Home Firefox to Adopt Chrome’s Tab Ordering Feature

Firefox to Adopt Chrome’s Tab Ordering Feature

One of the best features in Google’s Chrome browser is the way it handles tabs. In Chrome, when you click a link, the tab that opens appears to the immediate right of the current tab. It may seem like a small thing, but when you have so many tabs open in Firefox that they spill off the sides of the screen, having to scroll to the end to see the new web page is annoying and inefficient.

According to Mike Beltzner, Director of Firefox at Mozilla, the Firefox web browser will soon be changing the way in which new tabs are opened. Like in Chrome, new tabs in Firefox will open to the immediate right of the tab you are on. If multiple tabs are opened in the background from links clicked, they will open sequentially to the right of each other. New tabs created by the “New Tab” button or the keyboard shortcut will still open at the end of the tab strip, as they do now.

Says Beltzner, the goal is to have tabs that are related grouped together. The change will be landing on the trunk shortly and then they will decide whether or not to take it to Firefox 3.1. (Please do!)

Tabs, tabs, everywhere

The tab ordering feature is one of the little things that doesn’t get a lot of attention when people talk about Google Chrome. Instead, the focus is on the WebKit engine, the lightweight feel, the speed, and, of course, the lack of RSS (the horror!). However, if you often switch between Chrome and Firefox, you’re probably frustrated when you start opening tabs in Firefox and they end up at the end of a long list of your open sites, forcing to you to scroll to see them.

Getting tab ordering right is not as minor as it seems. When it’s right, it “just works” and you don’t even really have to think about it. Minor features like this are the sort of things that you can’t quite put your finger on when people ask you why you prefer your Chrome browser – you just know that you like it better. It just seems easier to use in some way.

Chrome showed us how tab ordering should work and we can’t wait to see Firefox adopt this useful feature.

Image credit: tabs by Inju

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