Computer Tips

Use your browser tabs

... control those searches

by John Averell

If you are using any of the recent internet browsers, you have the ability to use "tabs". These are available on Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla's Firefox, and I believe most other common browsers.

What are tabs? They are individual windows inside your browser window. On the top line of items in your browser, click on "File". One of the entries should say "New Tab". If you click on it, a new space is created in your browser window, and its top looks like a tab on a file folder. You can click on any such tab, and switch back and forth between the separate browser spaces, that still are in the same big window.

Why use tabs? You can do separate tasks in different tabs without losing your place in the other tab. For example, you can keep one tab looking at news, another tab on weather, and the third in the Melrose Mirror.

Most important, you can click on a link and automatically create the target of the link in a separate tab. For anyone who searches with Google, you no doubt get a list of hits. When you click on the first (a link to an article), you usually overwrite your window, and may continue clicking again. Then to get back to the Google list, you have to go back a window at a time.

Here is a magic rule:

If you hold down the Ctrl key as you click on a link, the target will be created in a new tab automatically.

Here is a screen-shot of a Google search on "Melrose Mirror".

I held my Ctrl key down, and clicked on the entry labelled "Traveling America ...". The result appeared in the second tab:

Now, you can click back on the first tab and see the original list, and click on another item. Any tab can be deleted by clicking on the X on the tab (not on the window itself). You can pretty much make as many tabs as you want. They will just crowd together at the top, but each tab window is full size.

So if you haven't used tabs, try it. You'll like it!

August 1, 2008

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