Developers working on scrollable tabs in upcoming Google Chrome release

Posted 23 November 2018 18:47 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

In an upcoming version of the Google Chrome browser, users will be able to scroll through their open tabs. The new feature has been confirmed by a Chrome developer on Reddit. Also another planned new feature should make working with tabs more convenient.

“Scrollable tabstrip is in the works. In the meantime, try using shift-clicking and ctrl-clicking to select multiple tabs at once, then drag out to separate windows to group tabs by window,” Chrome developer Peter Kasting writes under his username “pkasting” on Reddit. His answer follows after a user posted a complaint on how Chrome handles many open tabs and was discovered by the website Techdows.

Currently, Chrome decreases the size of tabs when new tabs are opened. When a user has many tabs open, it’s hard to see in which tab, which website is opened. Other browsers, such as Firefox and Safari, use a scroll bar to solve that issue.

In those browsers, the tabs don’t get smaller when there are many tabs open, but users can scroll through their open tabs from left to right with a scroll bar. The drawback is that when too many tabs are open, some tabs are out of sight. With Google’s current way of dealing with many open tabs that never happens.

An entry in the Google Chrome bug tracker recently revealed that the Chrome developers are also working on another new tab-related feature. This feature should make it possible to group tabs, or as the developer describes it, “Users can organize tabs into visually distinct groups, e.g. to separate tabs associated with different tasks.”

It’s unknown when, or if, either feature will survive the nightly and beta stages and eventually become available in the actual release version of the Chrome browser. Our best bet would be that at least the scroll able tabs feature will make it, given the concrete information from Chrome developer Peter Kasting.


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