropped to change there position.
Links to downloads can be set to not open blank new tabs or windows. This can be customised to act differently for different file formats.
Individual tabs can be locked or protected. Protecting them removes the close button, preventing accidentally closing of that all-important site (there’s also a customisable history function, so it isn’t serious even if you do). Locking a tab will keep that tab on the particular URL – any clicked links will then automatically open in a new tab rather than replacing the current site.
After a morning of experimenting and joyful navigating, I am very impressed with this extension. The only possible hint of criticism I can find with this add-on is that, with a user manual exceeding 50 pages, it does too much and there is just not enough time to try everything. After all the idea was to save time, but then again choice is a very good thing.
So, try it out and laugh maniacally as you revel in the immense control over your browsing experience. (Ok, laughing maniacally might be excessive, but I think I spend way, way too much time browsing through the Internet)