IE8 Beta2: Tab Grouping (tab color)

This post discuss the new Tab Grouping feature (tab color!) in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2. The idea behind tab grouping is that tabs originating from the same source are grouped together. The image below shows MSNBC with two articles from it opened in green, and a Windows Live search on Seattle restaurants with two […]

This post discuss the new Tab Grouping feature (tab color!) in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2. The idea behind tab grouping is that tabs originating from the same source are grouped together. The image below shows MSNBC with two articles from it opened in green, and a Windows Live search on Seattle restaurants with two search results from it opened in blue:

Now with visual indicators on my tabs, I can quickly identify the groups of tabs that are related to different tasks. So if I am switching back to Internet Explorer after using another application, I will quickly identify the blue-colored tabs as information related to the hunt for a good restaurant.

How is a Tab Group created? If, for example, you're viewing a newspaper website, and would like to queue up some articles to read, there are a few ways in which you can open these articles (links to articles) in new tabs and keep them grouped:

  • Right-click on a link and select the “Open in New Tab” option
  • Ctrl-click on a link
  • Middle-click on a link (The middle-click can be done by either by pressing the mouse scroll-wheel, or if your mouse does not have a middle button/scroll-wheel, simply right and left-click at the same time)

In addition, if you right-click on a specific tab and select the “Open a New Tab” option, a new tab will open up and will be grouped with the aforementioned source tab. If you do any of the above in IE8, the original tab and all tabs opened up from it will be grouped.

What can we do with Tab Groups? If you accidentally close a tab within a group, using the new “Reopen Closed Tab” option in the menu will not only restore that recently closed tab, but will also restore that tab into the right group.

Also, when you have completed a task, tab grouping now makes it easier to close everything related to that task by allowing a one click “Close this Tab Group” option in the tab context menu. If you would rather have a tab not be associated with the other tabs in the group, you can easily “Ungroup This Tab”.

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