Firefox tabs are finally usable

By: on November 12, 2008

If you use Firefox, go and install the Ctrl-Tab add-on.

Tabs are great for reducing clutter, but they fail to make life much easier because the tab navigation doesn’t support the common patterns of use. For example, I end up opening the same page in multiple tabs because it is quicker to do that than to hunt for it in the existing tabs. Eventually even that is unmanageable and I have to manually garbage collect tabs.

Ctrl-Tab makes tabs usable again by fixing the navigation. The key combination Control-Tab cycles through the tab history (in the same way as task switchers), so that a single tap take you to the previous tab you visited, which is almost always the thing you wanted. Successive taps of Tab show thumbnails of the tab contents while you flip through them. Better still, Control-A (Control-Shift-a) shows thumbnails of all open tabs, and lets you filter incrementally by typing in the auto-focussed box, then select the tab with the arrow keys or mouse. In a single swoop it’s now much easier for me to switch to something I have open than open it again – the way it should be.



  1. Tom Berger says:

    Awesome! I’ve only been using it for 5 minutes and I’m already sold. Thanks for sharing.

    One thing I really like about this plugin is that it has no configuration options. This is the mark of a well-designed extension.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>