Tile Tabs

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 14.11
  • Fixes problems with tab selection and display of tab contents (FF55+).
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OVERVIEW

Tile Tabs allows tabs to be displayed in tiled layouts within the Firefox tabbed browser content area. In each tiled layout, 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 new or existing tiles. The scrolling of tiles can be synchronized. A tiled layout can display tabs from more than one Firefox tab group.

The Firefox tabbed browser paradigm is fully maintained. Tiled layouts are achieved by presentational changes rather than functional changes. All features (menu commands, url bar, search bar, tabs buttons) continue to operate as normal.

Layouts can be created and tabs can be tiled individually above, below, left or right of the 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). Tiles can be displayed with a tab button for each tile - or with a single tab button for each layout.

Individual layouts can be saved, opened, deleted or set as the default layout. In addition, all of the currently open layouts can be saved as a single Multi-Layout.

Tiling is performed using Menu Commands, Keyboard Shortcuts or Drag-and-Drop of tabs and links.

The major features of the Tile Tabs user interface are illustrated in the above screenshots.

Users migrating from Tile View, please refer to the Notes for Tile View Users section below.

GETTING STARTED

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

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

Alternatively, try tiling two specific tabs using menu commands:

    • Select the first tab to be tiled by clicking on its tab button.
    • Click Tile on the main menu bar, or click the down-arrow on the Tile Tabs button.
    • Select Tile Tab on the sub-menu.
    • Select the direction - Above, Left, Right or Below.
    • Select the second tab to be tiled.

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

THINGS TO TRY

Drag-and-Drop tiling of tabs - to make tiling quicker - just Shift+Drag a tab or link:

    • For further details see the Drag-to-Tile Shortcut section below.

Automatic assignment of tabs - for a different browsing experience - enable these options:

    • Assign to active tile when untiled tab selected
    • Assign another tab when tiled tab closed

USER REFERENCE

Tiles and Splitters

A tile can be made the active tile by clicking on the corresponding tab button or by clicking on the tile's contents. A tiled tab is indicated by a colored border around the tab button icon. The active tile is indicated by a colored border around the tile contents. The highlighting of tiled tabs can be changed to use colored text and/or italic text on the tab buttons. A different tab can be displayed in the active tile by doing Shift+Click on the tab button.

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. Splitter bars will also snap in line with other splitter bars anywhere in the tiled layout.

Double-click on any splitter to equalize the size of all the tiles in that group. Ctrl+Double-click on any splitter to equalize the two tiles on each side of the splitter. Shift+Double-click on any splitter to expand the smaller of the two tiles on each side of the splitter.

Tab Selection

A tab is selected by clicking on the tab button in the tabs bar. By default, when in tiled view, selecting a tiled tab displays the tiled layout, and selecting an untiled tab displays the tab normally. Alternatively, there is an option (Assign to active tile when untiled tab selected) to always display the tiled layout when in tiled view. This option automatically assigns the selected tab to the active tile, if the selected tab was previously untiled.

The way that tab selection works can be temporarily changed using the Assign Tab mouse shortcut (see below).

The tooltips for tiled tab buttons show both the layout name and the web page URL.

Layout Commands

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

    • New Layout - creates a pre-defined layout with two, three, four or all tabs or using the default layout.
    • Recent Layout - quickly opens a recently used layout and assigns saved tabs (if any) to tiles.
    • Close Layout - closes the the active layout and all assigned tabs revert to normal operation.
    • Close All Layouts - closes all layouts all assigned tabs revert to normal operation.

and seven more layout commands which appear on the Manage Layouts submenu:

    • Open Layout - opens a previously saved layout and assigns saved tabs (if any) to tiles.
    • Save Layout - saves the active layout and optionally the assigned tabs, pinned states, scroll/tab locks and layout color.
    • Delete Layouts - deletes previously saved layouts (multiple layouts can be selected).
    • Configure Layout - configures the name and color of the active layout.
    • Set Default Layout - sets the default layout to be used by the toolbar button and on start-up.
    • Import Layouts - imports previously exported layouts from a text file.
    • Export Layouts - exports previously saved layouts to a text file (multiple layouts can be selected).

These commands can be invoked from the Tile menu on the main menu bar, or from the Tile Tabs 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 new tiles. The All Tabs submenu items create a layout containing all of the previously untiled tabs. 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 Open Layout and Recent Layout commands reinstate tiled tab pinned states and scroll/tab locks (if any). The Open Layout and Recent Layout commands can also be used to open a Multi-Layout, which opens all of the individual layouts saved in the Multi-Layout.

The Close Layout and Close All Layouts commands automatically close any blank tabs created by New Layout that 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. There are checkboxes to save tabs, save pinned states, save scroll/tab locks and to save the layout color. There are also checkboxes to save all of the currently open layouts as a single Multi-Layout and to save the individual layouts in the order of their first tabs on the tab bar.

The Set Default Layout command sets the default layout as a layout with two tabs or all tabs, or as a previously saved layout. This allows the default layout to be set to any layout that can be created using the New Layout command or tiling commands.

Tiling Commands

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

    • Tile Tab - adds an existing tab in a new tile above, left, right or below the active tile.
    • Tile New Tab - opens a new tab in a new tile above, left, right or below the active tile.
    • Tile Duplicate Tab - opens a duplicate tab in a new tile above, left, right or below the active tile.
    • Tile Link in New Tab - opens a link in a new tab in a new tile above, left, right or below the active tile.
    • Assign Tab - replaces the tab displayed in the currently active tile with another (tiled or untiled) tab.
    • Untile Tab - removes a tile and the assigned tab reverts to normal operation.
    • Expand Tile - expands a tile and collapses all the other tiles in that group.
    • Show Properties - shows a popup with the tab title and tab group for the active tile (see Properties Popups section).

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

The Assign Tab command assigns a different tab to be displayed in the active tile. If the chosen tab is already tiled in another tile (possibly in another layout), then the existing tab in the active tile and the chosen tab are interchanged.

The Untile Tab command automatically closes the assigned tab if it was a blank tab 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.

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.

For convenience, a Close Tab command can also be added to the content context menu.

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 Tabs 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 scrolling only when the mouse is over 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 layouts.

Options Command

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

Splitter Commands

There are five splitter commands, three of which allow tiling adjacent to an existing group of tiles:

    • Tile Tab - adds an existing tab as a new tile above, left, right or below the highlighted group of tiles.
    • Tile New Tab - opens a new tab as a new tile above, left, right or below the highlighted group of tiles.
    • Tile Duplicate Tab - opens a duplicate tab as a new tile above, left, right or below the highlighted group of tiles.
    • Equalize Group - equalizes the size of all the tiles in the highlighted group.
    • Equalize All - equalizes the size of all the tiles in all of the groups.

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

The Tile Tabs button can invoke immediate actions (by clicking on the icon) or display a drop-down menu (by clicking on the down arrow).

Clicking on the Tile Tabs 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 Tabs button either creates a new default layout or closes the active layout.

Double-clicking on the Tile Tabs button closes all layouts.

There are options to re-configure all of the Tile Tabs button actions.

Properties Popups

A properties popup can be shown for the active tile using the Show Properties command. A properties popup displays the tab title and tab group name for the tab assigned to the underlying tile. Clicking on the main body of a properties popup will make the underlying tile active. Shift+Clicking on the main body of a properties popup will assign the tab in the underlying tile to the active tile.


A properties popup also displays three buttons:

    • Assign Tab - assigns a different tab to the underlying tile.
    • Scroll Lock - prevents the contents of a tile being scrolled.
    • Tab Lock - prevents the tab assigned to a tile being changed.

When a scroll lock or tab lock is infringed, a properties popup appears with the relevant lock button highlighted in red.

There are options to automatically show properties popups when the mouse enters the active and inactive tiles, and to automatically fade out the display of properties popups after a few seconds. There is also an option to change the width of the properties popups.

Working With Tab Groups

Tile Tabs is fully integrated with Firefox's tab group (Panorama) functionality. Tiled layouts can contain tabs from more than one tab group, but may be restricted to tabs from the current tab group. However, this restriction will be ignored when tabs are moved between tab groups in the Panorama window.

The tab lists in the Tile Tab and Assign Tab commands show all tabs in all tab groups. The tabs in the current tab group are shown at the top of the list above the first menu separator. The tabs in other tab groups are shown further down the tab list, with each tab group delimited by a menu separator. There is an option for tab lists to only show the tabs in the current tab group.

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.

Automatically Activating Tiles

There is an option to allow tiles to be automatically activated when the mouse enters (moves over) a tile.

It is still possible to move the mouse over other tiles without changing the active tile by holding down a configurable modifier key (Shift, Ctrl or Alt). This is useful when accessing the Tile menu on the main menu bar, or when accessing the Tile Tabs button on the toolbar, or when the Sync Scroll with wheel only when mouse over active tile option is enabled.

Renaming Tabs With Layout Name

There is an option to rename all of the tiled tabs in a layout with the layout name, and another option to rename the browser window with the layout name if a tiled tab selected. The layout name can be changed using the Configure Layout command.

Shrink-to-Fit Zoom

A Shrink-to-Fit zoom feature is provided both for individual tiled tabs and for all tiled tabs in a layout.

There are four control key shortcuts:

    • Ctrl + < - shrinks the web page in the selected tiled tab to fit the tile width
    • Ctrl + < twice - shrinks the web pages in all tiled tabs in the active layout to fit the tile widths

    • Ctrl + > - resets the zoom level for the selected tiled tab to the default zoom level
    • Ctrl + > twice - resets the zoom level for all tiled tabs in the active layout to the default zoom level

Function Key Shortcuts

There are six function key shortcuts:

    • New/Close Layout - F12
    • Untile Tab - F4
    • Expand Tile - F2
    • Show Properties - F1
    • 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.

Arrow Key Shortcuts

There are three arrow key shortcuts:

    • Tile New Tab - Shift+ArrowKey
    • Tile Duplicate Tab - Ctrl+ArrowKey
    • Activate Tile - Ctrl+Shift+ArrowKey

Each arrow key shortcut can be set as a combination of Ctrl, Shift and Alt keys plus an arrow key - or can be disabled. These shortcuts work even if there is no existing layout. There are options to disable these arrow key shortcuts when the keyboard focus is in a text box or when an untiled tab is selected.

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
    • Assign 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 an 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.

Assign Tab

Shift+Click on a tab to assign the tab to the active tile. If the Assign tab to active tile when tiled tab selected or Assign tab to active tile when untiled tab selected options are enabled, then Shift+Click on a tiled/untiled tab will just select the tab (and not assign 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 tab of the group. There is an option to open the link in a new tab rather than loading in the existing tab. 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 tab of the group. There is an option to open the link in a new tab rather than loading in the existing tab. The modifier key(s) for the shortcut can be configured.

Start-up and Restart

Tile Tabs can be configured to restore the layouts from a previous session when Firefox starts-up or restarts. After a restart, it should always be possible to restore the layouts. However, on start-up it is only possible to restore the layouts 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 Tabs 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.

Notes For Tile View Users

To make Tile Tabs work in the same way as Tile View, three options must be enabled:

    • Assign to active tile when untiled tab selected
    • Assign to active tile when tiled tab selected
    • Assign another tab when tiled tab closed

Options

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

The Options Dialog allows the user to:

    • Select a set of eight colors for multiple tiled layouts.
    • Change the width of the colored border around the active tile.
    • Automatically activate tile when mouse enters tile.
    • Change the key that stops automatic activation of tiles.
    • Syncronize Scroll with wheel only when the mouse is over the active tile.
    • Change the width of the properties popup.
    • Automatically show Properties popup when mouse enters the active and inactive tiles.
    • Automatically fade out the display of Properties popup after a few seconds.
    • Not to show the Tab Group name in Properties popups.
    • Change the size of the splitters.
    • Change the snap distance for splitters.
    • Change the highlighting of tiled tabs (show icon, color text or italic text).
    • Display a single tab for each layout (instead of a tab for each tile).
    • Move all tiled tabs to left-hand side of tab bar.
    • Rename tiled tabs with their layout name.
    • Rename browser window with layout name if tiled tab selected.
    • Assign untiled tab to active tile when selected.
    • Assign tiled tab to active tile when selected.
    • Assign another tab when tiled tab closed.
    • Assign existing tabs to tiles in preference to creating new tabs.
    • Assign existing tabs from right of selected/closed tab (instead of left).
    • Load new tabs with home page.
    • Keep selected tab when switching to tiled view.
    • Create new tabs to fill the last row/column of a new grid.
    • Automatically close tabs created by Open Layout.
    • Show the Tile menu on the main menu bar.
    • Only show tabs in the current tab group in tab lists.
    • Show the Tile submenu on the tab context menu.
    • Choose the menu items shown on the tab context menu.
    • Show the Tile submenu on the content context menu.
    • Choose the menu items shown on the content context menu.
    • Change the function key shortcuts (new/close layout, untile tab, expand tile, show properties, sync scroll, view tiled).
    • Disable the F12 Firefox shortcut for Firefox Developer Tools.
    • Change the arrow key shortcuts (tile new tab, tile duplicate tab, activate tile).
    • Disable the arrow key shortcuts if keyboard focus is in a text box.
    • Disable the arrow key shortcuts if untiled tab selected.
    • Change the mouse shortcuts (new/close layout, drag-to-tile, click-to-assign, open-in-next-tile, open-in-prev-tile).
    • Choose whether Open In Next Tile and Open In Prev Tile open link in a new tab.
    • Choose the commands to be performed for each of the Tile Tabs button actions (click, middle-click, double-click).
    • 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:

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