Easy Tab Management in Firefox With Tab Scope

If you generally keep a lot of tabs open all at once in your web browser, it can get a little bit messy trying to manage all of them. As you open more and more tabs, of course, the tabs get smaller, making it much more difficult to find out exactly which website is in a particular tab.

If you use Firefox, that’s not a problem, thanks to a handy extension called Tab Scope. Tab Scope gives you a live thumbnail image of each tab (a thumbnail that’s more than a simple snapshot), a way to group particular tabs together, and more. The first step to using Tab Scope is to head over to its entry on the Firefox Addons website, located here.

Once you’ve installed Tab Scope and restarted, simply open a couple websites in different tabs. Now, hover over a particular tab and you’ll see a little thumbnail image. Move the cursor away from the preview and it disappears. Right-click on the image and the preview enlarges to give you a more detailed image. What’s interesting about this is that if – while using the preview – you click a link, it’s the same as clicking the link on the actual page. The preview is live, and there are even buttons that are visible when you hover over the top of the thumbnail that allow you to navigate… directly from the thumbnail!

You also have the option of creating tab groups. These groups aren’t saved (a feature that would definitely be a welcome addition), but it’s a useful feature for those who have a number of tabs open, in what I’ll term different categories. You might have email and some work related websites open, but also a number of other, more fun websites for recreational browsing. You need to concentrate on work at the moment, and not have the distraction of those other sites, at least not for the moment.

So, click the little icon in the upper right corner of your browser, and you’ll see a little grid with thumbnails of all your open sites. Simply start dragging the thumbnails around to organize them. If you want to split your sites into different groups, drag them out of one group into an empty space, and you’ve just created a new group. When you’re done, click in the lower left corner of one of the tab groups, and when you return to your main browser window, you’ll see only the tabs from that group.

There’s also a lot of configuration options available. Check out all of your options for Tab Scope. You’ll first need to head to your Addons page, then scroll down to Tab Scope and hit Preferences. Here you can change not only how large the thumbnails are, but how Tab Scope behaves.

Tab Scope wasn’t an extension I thought I’d have a lot of use for, to be honest. But then I downloaded and installed it, and I could see its usefulness immediately. It’s simple to use, pretty much stays out of your way, and does a good job at organizing what could otherwise be an unruly number of open tabs. All in all, it’s a great addition to anyone’s list of installed Firefox extensions.

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