Tab Candy: Making Firefox Tabs Sweet
The power of the browser has grown substantially in the last ten years. We now use the Web to multi-task the activities we juggle every day, like vacation plans, purchases, sharing pictures, listening to music, reading email, and writing a blog post.
It’s hard to keep everything straight with dozens of tabs all crammed into a little strip along the top of your browser. Your tab with a search to find a pizza parlor gets mixed up with your tabs on your favorite band. Often, it’s easier to open a new tab than to try to find the open tab you already have. Worse, how many of us keep tabs open as reminders of something we want to do or read later? We’re all suffering from infoguilt.
We need a way to organize browsing, to see all of our tabs at once, and focus on the task at hand. In short, we need a way to get back control of our online lives.
Enter: Tab Candy.
With one keystroke Tab Candy shows an overview of all tabs to allow you to quickly locate and switch between them. Tab Candy also lets you group tabs to organize your work flow. You can create a group for your vacation, work, recipes, games and social sites, however it makes sense to you to group tabs. When you switch to a grouped tab only the relevant tabs are shown in the tab bar, which helps you focus on what you want.
Tab Candy is in early development. We’re at the point where we’d like more people to try it out and let us know what they think. There’s work to be done on some existing bugs and performance issues, and we’re building a motivated group to attack those issues head-on.
A Walkthrough of Tab Candy’s Features
Instant Overview—Never lose a tab again
Tap Option-Space on the Mac or Control-Space on Windows to zoom out and see thumbnails of all open tabs. Click on one to zoom back in. It’s a quick visual way to search for that one tab you need with work research or directions to the restaurant.
Drag two tabs together to create a group to keep related tabs together. You can even name groups for all your videos, research, social sites or whatever you need. If need a group from one tab just click and drag to create one. You can easily rearrange tabs and drag them anywhere inside a group or between groups.
Right now there is no automatic grouping, but it is a feature we are working to deliver.
Only the Tabs You Want
When you go to a tab in a group, you’ll only see the tabs from that group in the tab strip. That means you can focus on the task you are doing. Work tabs stay separate from play tabs. Clean tab bar, clean mind.
Organize Your Space
Tab Candy is not just the ability to move tabs around, you can move groups so that they fit your needs. Make the group with your calendar and email bigger so that you can see what’s new just by zooming out to Tab Candy. Hide the group with distractions in a corner. Keep things to read in a long vertical list. Because Tab Candy is in early development, there are lots of user experience changes and bugs to fix. We want your feedback. While Tab Candy is fairly stable, it might still lose your groupings or cause Firefox to operate more slowly.
Our current goals are focused on overall and start-up performance, unit tests, code documentation and refactoring. Next, we will focus on user feedback and polishing the user experience.
The Tab Candy team is working to get Tab Candy into nightly development builds of Firefox. You can follow along as we work to improve the code.
Start by reading the Tab Candy FAQ.
* Visit the project page or the project wiki
* Give us feedback
* Submit a bug report and see what bugs need to be fixed
* Grab the source code and get a walkthrough of the code
* Download a Tab Candy-enabled build