Tab Preview Revisited

Back in January 2010 we wrote about the new Tab Preview feature in Firefox 3.6. Many of you are probably confused as you don’t recall seeing this feature. Okay, while it was introduced in Firefox 3.6, it is tucan be activated as well.rned off by default. Users have to ‘activate’ this feature by making a couple about:config tweaks. Rumors at the time was this would become active in Firefox 4.0,which it never did. It is also not active in Firefox 5.0 Beta, 6.0 Aurora or even 7.0 Nightly.  For those who are not familiar with this feature here is a quick refresher.

There are two different features, the CTRL+TAB viewer and the modified List All Tabs panel. You can choose to enable both or just one of these.

  • Tab Preview via CTRL+TAB, much like Windows ALT+TAB, you will be able to have a graphical preview of each tab by pressing CTRL+TAB (or CTRL+SHIFT+TAB).  To activate this feature:
    1. In a new tab type about:config in the address bar
    2. Filter for browser.ctrlTab.previews
    3. Double-click the entry to set the value to True
  • List all Tabs panel, displays a thumbnail preview all of your open tabs as seen below. It will also change your List all Tabs  button:


    Standard List all Tabs button

    Modified List all Tabs button (preview feature enabled)

    To activate this feature:

  1. In a new tab type about:config in the address bar
  2. Filter for browser.allTabs.previews
  3. Double-click the entry to set the value to True

The ‘Tab Preview Panel’ via the List All Tabs button

I personally find the modified List all Tabs feature more useful than the CTRL+TAB previews. It is a quicker way for me to get to the tab I want than having to scroll and locate that tab.

I did post about this feature in Firefox Builds on mozillaZine to see if there was any news when this feature would be activated. It seems that this feature has not had much development since it implementation. There is a possibility of adding this (or similar) functionality to the Panoramas (Tab Groups) feature introduced in Firefox 4. I was also made aware of these three open ‘bugs’ related to these features:

  • Bug 505404 – Tracking bug for remaining Ctrl+Tab and All Tabs issues
  • Bug 515095 – Enable ctrl-tab panel by default
  • Bug 540621 – Enable all-tabs panel by default

These bugs were opened in 2009 (pre-Firefox 3.6 days) and most have not seen much if any activity since.


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Tab Preview Revisited — 6 Comments

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