Tile View

Author(s):



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If you want a WebExtensions version of this add-on, then try Tile Tabs WE
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Version 6.8
  • Fixes problems with tab selection and display of tab contents (FF55+).
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OVERVIEW

Tile View splits the Firefox window into multiple browsers by applying a tiled layout, so that multiple websites can be viewed side by side. Tiles can be arranged horizontally, vertically or in a grid, and tiles can be re-sized by dragging splitter bars. Tabs and links can be dragged to open in other tiles. The scrolling of tiles can be synchronized. Tiles in the layout can display tabs from different Firefox tab groups.

The Firefox tabbed browser paradigm is fully maintained. Each tile operates as a tabbed browser, but with the toolbars and tabs common to all tiles. The tiled layout is achieved by presentational changes rather than functional changes. All Firefox features (menu commands, url bar, search bar, tabs buttons) continue to operate as normal.

After creating one of the pre-defined layouts, new tiles can be added individually above, left, right or below the currently active tile. Tiles are arranged in groups - where all the tiles in a group have the same width or same height - and all the tiles in a group are separated by splitters all with the same orientation (horizontal or vertical).

A layout can be saved, opened, deleted or set as the default layout.

Tiles are created using Menu Commands, Keyboard Shortcuts or Drag-and-Drop of tabs and links.

GETTING STARTED

To get started, create a default layout by clicking on the Tile View button icon or by pressing F12.

Switch between the tiled view and the normal browser view by clicking on the Tile View button icon again or by pressing F9.

Try adding a new tile using menu commands:

    • Click on a tile to make it active (grey border).
    • Click Tile on the main menu bar or app menu.
    • Select Add Tile... on the sub-menu.
    • Select the direction - Above, Left, Right or Below.

Close the layout by double-clicking on the Tile View button icon or by pressing F12.

BACKGROUND

Tile View is based on the same 'tile and splitter' engine as the well established Tile Tabs add-on, but with a simpler user interface that is aimed at optimizing the browsing experience.

In Tile Tabs the focus is very much on the tabs and dynamically tiling them into layouts, which are often only displayed for short periods. In Tile View the focus is much more on creating a persistent layout made up of a number of tiles, each of which acts as an independent browser.

The main differences between Tile View and Tile Tabs are that with Tile View:

    • the user interface is simpler with fewer menus and menu items.
    • each tile in the layout acts as an independent tabbed browser.
    • tile activation and tab selection are independent actions.
    • the user must explicitly switch between tiled and normal views.

USER REFERENCE

Tiles and Splitters

A tile is made active by clicking on the tile's Activate button or by clicking on the tile's contents. The active tile is indicated by a colored border around the tile's contents. The tab assigned to (displayed in) the active tile can be changed by selecting another tab button. Each tab assigned to a tile is indicated by a dark grey border around the tab button icon.

A tile can be re-sized by dragging the adjacent splitter bars. Splitter bars will snap into position when near to the edge of a tile or another splitter bar. Double-click on any splitter to equalize the size of all tiles in that group.

Tab Selection

When the tiled layout is displayed, clicking on a tab button in the tab bar automatically assigns that tab to the currently active tile.

Selecting a tiled tab always display the tiled layout.A tab that is not in the tiled layout can The way that tab selection works can be temporarily changed using the Select Tab mouse shortcut (see below).

Layout Commands

There are six layout commands which appear on the main menus:

    • New Layout - creates a default layout or a pre-defined layout with 2, 3 or 4 tiles or tiles for all tabs.
    • Open Layout - opens a previously saved layout and (if tabs were saved) assigns saved tabs to tiles.
    • Close Layout - closes the the current layout.
    • Save Layout - saves the current layout and optionally saves the tabs assigned to tiles.
    • Delete Layout - deletes a previously saved layout.
    • Set Default Layout - saves the current layout as the default layout and optionally saves the tabs assigned to tiles.

These commands can be invoked from the Tile menu on the main menu bar or app menu, or from the Tile View button menu on the toolbar.

The New Layout command always assigns the currently selected tab to top-left tile in the layout, and automatically creates and assigns new blank tabs to the other tiles. There are options to assign existing tabs to new tiles in preference to creating new tabs and to load the homepage into new tabs.

The Close Layout command automatically closes assigned tabs if they were created by New Layout and have not been used (still either blank or showing the homepage). There is an option to also automatically close tabs created by Open Layout.

The Save Layout command requires a layout name which cannot be null and can only contain letters, digits, underscores, hyphens and spaces.

Tiling Commands

There are three tiling commands which appear on the main menus, on the toolbar button menu and on the context menu:

    • Add Tile - adds a new tile above, left, right or below the currently active tile.
    • Expand Tile - expands the currently active tile and collapses the other tiles in that group.
    • Remove Tile - removes the currently active tile.

These commands can be invoked from the Tile menu on the main menu bar or app menu, or from the Tile View button menu on the toolbar, or from the context menu after right-clicking on a tile's contents.

The Add Tile command automatically creates and assigns a new blank tab to the tile. There are options to assign existing tabs to new tiles in preference to creating new tabs and to load the homepage into new tabs. A new layout will be created if there is no existing layout.

The Expand Tile command can be used repeatedly on the same tile to alternately expand the tile horizontally and vertically - and when the tile is already fully expanded to reinstate the original layout and tile dimensions.

The Remove Tile command automatically closes the assigned tab if it was created by New Layout and has not been used (still either blank or showing the homepage). There is an option to also automatically close tabs created by Open Layout.

Mode Switches

There are two mode switches which appear on the main menu:

    • View Tiled - toggles between the tiled layout view and the normal browser view.
    • Sync Scroll - toggles synchronized scrolling of tiles on or off.

These switches can be can be toggled from the Tile menu on the main menu bar or appmenu, or from the Tile View button menu on the toolbar.

Sync Scroll (when ticked) synchronizes horizontal and vertical scrolling within each group of tiles. It allows easy comparison of two or more similar web pages. Any initial scrolling offset between the contents of the tiles in a group is maintained. There is an option to synchronize scroll only when scrolling the active tile.

View Tiled (when not ticked) shows the normal browser view with every tab displayed at at full size. It allows normal browsing in any of the tabs without closing the tiled layout.

Options Command

The Options command appears on the main menus and gives access to the Tile View Options dialog where all options settings can be configured (see Options section below).

Splitter Commands

There are two splitter commands:

    • Add Tile - adds a new tile above, left, right or below the highlighted group.
    • Equalize Group - equalizes the size of all tiles in the highlighted group.

These commands are invoked from the context menu after right-clicking on a horizontal or vertical splitter bar.

The highlighted group of tiles is indicated by a dashed colored border around each of the tiles in the group.

Toolbar Button

The Tile View button can be added to the toolbar by right-clicking the toolbar, selecting Customize..., and dragging the button onto the toolbar. The Tile View button is automatically added to the toolbar on initial installation.

The Tile View button can invoke a default action (by clicking on the icon) or display a drop-down menu (by clicking on the down arrow).

Clicking on the Tile View button creates a default layout if there is no existing layout, and thereafter switches between the tiled view and the normal browser view.

Middle-clicking on the Tile View button icon either creates a default layout or closes the existing layout. Double-clicking on the Tile View button icon closes the existing layout.

Working With Tab Groups

Tile View is fully integrated with Firefox's tab group (Panorama) functionality. Tiled layouts can contain tabs from more than one tab group.

A tab in another tab group can be assigned to the active tile by entering Firefox's Tab Groups view (Ctrl+Shift+E) and selecting the tab.

A tab in a tiled layout that is not in the current tab group will be indicated by a dotted colored border around the tile contents.

Function Key Shortcuts

There are six function key shortcuts (the default function key is shown):

    • New/Close Layout - F12
    • Add Tile - F1
    • Expand Tile - F2
    • Remove Tile - F4
    • Sync Scroll - F8
    • View Tiled - F9

Each function key shortcut can be set as a combination of Ctrl, Shift and Alt keys plus a function key (F1-F12) - or can be disabled.

When using the Add Tile keyboard shortcut, a new layout will be created if there is no existing layout.

Mouse Shortcuts

There are six mouse shortcuts (the default mouse action is shown):

    • New/Close Layout - Double-click tab
    • Tile Tab/Link - Shift+Drag tab/link
    • Copy Tab - Ctrl+Drag tab
    • Select Tab - Shift+Click tab
    • Open In Next Tile - Ctrl+Middle-click link
    • Open In Prev Tile - Ctrl+Shift+Middle-click link

Each mouse shortcut (except Copy Link) can be set as a combination of Ctrl, Shift and Alt keys plus a fixed mouse action (e.g. Click tab) - or can be disabled.

New/Close Layout

Double-click on a tab to create a new layout (if the tab is untiled) or close the existing layout (if the tab is tiled).

Tile Tab/Link

Shift+Drag a tab or link onto an existing tile's contents to open the tab's or link's URL in a new tile above, left, right or below the existing tile. A label beside the cursor indicates the direction in which the tab or link will be tiled when it is dropped. The direction is determined by the position of the cursor within the existing tile (e.g. if the cursor is near the top, then the new tile will be created above). To create the first two tiles of a layout, Shift+Drag a tab or link onto the currently selected (untiled) tab's contents. A new tab is created except when an untiled tab is dragged. The modifier key(s) for the shortcut can be configured.

Copy Tab

Ctrl+Drag a tab onto an existing tile's contents to open the tab's URL in the tile. A new tab is not created. The modifier key(s) for the shortcut can be configured.

Select Tab

Shift+Click on a tab to select the tab without assigning the tab to the active tile. The modifier key(s) for the shortcut can be configured.

Open In Next Tile

Ctrl+Middle-click on a link in a tiled tab to open the link in the "next" tile in the group (to the right or below). If the next tile contains sub-tiles, then the link will be opened in the topmost leftmost sub-tile. If the clicked link is in the last tile of the group, then the link will be opened in the first tile of the group. A new tab is created. The modifier key(s) for the shortcut can be configured.

Open In Prev Tile

Ctrl+Shift+Middle-click on a link in a tiled tab to open the link in the "previous" tile in the group (to the left or above). If the previous tile contains sub-tiles, then the link will be opened in the topmost leftmost sub-tile. If the clicked link is in the first tile of the group, then the link will be opened in the last tile of the group. A new tab is created. The modifier key(s) for the shortcut can be configured.

Start-up and Restart

Tile View can be configured to restore the layout from a previous session when Firefox starts-up or restarts. After a restart, it should always be possible to restore the layout. However, on start-up it is only possible to restore the layout if the tabs from the previous session have been saved, which requires the Firefox option When Firefox starts: to be set to Show my windows and tabs from last time.

Tile View can also be configured to apply the default layout when Firefox starts-up or restarts. The default layout is not applied if session restore is configured and possible.

Options

The Tile View Options dialog can be accessed from the Firefox Add-ons Manager or by selecting Options ... on the Tile menu or on the Tile View toolbar button menu.

The Options dialog allows the user to:

    • Change the color of the border around the active tile.
    • Change the width of the border around the active tile.
    • Show activate button when mouse over inactive tile.
    • Syncronize scroll only when scrolling active tile.
    • Change the size of the splitters.
    • Change the snap distance for splitters.
    • Show icon border on tabs assigned to tiles.
    • Assign existing tabs to tiles in preference to creating new tabs.
    • Assign existing tabs from left of selected tab (instead of right).
    • Load new tabs with the user's home page.
    • Keep the currently selected tab when re-entering the tiled view.
    • Fill the last row/column of an All Tabs grid with new tabs.
    • Automatically close tabs created by Open Layout command.
    • Show the Tile menu on the main menu bar and app menu.
    • Choose the menu items that are added to each tile's content context menu.
    • Change the function key shortcuts (new/close layout, add tile, expand tile, remove tile, sync scroll, view tiled).
    • Disable the F12 Firefox shortcut for Firefox Developer Tools.
    • Change the mouse shortcuts (new/close layout, drag-to-tile, click-to-assign, open-in-next-tile, open-in-prev-tile).
    • Restore the layout from a previous session on start-up and after restart.
    • Apply the default layout on start-up and after restart.

The Restore Defaults button restores all options to their original default setting.

Download files:

tile-view-1.4.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-1.5.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-1.6.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-2.1.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-2.2.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-3.0.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-3.1.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-3.2.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-3.3.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-3.4.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-3.5.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-4.0.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-4.1.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-4.2.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-4.3.1-signed.xpi
tile-view-5.0.xpi
tile-view-5.1.xpi
tile-view-5.2.xpi
tile-view-5.3.xpi
tile-view-5.4.xpi
tile-view-6.0.xpi
tile-view-6.1.xpi
tile-view-6.2.xpi
tile-view-6.3.xpi
tile-view-6.4.xpi
tile-view-6.5.xpi
tile-view-6.6.xpi
tile-view-6.7.xpi
tile-view-6.8.xpi
tile-view-6.9.xpi


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