Tab browsing is a browser’s ability to open more than one web page at a time, whilst keeping them in order by having named tabs at the top of the page. This means it is easy to view many web pages at the same time and switch effortlessly from one to the other.
If you are following links from one web page to another, the simplest way to open each link in a new tab is to hover your cursor over the link, right click on your mouse and then choose ‘Open Link in New Tab’, (or similar, depending on which browser you are using). A link from your list of favorites can also be opened by hovering your cursor over it and right clicking..
There may be occasions when what you want to start with is just a new blank tab in which you will open a another web page a little later. To open a blank tab press Ctrl – T (or click on the ‘+’ sign behind your open tabs). In Firefox this will simply open a blank tab, but Internet Explorer8 will present you with a few further options, such as opening tabs you may have previously closed or opening an ‘InPrivate Browsing’ window. In either browser, a new web address can be entered into the address window.
Tabbed web browsers have brought many advantages, not least because they save having to open more than one instance of the same browser, which when viewing a number of web pages can quickly become confusing. If your browser is already open but you want to check a link in an email, it is reassuring to know you won’t be directed away from your present page and the link from the email will automatically open in a new tab.
The ability to use tabbed views of web pages is extremely useful when researching a subject because it is a simple process to move from one web page to another without having to use the forward or back buttons. It is also very easy to order the web pages into subject areas by holding down the right mouse button and dragging the tab to where you want it. This is invaluable when trying to compare information provided on more than one web page.
Online shopping or finding the best value insurance can also be made much easier through tabbed web browsing, since prices or product reviews can quickly be compared by clicking on one tab then the next. It is also possible (in Firefox at least) to save browsing sessions before coming to any firm decision when shopping online. When ready to take up where you left, just open the browser again and the session will be restored.
Considering just how long tabbed web browsers have been around, it is surprising that Internet Explorer8 is the first Microsoft browser to have this feature fully integrated. Tabbed browsing was possible with Internet Explorer 7 but an addon toolbar had to be installed first.
Although Firefox was not the first to develop the tabbed web browser, it was arguably the first to bring it to the mainstream, In fact it was part of the Firefox browser way back in 2002 when Firefox was called Pheonix, and since then a number of addons help to make tabbed browsing even more useful. For instance there is an addon that keeps the tab size small for those who like lots of browser tabs open, and others make saving and opening tabbed sessions easier.
Whilst tabbed web browsers have been around for some time, it is only relatively recently they have become a main feature of most good quality browsers. Their usefulness has become more apparent from Google’s Chrome rich tabbed features. Tabbed web browsing is something that makes viewing the internet a much more fluent and joined together experience, and this is something that only the poorest browsers choose to ignore.