Using Tabs and Tab Groups

Like its immediate predecessor, Internet Explorer 8 is a tabbed browser, allowing you to keep multiple pages open in the same application window and switch between them quickly via mouse click or key press . The current version adds the convenience of tab grouping. When you open a new tab by clicking a link in the current tab, Internet Explorer displays the original tab and the newcomer in the same color, showing you at a glance that the two tabs hold related content. Any additional tabs you generate from pages in the current tab group also acquire the same color. Right-clicking a tab within the tab group reveals commands to close all tabs in the current group, close all tabs not in the current group, and remove the current tab from the group .

Here are the essentials to know about working with tabs:

• To open a new, blank browser tab, press Ctrl+T or click New Tab, just to the right of the current tabs .

Quick Tabs

New Tab

To open a link in a new tab without shifting focus from the current tab, right-click the link and choose Open In New Tab, or hold down Ctrl while clicking the link, or use the middle mouse button to click the link n


To open a link in a new tab and shift focus to the newly opened tab, hold down Ctrl and Shift and click using the left or middle mouse button .

To close the current tab, click the small X at the right side of its tab, or press Ctrl+W. To close any open tab, point to it and click the middle mouse button .

To switch between tabs, press Ctrl+Tab (moves from left to right) or Ctrl + Shift+Tab (moves from right to left).

To change the order of tabs, drag any tab to a new position . (If you drag a tab between members of a group, the moved tab joins the group .)

If more tabs are open than will fit in the browser window, double arrows appear to the left of the first tab and to the right of the last tab; click to scroll through the full selection

To see a visual display of all open tabs in the current browser window, like the one shown in Figure 6-2, click the Quick Tabs icon or press Ctrl+Q.

• If you have a lot of tabs open, particularly if you are working with more than one browser window, you might find that the easiest way to navigate is to hover your mouse over the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar. Windows displays either thumbnails or names of all open tabs, and you can point to the one you want.

Figure 6-2 The Quick Tabs window displays thumbnails of all tabs open in the current browser window. Click to switch to a tab, or click the X in the tab's upper right corner to close that tab .

By default, when you open a new tab, Internet Explorer displays a page with the heading "What do you want to do next?" If you've opened and closed web pages during the current browsing session, this New Tab page holds, among other handy things, links that let you reopen closed pages . If you prefer, you can configure the browser to display a blank page or your first home page instead. (See "Setting Tabbed Browsing Options," next.)

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