My Three Favorite Firefox Tab Utilities

As a freelancer, I usually have a lot of tabs open, and by a lot, I mean more than 20. I like to keep my social networking tabs open so I can check my stream occasionally. My main email tab is always open. When researching, I can have up to 10 tabs open at once along with all those previously mentioned.

This was getting very confusing, and deleting them when I was done was getting to be a pain as well. If I wanted to bookmark all my research tabs, well, that was a time-consuming nightmare. I've found a few add-ons that are most helpful in controlling all of this mess.

Multiple Tab Handler

This fixed my problem of closing multiple tabs at once. The way it works is by using your mouse to highlight the tabs you want to work with. Once highlighted, the features include:
  • Close selected tabs
  • Close not-selected tabs
  • Reload selected tabs
  • Duplicate selected tabs
  • Move selected tabs to a new window
  • Bookmark selected tabs
  • Copy URLs/titles+URLs/HTML links for selected tabs to the clipboard
  • Save (download) selected tabs to the local disk

You can also:
  • Close right tabs (my favorite)
  • Close left tabs
  • Close all tabs including the selected tab
  • Close similar tabs (same domain) and exclude the selected tab

You can use ctrl-click or shift-click to select multiple tabs and drag and drop single or multiple selected tabs, which I find very handy.

There are other features I will probably never use, but it's a powerful tool that uses very few resources.

That still left me the problem of too many open tabs, most of them hanging out hidden off the right end of the screen.

Enter my second favorite tab add-on.

Bar Tab Lite X

Once upon a time there was a cool add-on named Bar Tab, but it isn't being updated anymore and sadly, isn't compatible with the new versions of Firefox. However, Bar Tab had much more power than I need. I just need some way to get more tabs per square inch.

Bar Tab Lite X fixes that problem in a jiffy. With this add-on, you can "pin" tabs, which then become only icons on the left side of your tab bar. When you mouse-over them, they tell you exactly which page is tabbed, which is excellent for someone like me who can't always recognize the icons.

I can now keep all my essential tabs open in very little space. You can also highlight and pin multiple tabs, which is terrific for researching to keep all tabs on the bar instead of having to hunt them down.

You don't have to unpin the tab to view the page, but you can unpin it if you want. I use unpinned tabs as dividers or lead tabs for groups of research tabs, but I'm looking for a tab divider add-on as well.

Still, sometimes when I had to open an entire bookmark folder for research, it took up way too much space. I just recently discovered something that may be a solution to that problem.

Tree Style Tabs 

I'm still playing with this one, but it seems valuable. It gathers your tabs into trees (sub-folders in tiers), which is useful if you're opening a whole folder of bookmarks. When researching, it makes it simple to bookmark all the open tabs by putting them into a named tree, then bookmarking the entire tree. This will be something I will probably use a lot.

The only thing I don't like about this is how much space the trees take up on your tab bar. Plus, when you open a tab, it automatically opens as a tree. There must be a setting to fix that. There doesn't seem to be a way to pin the entire tree to get it out of the way. If you pin the tab, it seems to delete the first tab in the group and leave only the other tabs with a new mother. There IS an option to move the tree to a new window, but I dislike having multiple FF windows open. I think that maybe if you're working with multiple bookmarked tabs, it may be better to switch to a left or right display rather than display them on the tab bar to give it more room. There is an option to drag the sidebars closed if you need your full screen.

UPDATE: I removed Tree Style Tabs, because I didn't like it taking up space on the screen on the right or left and the tabs took up too much space on the tab bar because of the little lines added at the end and the spacing inbetween. I tried every setting, and couldn't get it to stop doing this. Plus, if I clicked on a site, then clicked on something else on the site, it changed the tab to a tree which involved verification to close. I also didn't like the 'x' being on the left side of the tab.All-in-all, an annoying add-on that didn't work for me at all. I'm still looking for a bookmarking add-on that lets you bookmark multiple tabs at once.

So these are my current solutions to multiple tabs. I'm also looking at Tile Tabs to solve that problem of storing the tree tabs so they don't use up the whole tab bar. I'll let you know how that goes soon.


Anonymous said...

"I'm still looking for a bookmarking add-on that lets you bookmark multiple tabs at once."

That's exactly what I do with the "Multiple Tab handler" add-on extension.

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