Using Tabs to Manage Pages

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You can open multiple websites in Firefox using tabs, as shown in Figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1. Firefox with three open tabs.

Firefox's tabs are relatively simple and, as such, are easy for new users to understand. They are a major step forward in usability. With Firefox's tabs, you can control the behavior of tabs when a new page is opened and use some simple management options.

To improve on Firefox's tabs, you can install tab feature extensions that enable you to do more with them. The many tab feature extensions include

  • Tabbrowser Preferences This extension, written by Bradley Chapman, extends the Firefox tab feature. Its enhancements are relatively simple, and the product is stable and easy to use. This add-on lets users customize Firefox's tabs using a new section named Tabbed Browsing in the Firefox Options dialog box. Tabbrowser Preferences essentially adds more control and customization to tabs, without adding a lot of functionality. Tabbrowser Preferences can be downloaded from

  • Tabbrowser Extensions Many features make this add-on excellent for both beginning and experienced users. The configuration for Tabbrowser Extensions enables you to specify whether you want features that are intended for experienced users or for novice users. Some of the features Tabbrowser Extensions offers include a throbber for each tab, a close box in each tab, and tab grouping using colors. Tabbrowser Extensions is a much more extensive add-on compared to Tabbrowser Preferences because it adds substantial functionality to the Firefox tabs.

    Other interesting features of Tabbrowser Extensions include the capability to switch tabs by hovering the mouse pointer over a tab, tab coloring, and the ability to reopen a tab that had been closed. This program can be downloaded from

Shown in Figure 2.2 is Firefox with Tabbrowser Extensions loaded and active. Notice that the tabs now have a close button in the upper right of each tab. One click to close is all you need! Other features that are not apparent in this figure include the throbber capability, which shows when a page is being loaded, and the load progress. Also visible in Figure 2.2 is the Tab menu item that Tabbrowser Extensions adds to Firefox.

Figure 2.2. Firefox with Tabbrowser Extensions installed and active has a new menu selection: Tab.

Installing Firefox extensions is generally easy. All extensions are managed with the Extensions Manager, which is displayed when you select Tools, Extensions in the menu. The Extensions Manager is shown in Figure 2.3. If you download the extension, it loads automatically. However, Firefox must be restarted for the extension to become active and available to the user.

Figure 2.3. The Extensions Manager is where you add, remove, and configure Firefox extensions.

In the Extensions Manager is a list of all the installed extensions the information includes the name, version information, and a short description. The Extensions Manager has three buttons at the bottom: Uninstall, Update, and Options (not all three can be active at the same time, however!). Additionally, a link next to the Options button displays Mozilla's Firefox Extensions page.

When an extension is loaded, clicking Options enables you to set options for the extension.


Firefox allows extensions to be installed only from approved sites. This helps protect you from rogue extensions. You can't automatically install an extension from a site that is not in the approved sites list. To add a site to the approved list, open the Options dialog box, click the Web Features button, and click the Allowed Sites button next to Allow Web Sites to Install Software. Add those sites you trust to this list. You can force Firefox to download any extension by right-clicking the extension and selecting Save Link As. Then you can install an extension by dragging its XPI file (that you have saved on your computer) and dropping it onto the Extensions Manager dialog box.

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    Firefox and Thunderbird. Beyond Browsing and Email
    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage
    ISBN: 0131870041
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 245

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