Quick Tabs

Hi, this is Uche again, I am back to talk about Quick Tabs, a visual way of managing tabs in Internet Explorer that complements the tabbed browsing experience quite nicely. This feature came about when we realized there were two main issues users were likely to encounter when browsing using tabs. First, as you open more tabs there is less space to show titles, making it difficult to identify a specific tab. Second, because many web pages have very similar titles picking the correct tab by title alone may be very difficult. We developed Quick Tabs as a way to visually manage your tabs. Quick Tabs provides a thumbnail view of each tab that allows you to view, find and manage all opened web pages easily and effectively.

User Scenarios for Quick Tabs:

When you start Internet Explorer 7, you will notice when you have two or more tabs opened; there is a new button that appears on the left hand side of the tab band next to the Favorites center icon. This is the Quick Tabs feature. It consists of two parts: an icon that takes you to the view containing thumbnails of all open pages and a drop down menu which lists the titles of all the open pages. Here’s what the Quick Tabs button looks like:

Quick Tabs Button

(Note: certain aspects of this feature can be controlled via group policy. The final design for this button might differ slightly from what is pictured here.)

As you open more pages and need to quickly identify or select a specific page, you can click on the Quick Tabs icon or press Ctrl+Q to take you to the view.

When you’re in the Quick Tabs view, you will see a thumbnail view for each opened webpage. Each thumbnail displays the web page title; its tool tip provides the URL of the webpage. If a page hasn’t finished loading yet, it’ll show a loading animation. As you open even more webpages, the thumbnail view of each page will resize so that you won’t have to scroll. You will notice that anytime you click outside of the view, it will disappear and return you to the previous page you were looking at. Here is what the Quick Tabs view looks like:

Quick Tabs View

When you have identified the page you want, simply click on the thumbnail and you will be taken to the corresponding tab. If you need to refresh your opened pages, you can right click on any thumbnail and refresh a specific page or refresh all your pages.

Right Clicking on a Quick Tab

If you’re done using a certain page and want to get rid of it, there are a number of options provided through Quick Tabs. You can use the "x" in the top right hand corner of the thumbnail, right click on it and choose close or just middle click on the thumbnail. One of the great things about Quick Tabs is when you close a thumbnail, the thumbnail view layout reflows, letting you close multiple pages with minimum mouse movement.

Quick Tabs was designed to enhance the tabbed browsing experience by providing an easy way to manage a large set of tabs. We hope you enjoy using it and as always we welcome your feedback.

 - Uche