Extensions Highlight: Quick Tabs

One feature I really liked in the old Opera was the Windows Panel (which isn't even enabled by default!). I considered it as something of a hiden gem. The reason is that I am one of those guys who usually has lots of similar looking tabs open. Typically they would be different bugs from our bug tracker.

Navigating between tabs is tricky anyway, when you have a lot of tabs open but even more so when they all look the same! The Windows panel however had a nice little feature, it let's you search for a tab based on the page title.

When I switched to Opera 15+ this was one of the things I missed the most. Eventually salvation came by way of an extension, The Switcher. It also helped that Martin Kadlec (a.k.a. BS-Harou) uses the best screen shot I have ever seen to show off his wonderful extension. I'm not going to paste it here and ruin the suprise, have a look yourself!

This solved my issue completely and for a while I stuck with The Switcher but eventually it occured to me that I should probably see if there was any competition, just in case I was missing something. This lead me to today's highlight, Quick Tabs.

On the face of it the two extensions appear to solve the same problem but after playing with it a bit I realised that Quick Tabs solves a few more problems as well.

  • It keeps note of a user defined number of closed tabs and hence you can search through their titles as well (they get restored if you click on them).

  • The tabs are listed in most recently used order by default, which makes it easy to switch back to the tab you switched from.

So with one extension I regained the functionality I missed from the Windows Panel, The Trash Can, and a tab cycler that allows me to go back through the tab activation order (similar to Ctrl+Tab behaviour in Opera Presto)!

Personally, I bind the keyboard combination Ctrl+Down Arrow to activate it and then keep pressing Down Arrow to move back through the activation list.

Quick Tabs is not currently available from the Opera Add-ons site. To install it, use Extension Source Viewer, Download Chrome Extension or this direct install link. In all cases, you will need to open the "Opera Extensions Manager" (opera://extensions) to complete the installation, since you are installing from a non supported source.

P.S. As great as Quick Tabs is, I must admit a part of me wishes I carried on using The Switcher because Martin Kadlec is cool. Make sure you tell him so on Twitter.

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