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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.

628 Comments
NightWalker
New member

DuckDuckGo recently rolled out a privacy-focused browser with the promise to add new features shortly.  If there's any name that can reasonably challenge Firefox when it comes to a focus on privacy, it's DuckDuckGo.  When and if DuckDuckGo introduces tab grouping, which basically every other major browser has at this point, there really will no longer be any point to using Firefox.  I hope Firefox implements this feature soon to stave off the threat from DuckDuckGo.

Chilli
New member

I just wanted to add a quick comment that I agree with the group here. I want to use FireFox, but I have an addiction to tabs and really cant convert to FF until it has something similar to Chrome/Edge. I typically mix some schooling / personal sites / work related content all in the same browser so it's nice to minimize whats not relevant at the time. I've tried the Simple Tab Groups Extension and its okay, but feels clunky so far. Maybe I will get used to it, but I think the chromium setup is faster and easier.

Chilli
New member

The lack of tab grouping is truly the only thing preventing me from moving back to Firefox. I've tried a couple times, but always end up back with Edge unfortunately.

stockhuman
Strollin' around

The lack of tab management is curious, too, especially when Firefox was a leader in this domain. Tab management is the focus of inventive upstarts. New ways to organize tabs and think of or explore better ways of engaging with the web medium is how they differentiate themselves from the big Chromium defaults, trying to appear less like a reskin. I found Arc’s (Chromium) take on tabs compelling, and likewise Orion’s (Webkit). Firefox instead has seemingly better priorities. I get feature parity with Chrome is a huge time investment, but things like this actually affect people’s workflow, as so their choice of browser.

AshenPaladin
Making moves

I'm not actively using tab groups but now that I've seen how Chrome does that feature I do really feel like Firefox should include a similar feature by default.

Irvin
Strollin' around

The most funny point is that Firefox does invent tab groups, almost 10 years ahead of all other browsers. But now Firefox is like the last browser without tab groups by default.

MrLion28
Making moves

I came in here to suggest this great feature. I came back to Firefox. I didn't like Brave much over Edge, and every other browser (Aside from Safari) is Chromium. So if I wasn't actually contributing to helping the free web, I was going to stick with Edge. Aside from msft "bs", it's a great browser and comes already preinstalled (on Windows). Decided that going back to Firefox, if I can ever move back to Linux completely, would be the best bet. But there are things that feel behind, considering back then "Quantum Firefox" released and it was just fantastic.

Admin responds saying "merging ideas". We want to merge TABS. This feature request is from 2022, will have to check if it's almost a year ago.
I want to clarify something to all the people saying "Chrome does it better". It's not Chrome, it's Chromium, as in, it's a Chromium feature. That is why all the other browsers, which are Chromium based, have it. Someone mentioned DuckDuckGo browser. They are all tools and we can all use whatever we please, but note that all of those browsers rely on the Chromium open project, which yes it's open, just like Android is, but it doesn't prevent Google from doing shenanigans to make it harder to do certain things (like adblockers and ads). This is why using Firefox would do "Better".

It is true, however, that feels like Mozilla focusing on so much more than just the browser, made it lag behind and lack in features and innovations. Tab grouping feels like such a 101 basic feature to have for organized workflow and productivity. Why isn't implemented yet or a core feature to add asap, we won't know. But I kindly ask FF devs to implement this.

 

Matt1
Strollin' around

Plain and simple, if Firefox didnt have Simple Tab Groups as an extension, I would have switched browsers a long time ago. I'm glad this has made it to review. Make way for the next step which is live tab/group syncing or atleast allow addons to sync their data. If cloud space is an issue, I'm sure there are a host of trusted 3rd-party hosts that will jump at the idea of integrating into firefox as an add-on service. e.g drop box is currently sycing my offline files with more space than I'll probably ever need.

snoozerio
Strollin' around

@JonI can't understand why everyone is mentioning Chrome (Chromium) as the best group. Safari, Vivaldi, Arc, Yandex have created much better copy groups in Firefox

Jon
Community Manager
Community Manager

@snoozerio thanks! What makes those versions of tab grouping particularly better than the others? Also, it's helpful for us to understand why and how users use tab grouping.

(This question is of course open to everyone.)

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.