Tabbed browsing is an incredibly popular feature with anyone who has used it.
Internet Explorer 7 (Windows only), released a couple of months ago, added a feature that has been available in other web browsers for several years: tabbed browsing. And it’s an incredibly popular feature with anyone who has used it.
Check the settings
To make sure that you can use tabs go to Tools > Internet Options > General. In the section Tabs (Change how web pages are displayed in tabs) click the Settings button. At the very least make sure the top checkbox is checked: Enable Tabbed Browsing, then click OK. If necessary, restart Internet Explorer.
You’ll see many other settings in that same window. You can try them out and see what works best for you, but I suggest checking the boxes for Warn me when closing multiple tabs and Enable Quick Tabs. Whether you’re new to using tabs or an old hand, it’s easy to accidentally close the window, with all its tabs, when you only intended to close the tab you were reading. Quick Tabs are explained below.
Now you can go ahead and enjoy tabbed browsing.
Open links in tabs
Call up any web page, for example, mactips.info. Perhaps you’d like to explore the lists of sidebar links. Instead of just clicking a link, hold down Control and click. The tab opens in the background. Add the Shift key to open a new tab in the foreground.
Note: see a list of all keyboard commands in the Getting Started with Internet Explorer section of Help.
When a link opens in a tab in the background it’s hidden behind the page you already have open, with the exception of the tab icon at the top of the page, just below the toolbar. Each tab icon displays the title of the page it represents. Click on any tab to immediately see the contents of that page.
When you’ve finished with that page, and no longer require the tab, click the close control for the tab: the small x at the right-hand edge of the tab itself. The close control is only visible and active on the tab at the front.
The tab closes and you’re back to looking at the page on the previous tab.
The window close control at the extreme top right of the window closes the entire window, together with all its tabs.
Make a new empty tab
To create a new, empty tab either press Control T or click the blank tab at the right-hand end of the row of tabs. Once you have an empty tab active you can type an URL into the Address Bar, choose a Favorite or History item.
Display all tabs
A black arrow is displayed at the left-hand end of the row of tabs, provided you have more than one tab open. Click and hold the arrow to display a list of all open pages. Select a page from the list to bring that page’s tab to the front.
This is especially handy when you have multiple tabs open, as each tab icon in the toolbar becomes too narrow to display more than a few letters of the page title.
While a list of pages is useful, you can also choose to display all open pages as thumbnails. This is the Quick Tab feature. Either press Control Q or click the Quick Tab icon at the left end of the row of tabs — it’s the tab with four squares on it. The Quick Tab icon is only visible when more than one tab is open.
The Quick Tab page displays thumbnail icons of all open pages. The more pages you have open in tabs, the smaller the thumbnails.
Hover over a page thumbnail and a tooltip appears, showing the title of the page. Click on a thumbnail to switch to the tab displaying that page.
Open a group of tabs
You may wish to be able to open several web pages at once, for example, your home page, the MacTips.info home page, your banking login page.
Open the pages into tabs and then choose Add Tab Group to Favorites… from the Favorites menu. Enter a name for the group in the dialog box that appears, then click Add.
To open the group of pages click the Favorites Center button (the star at the left hand end of the row of tabs). The Favorites centre sidebar opens. Click the Favorites button at the top of the sidebar. Hover over the folder you wish to open and a blue arrow appears to the right of the folder name. Click the arrow. All the web pages open into separate tabs.
Many people have wondered what all the fuss is about tabbed browsing, until they try it out for themselves. Once they’ve used it a few times though, they are converted. Tabbed browsing offers a few more features than this Tip covers — be sure to check the Help pages for more options.
If you haven’t yet upgraded to Internet Explorer 7, Tabbed Browsing alone is worth it.
Written for and reproduced from CommunityNet Aotearoa Panui, March 2007. This article may have been modified from the original.