General Question

flo's avatar

What does "open in a new tab" allow you to do that "open in a new window" doesn't?

Asked by flo (12974points) April 25th, 2011

Window allows me to do what Tab doesn’t allow me to do. So, why do some people chose “open in a new tab”?

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36 Answers

flo's avatar

Tab-vs-window in short.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

What does opening in a new window do, that you want to do, that opening in a new tab doesn’t?

mrrich724's avatar

It allows you to see all your stuff without having to switch between a bunch of different screens, which can become convoluted.

Even if you have an Expose All Windows option (like Macs do), where it shows you all windows at once, it’s easier to just look at your tabs than minimize and maximize and shuffle through a crap load of windows. ( I have 8 tabs open right now, if I had eight windows, it would be a B**** to switch back and forth through them)

Jeruba's avatar

Well, for one thing, I can minimize the lot of them with a single click and also bring them back up with a click. It’s one item in the task bar for the browser instead of one for each separate window.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Putting them all in one window minimizes the amount of RAM it uses. If I have 6 tabs open, Firefox is only running each add-on once. But if I have 6 windows open, each of those add-ons is running 6 times, slowing my computer down 5 times more than necessary.

Seaofclouds's avatar

For me, tabs are just easier to switch between than individual windows.

flo's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs With window, I can sit back and not have to use my hands clicking back and forth from window to window. I don’t have to memorize what I saw in the previous window. I use eyeballs only to look compare between different websites or pages because I can resize the window to any size (and shape as long a it is square or rectangle). I can drag each window anywhere. So I can have a few windows on the screen. No can do that with tab, right? because the tab that is supposed to be minimized doesn’t separate itself from the others.

But re. the RAM okay, but that is if you use it a lot. It is impossible period to do the comparison thing with tab period, if you once in a while you need to.

If I don’t answer till tomorrow I am digesting your answers.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Try Ctl+Tab. It should let you do what you want.

flo's avatar

@mrrich724
@Jeruba
@Seaofclouds
Thank you, I was addressing you all in my last post.
@MyNewtBoobs thanks. I did not know that.

mrrich724's avatar

Yea, you can do all that with windows and not tabs, and there are things you can do with tabs and not windows. It’s all about preference.

BeeVomit's avatar

The tabs saved my RAM on my pc when I first got Firefox. If you have several windows open on your desktop, even if they’re piled one over the other, you’re using your RAM (your computer’s temporary/running memory) to keep them active. In tabs you don’t have to worry about the computer having to process several windows (ie. running several programs at once) and running slow. Also, they are much easier to handle. When I run IE I feel extremely limited. Though I prefer Firefox for a number of other good reasons, running tabs in the window is among the top.

BeeVomit's avatar

If you’re browsing a site and wish to link to another, you can right click it and “open in new tab” which will let you continue and load the other page while you’re still active on the first. If you’re browsing videos and want to let one load while searching out others you can do so. If you have a copy of Windows other than 7 you may be confused by the multiple tabs on your desktop bar (whatever you call it, the bar at the bottom of your screen). Each may be labeled something different, but if you’re browsing within one certain server, you wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at them to know which one you want. In 7 you get a stack within a certain program if more than two windows are open. Those you may not be able to tell with, either. At least with the tabs, you can navigate through, and remember which is most recently active because they are listed left to right in that fashion, not in order of most recent use.

Just some thoughts…

koanhead's avatar

I tend to have a great many tabs open at once, at they would be difficult to keep organized as windows. Also, I use the Tab Kit extension for Firefox which allows me to group tabs in collapsible color coded groups. It’s very handy.

BeeVomit's avatar

@Koan, tell me some more about Tab Kit?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@koanhead Not available for Firefox 4 :’(

jerv's avatar

Sad, but true. I find Informational Tab to be moderately useful though.

rooeytoo's avatar

Jerv, is that really worth using? I do always use tabs instead of windows.

koanhead's avatar

Yes, I’m still using FF3.6 – you don’t need an extension to group tabs in FF4.
Apparently it’s a built in feature.

rooeytoo's avatar

I tried the app @jerv suggested and hated it!

jerv's avatar

@rooeytoo Which shows that personal preference plays a large role. FoxTab is another add-on that I found moderately useful under 3.x that lost it’s sheen when Firefox 4 came out.

AshLeigh's avatar

Tabs are just move convenient for me. I’m pretty sure they do the same thing. It’s just easier for me to switch back and forth on tabs, because my laptop is weird. XD

flo's avatar

I appreciate your answers, everyone, but I’m still lost.
@MyNewtBoobs how many steps are there? From my yahoo tab, I did Ctrl+Tab, and it switched to the original tab which is the Google tab. I was expecting it to reduce and separate itself from the other tabs. Is that what is supposed to happen?

koanhead's avatar

@flo Ctrl-Tab moves you to the next tab to the right.
Ctrl-Shift-Tab moves to the tab to the left.

Ctrl-T gives you a new tab, Ctrl-W closes the current tab.

I’m not sure what you mean by “reduce and separate itself” but both FF and Chrome have “tearaway” tabs which means you can drag the tab off the browser and it will display in its own window.

flo's avatar

@koanhead I use IE7 so that means I can’t tearaway, I guess?

jerv's avatar

Correct; tearing a tab to the desktop makes it a new window, as does shift-clicking the link to it, while Ctrl-clicking opens a link in a new tab. Both options are also available by right-clicking the link and using the menu.

@flo IE tends to be a couple of years behind when it comes to features (and security) anyways, and IE7 is two versions behind IE9 is current so you are likely to be missing a lot of features that us Firefox people have had for years.

koanhead's avatar

When I’ve administered Windows computers in the past I generally request that the users not use IE, and I provide Firefox as an alternative.
The reason for this is partly that AFAIK IE is the only browser that supports ActiveX scripting, which the Microsoft Update website needs in order to work. As the only one with Administrator access on the machine, I was the only one who could use that website anyway, and ActiveX presents a possible attack vector. (Of course, so does JavaScript, but JS is so pervasive I wouldn’t try to ban my users from it.) I understand that MS Update now has its own client, so there’s no need to use IE at all in my book.
@flo, if you must use IE I strongly recommend that you upgrade to the latest version your computer and OS will support. You will get loads of nice new features and your browsing experience will be much safer. Of course, switching to Firefox would get you even more features and (potentially) better safety.

flo's avatar

Thank you. So I can’t do what I want to do with tab unless I waste RAM. (edited)

When I tried using FF and I was alerted that I can’t just take out my USB key, no no no…I have to do something or other before I take it out. With IE there is no problem taking out your USB Flash Drive you just take it out. I don’t know if that is corrected. What else is there about FF that is less good than IE?

flo's avatar

@mrrich724 ”...and there are things you can do with tabs and not windows. It’s all about preference.” What are they? Or at least what is the most important thing.

koanhead's avatar

@flo That thing with the flash drive shouldn’t have anything to do with Firefox, that’s a warning that Windows is supposed to pop up to remind you to “safely remove” the drive rather than just yanking it out, which can cause data loss and other unhappy things.
As for things you can do with tabs and not windows, grouping comes to mind. Also I find it much easier to crtl-tab through tabs than to alt-tab through various windows, but as @jerv says that’s just a preference.

jerv's avatar

If you take out your USB key without properly dismounting it, you can screw it up regardless of what browser you use. That is an OS thing,not a browser thing.

flo's avatar

Some of the info you gave me is over my head, I have to think about it.

For people who don’t need to worry about wasting RAM, and want/need to use IE and tabs how what is the tearaway done?

BeeVomit's avatar

I’d highly recommend you dump IE and try Firefox. As my techie older brother puts it: “Both allow you to view the internet, but Firefox doesn’t allow the internet to see you.”

koanhead's avatar

@flo If I remember right tearaway tabs work the same in IE as in Firefox:
You just click on the tab and drag it out of the window. It will get its own window when you let go.

flo's avatar

@koanhead When I click on this tab, for example(I tried to get definition for “tearaway tab” by the way), all that happens is that red circle with a diagonal slash in it appears.

koanhead's avatar

Ok, then my memory was wrong.
I apologize.

i hope that others can tell you how to make the tearaway tabs work, assuming you have not already figured it out.

flo's avatar

@koanhead I appreciate you responding.

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