I’m not very loyal when it comes to web browsers. For years, I used Firefox, but I made the switch over to Chrome when its extension ecosystem matured enough to be usable. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Firefox, though, and the release of Firefox 4 on March 22 prompted me to take it for a spin. The verdict? I like it. It feels faster than Chrome, although that might be because my Chrome installation has become bloated over time. I’ve also started playing around with Firefox’s Tab Groups, which are a big help in organizing tabs.
What are Tab Groups? Tab Groups are a way to visually group your tabs into clusters, and switch between them. So, let’s say you are researching ROMS for your Android phone, and that you’re also researching web-based productivity apps. You can easily end up with a jumble of open tabs, intermixed together . . . or you can use Tab Groups, and keep your Android ROM research in one group, and your productivity app research in another group.
To set up Tab Groups, click on the box to the right of the Tabs dropdown menu, as highlighted in yellow, below. You can also use the Tabs dropdown menu, and the first item listed will be “Tab Groups.” If you’re a keyboard shortcut fan, you can use CTRL-SHIFT-E.
You’ll then be presented with a screen that shows your tab groups. If you’re starting your browsing session from scratch, you won’t have any groups. In that case, simply drag one of your tabs out of the single tab group that is displayed, to an empty area of the screen, outside of the current grouping.
From this view, you can rearrange your tabs, create new groups, and move tabs between groups. When you have your tabs set up just right, click any tab in the grouping, and you’ll be taken to that tab. For an alternative way to add tabs to groups, or start a new group, you can right click on a tab, and select the “Move to Group” option.
There are other features as well. You can search within a tab group by clicking on the magnifying glass icon when within the tab group window, and entering your search in the box. Tabs that match your search will be highlighted. You can also resize, rearrange, and name tab groups.
What browser do you use? Are there any features in Firefox 4 that would get you to switch?