Missing Firefox feature(s)

I’ll admit, I was a late adopter of tabbed browsing (using multiple tabs in the same window instead of multiple windows). The biggest reason is that I am used to hitting alt-tab to switch between all my windows, so switching between multiple browser windows is second nature. In order to switch between tabs, you have to use ctrl-tab. Also the rules of which tab it switches to when you hit ctrl-tab are not the same as with alt-tab. For example, if I am working on two programs (but have multiple windows open) I can switch back and forth between my two programs by simply hitting alt-tab once, then once again and I am back. That’s not the way it works with ctrl-tab. Every time you hit ctrl-tab, it switches to the next tab linearly, not to your last tab, but just to the next one to the right – I don’t like that at all! (Interestingly, Internet Explorer’s tabs work the same as alt-tab.)

Anyway, I’ve learned to deal with that (click the tab I want with the mouse) and have found the feature useful overall. I tend to have multiple windows open still, but inside of each window I have related tabs. So every time I am working on or researching something else, I open a new window and it seems to work well.

This brings me to my feature request – inter-window tab movement. First would be to be able to simply split the tab off into it’s own window. Simply right-click and choose “Split” or something. The other feature that would be nice but much harder to implement would be to right-click on a tab and have a menu “move to another window” with a sub-menu of each window you could move it to. Structurally, the menu idea is probably a little too confusing. But instead of that, what about dragging and dropping tabs from one window to another to move a tab to another window?

Some of the reasons for these features. Sometimes one existing tab becomes a new topic and should have sub-tabs assigned to it or maybe you want it to be a separate window so you can alt-tab back and forth. And sometimes you end up on a tab that would fit better on a different topic/window. I find this comes up most often at work where I am working on multiple projects on multiple workspaces (Linux). For example, I am in a window in workspace 2 and find something that relates to another project that I currently have on hold in workspace 3. I just want to send a tab to the browser window currently open in workspace 3.

2 comments

  1. Kevin,

    It’s a little awkward, but you can use CTRL+SHIFT+TAB to cycle backwards through the tabs in a window. I find that comes in handy when I’m going back and forth between a couple tabs.

    Also, I think that some pieces of the functionality from your feature request are already implemented (I’m using Firefox 2.0.0.3). I can click and drag a tab from one window to another. This opens the URL in the destination. It still has some problems though. For example, I have to open the destination window manually if it doesn’t already exist. Also, I think that the destination window just opens the URL. It doesn’t actually “move” the tab between windows, so any form fields or Ajax-stuff that you have done is lost.

  2. Strange, I never tried it in Windows before so I just tried moving from one window to the other and it works. I’ll have to try it on Linux at work tomorrow. I’m running 2.0.0.3 there as well. Maybe it was easier to implement in Windows? Windows is a little better about drag and drop program awareness.

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