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Vinci480
Strollin' around
Status: In development

I'm personally a heavy tab user but have always wondered why there is almost no support for tab grouping or customization in the native tab bar in Firefox.

I think making it able to group like Google Chrome does for example or at least giving more access for extensions and add-ons would significantly improve the UI in that regard.

597 Comments
Steeltent
Making moves

Opera came up with the idea years and years ago. Their original implementation is still the gold standard and unmatched to this day, as far as I'm concerned. It's elegant and intuitive.

You drag tabs into each other to stack them and you drag a tab out to unstack. You can expand a stack to interact with the stacked tabs like normal and you can collapse the stack to save space.

Expanding and collapsing the stack is the key feature and needs to be easy and quick. Double clicking the active tab does that. There is an UI element as well and keyboard shortcuts of course. But the double click to expand/collapse is the secret sauce. Doesn't get any easier than that.

Please don't reinvent the wheel or make things overly complicated.  I'll attach a shot video that shows the original Opera tab stacking feature in action. I'm confident anyone can immediately see how well this works.

Link to the Video 

MrLion28
Making moves

I'm not much of a power user and I also don't have 3540 tabs open. But I do work "by topic" or something like that. If I'm on YouTube, I middle-click say 4 videos I want to watch to have them open. I would then create a YT group for that moment. So on and so forth, same with PDFs downloaded on the PC. Sometimes you need to read several things, so you could group them all together.

Vinci480
Strollin' around

@Jon  Besides Safari and Yandex not being available for anything other than iOs.
All of those Options besides Vivaldi seem to already exist in some extension form.

I personally have a very very strong dislike to anything that takes me away from the main browser field or keeps me stuck in menu's for longer than necessary as I work very fast when switching between tabs and having it quick, easy and fast is a big must as well as being able to keep an overview on one page.
Big offenders are extra tabs just for managing tabs.

Also I personally don't like vertical tabs on the left or right of the Screen as it at best just takes some valuable real estate on the screen and at worst kills the formatting/displaying of some websites.

I liked the Chromium Method the most as its super quick and simple do throw stuff around and adjust.
I could see it become a powerhouse if something like that is combined with Vivaldi's stacking method as one or two extra tab lines won't cause as many problems as vertical side bars at times or make your run around in drop downs and menu's.

Furthermore having an Option to color tab groups more than just 6-10 specified colors would be a huge thing as when running Chrome or Edge, I have had the issue multiple times of running out of colors when working.
Also keeping the way Firefox squishes the Tabs would be desperately necessary in those cases as ALL the benefits of having many tabs and grouping them etc. gets completely thrown out of the Window when the Tabs become 2 pixels wide. (There are some options in Chrome to set a different Minimum Tab width for tabs but it still is much harder to move around than what is natively supported in Firefox so far).

I would have already tried to make an extension myself that kind of does at least the Chrome way of Tab grouping but from everything I could find and all the people I talked to, the result was "Impossible" as there is not enough access for an extension to adjust that and I would need to do a whole new fork or something of Firefox (Unsure how true it really is since I'm not an expert in that field), which is a bit too much even for more.

TL;DR:
I hate being directed around in Menu's, Dropdowns, extra tabs, or having aspect ratios groove around with vertical tabs and just hope for either a nice quality of life native tab group feature or at least opening up the tab bar for proper extension access for people to completely customize it to their liking.

Vinci480
Strollin' around

@Jon 

Besides Yandex and Safari only being for iOs, I feel that the other Options already have been represented to some form by extensions in Firefox.
Chromium's way of Tab Grouping (As far as I know) isn't possible currently in Firefox due to the limited access to the Native Tab bar.


The reason why I personally like the Chrome way of Tab grouping the most is because its the easiest, quickest and user-friendliest (especially in Screen Real Estate) compared to almost every other option.
I have a very big issue with anything that forces you into extra Menus, too many drop-downs, extra tabs just to group your tabs, or have bad vertical tabs that kill website formatting/displaying of content.

I want Tab Grouping so desperately in Firefox since over a year ago, because Firefox is basically suited in all ways to me EXCEPT Tab Grouping.
The speed, the privacy, the extension support, all there but Tab Grouping has been unsupported since years.


If the Firefox Team want to really go overboard then maybe making a mix between the Chromium Tab Grouping and Vivaldi's 2 Layer Tab bar, would be an insane shot for productivity.
I could easily see many people (especially people I work with) switch just for something like that.
If there is also an Option to "Bookmarks Groups" or save them somewhere to be opened again similar to something like Tab Session Manager then it would be an instant switch for half of my department.


Having more color options to choose from or being able to set themselves would also be WONDERFUL, as I can't begin to explain how many days I had where I run out of the standard 6-10 colors that one can select when grouping tabs for work, and then stuff gets confusion.


But the main focus should definitely be in the ease of access and speed of it.
Especially if it's interacting is made seamless by dragging tabs in and out or by quickly opening and closing tab groups, etc.
Firefox definitely needs a modern approach to make it's way of Grouping a good choice or one of the best, without having people stuck waiting 1-3 seconds for drop-downs to appear or navigating mazes of menus and extra tabs just to get around.
This is a must have when already soooo many extensions have resorted to creating their own menus and drop-downs to a point it starts getting ridiculous.


Furthermore, it would be very important (To me at least) if the Tabs continue to squish like the currently do natively in Firefox, as all the other Options kind of throw productivity with Tab Grouping out the window by making the tabs like 2 pixels wide.
Chrome has at least and experimental" feature that allows to set a minimum width for tabs but even then navigating around in that environment is still much harder (IMO) than navigating around Tabs in Firefox.


Even then if the Firefox Team isn't able to dedicate enough time on a proper Quality of Life update to the Tab Grouping in Firefox, then I would love to at least have more access to it so that if everything else fails, I can at least brute force myself an extension with code from ChatGPT or so on, as I'm constantly reconsidering if I fully switch to another Browser as I needed to already for work.

 

All in all , what I'm trying to say is that Chromiums Tab Grouping is currently the best example (IMO) for minimalistic, quick, and useful compared to any other option on the market but I still think there is room for improvement to be made by more colors, Firefox Tab navigation and tab width, a second Tab bar (or more), and native options to bookmarks groups.

trailcat
New member

Right now I use Simple Tab Groups, but every time I open a Chrome browser and see their implementation of tab grouping I contemplate switching browsers. It's simple, intuitive, and makes great use of the tab bar.

I've stuck it out with Firefox due to it's focus on security and I generally like their web development tools better than other browsers.

With the Simple Tab Groups extension, I have a group for my different work projects and usually a group or two for personal tabs.

@Jon, why has this idea been In Review for over a year (since April 2022)? It seems a long time to be in review for an idea with heavy community involvement and anticipation, let alone an important feature which other browsers support natively.

fraggedy_andy
Making moves

@Jon 

Vivaldi has at least three different ways to see grouped tabs. I personally like having a second row under the main one that has all of the tabs in a particular group.

The advantage for me is in keeping things tidy. With Chromium-based browsers, it's important so that your icons don't get so small that you can't find a particular tab. In Firefox, it's nice not to have to scroll back and forth across a long row of tabs that don't all fit on one screen.

I use tabs to keep similar tabs together. I'll queue up a bunch of Youtube videos, for example, or research a topic and keep all of the pages in a single group to save space and keep my thoughts together. It makes the tab bar look less cluttered and make it easier to find a group of pages I want to use for a specific task.

powerFFUser
Making moves

@JonWatch this reply which demonstrates Yandex Browser tab grouping feature which is the one of best realisations in my opinion.

 

https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/ideas/native-tab-grouping-more-customizable-tab-bar/idc-p/21954#M1163...

MrLion28
Making moves

I second @fraggedy_andy on the use case.

I disagree a bit with @Steeltent example. I don't like the idea of grouping tabs and the label is one "main tab". I like Chromium implementation where you name the group and label it with a color.

@powerFFUserThe link doesn't seem to work for me, I click on it but nothing happens.

WhenGryphonsFly
Strollin' around

Use case: I often have multiple projects that I switch between every few days or so, roughly 5-7 tabs each. Sometimes these projects overlap and I need tabs from more than one project. I also have roughly ten or so pinned tabs that I need to check once daily or as needed, but otherwise are just taking up space in the tab bar. Many of my tabs have wide tables, slowly updating progress bars, or other features that depend more on the width of the window rather than the height - vertical tabs and/or the sidebar do not work well for my use case.

When I used Chrome, I found the tab groups to be perfect. I could have more than one group expanded at a single time. Tab groups could be named a single character to make them as small as possible when collapsed. When collapsed, the bold colors still made it possible to differentiate tab groups; even expanded I found the colors quite useful for determining what tabs would be hidden if I collapsed a group.

The current extensions for Firefox all lack some characteristic I relied upon. Simple Tab Groups does not appear to allow more than one group to be active. Sideberry does not hide tabs in collapsed groups, so the sidebar vertical tabs are required (rather than using an extension tab or whatever they are called). Tab Stash allows for multiple tab groups to be expanded, but attempting to collapse/"stash" one group without affecting the other expanded groups is effectively impossible. None of them have color. The lesser known Sidebar Tabs does have color, but like Sideberry requires the use of the sidebar. It is also buggy with regards to creating groups; it is correctly labeled "experimental".

Vivaldi's three tab stack options don't appeal to me either. Accordion tab stacks are like Chrome's, except you can't name them or make them take less space than a normal tab except by pinning them. If you do decide to pin them, you don't see the title of each tab when you expand the stack. The two-level stack is nice, but only works because Vivaldi's top bar is so short; it would not work well in Firefox in my opinion. Also, it can't have more than one stack expanded. Finally, the compact tab stack is actively harmful to my use case, as it's actually harder to access tabs of the "expanded" tab stack than tabs belonging to other stacks. (There's also no colors to separate groups.)

While I could use bookmarks for my pinned tabs at least, I feel that there's a disconnect between bookmarks and tabs. For me, bookmarks are effectively tabs that I want to save for much later but I don't trust myself not to delete my history in the mean time. Plus, after trying out Vivaldi for this comment, I've actually removed the bookmarks bar from Firefox. While I need the horizontal space, the additional vertical space of Vivaldi was noticable, and I can see why people like vertical tabs.

Vinci480
Strollin' around

Sorry for the double post, thought my Message died in transit 😄