You can multiply your surfing fun by
browsing more than one web page at the same time.
If you are an Internet power surfer, then you might find it useful to open
more than one web page at once so you can perform different actions on different
and switch between them as you wish. For example,
you can search for different things in different pages, search in one page
surf in another, explore one site on one page and a related site on another
page, track the news in one page and type in a chat room in another,
switch to a more responsive page while waiting for a slow
page to load.
There are two effective methods of managing multiple pages: creating new
windows which works with any browser; and tabbed browsing that provides significantly
improved browser usability for those browsers that support it.
New window. With almost any browser you can open a new window
with the command <ctrl>-n or the menu
item "File / New Window". You can then quickly stagger new pages for
easy access as
open them in two steps:
left. Line up the top left corner of the new window with the previous windows
so they more or less line up at the same spot.
- Bottom right. Pull the bottom right corner of the new window so that
it is staggered
above the previous windows as shown in the picture below.
This arrangement ensures that no window can ever get completely covered by
the other windows, and you will always be able to select any window at any
time in one action by simply clicking on the bottom right corner of the window
you wish to switch to.
With several windows open you can perform advanced web navigation, such as
searching for different things in different windows, search in one window and
surf in another, use one window to explore one site and another site in a second
window, or use one window to track the news while you type in
Tabbed browsing. Browsers that support
tabbed browsing enable you to open several web pages
at once, all instantly accessible through tabs. This simple functionality provides
a powerful increase in web surfing usability, and can quickly become indispensable.
The advantages are several:
- No set-up. You don't have to incur the set-up time of the staggered
window approach, which must be repeated for each new window you add.
- Scalability. You can conveniently manage a large number of pages
at a time with this approach, since a new page is simply another tab. Depending
on the width of the window, you can open many as many as a dozen pages
or more and still see some title text on each tab.
- One-click action. Mozilla provides the option to open
a new tab for a link under the right-click menu. But that is three actions
the option, and then release the mouse. Of course we don't have time
for that. Under the Preferences / Navigation / Tabbed
Browsing option you can assign
tab action to several commands, including middle-click.
you have a mouse with
three buttons, or a
clickable wheel to which you can assign the middle button functionality,
then you can activate this option and open new links in new tabs with
a single middle-click of your mouse, instantly.
- Breadth-first browsing. With Mozilla you can set an option under
Preferences / Navigation / Tabbed Browsing called "Load links in the
background", which opens a new page as a background tab without replacing
the current page. This means you can continue to read the original page
and continue to click on links you want to read later as you come across
them without losing the page. In structural terms, this for the first time
enables breadth-first browsing, as opposed to depth search browsing where
you click on a link, visit and read the page, and then return to the original
page to repeat with the next link. Previous to this tabbed browsing feature,
the only way to approximate breadth-first browsing was to open each link
in a new window -- a feature most browsers provided as a right-click menu
item, but was less convenient than tabbed browsing with multiple windows
springing up all over the screen.
Tabbed History. The first browser
to offer tabbed browsing was InternetWorks,
created by Booklink Inc., and winner
of the Comdex show's Rookie of the Year Award in 1994. The program was
following year when it was bought
by AOL and incorporated
(The same development team then went on to develop AOL's Instant Messenger
The next known browser with what it called "dynamic browser tabs" was
Simulbrowse, now called NetCaptor,
released by Adam Stiles on January 3, 1998. The Amiga browser IBrowse introduced
tabbed browsing in 1999. The browser Opera V4
introduced tabbed browsing in 2000 (Opera had earlier introduced the multiple
document interface enabling cascading and tiling of browser windows).
and other browsers
did not immediately appreciate this innovation,
next known browser to offer tabbed browsing
was Mozilla in 2003, followed by Apple's Safari. However, once it became
a discriminator, everyone had to have it, and by 2005 most browsers supported
tabbed windows of some kind.
(Please let the author of this
site know if
you know of other early browsers before 2000 that support tabbed browsing.)