It took Google more than a decade to add tab bar scrolling to Chrome


When you open too many tabs in the Chrome browser, tabs won’t be displayed anymore on the browser’s tab bar. While tabs do get opened despite them not being visible on the tab bar of the browser, it is problematic to access the hidden tabs. Tab overloading is quite the serious problem in Chrome, and while there are workarounds in place, by using extensions such as Simple Window Saver, Tab Sense, Tabs Plus, or lesstabs, or using the keyboard to navigate tabs, it is definitely an annoyance for some users.

Google implemented a tab groups feature in Chrome recently that can be used to group tabs together and to collapse them, but the group is expanded automatically on the restart of the browser.

Today, Google made the first step in improving the situation for Chrome users who have lots of tabs open. Engineers added the option to scroll the tab bar of the browser using the mouse wheel.

The feature landed in Chrome Canary and needs to be enabled before it becomes available.

chrome scrollable tabstrip

  1. Make sure you run the latest version of Chrome Canary. Load chrome://settings/help to check the version and if updates are available. The feature is available in version 88.0.4284.0.
  2. Load chrome://flags/#scrollable-tabstrip in the browser’s address bar.
  3. Set the Scrollable TabStrip experiment to Enabled using the menu on its right.
  4. Click on relaunch to restart the browser.

The feature is compatible with all desktop versions of Chrome according to the description; I tested it on a Windows 10 machine and it worked fine.

How does it work?

The feature works only if open tabs exceed the visible space. When you activate the feature flag, Chrome does not make tabs smaller and smaller anymore until they are no longer visible. It uses a minimum width for tabs and does not reduce it further than that. Once you hit the visible threshold and open one more tab, you may use the scroll wheel of the mouse to browse the tab bar.

Scroll down to go left and up to to right. Note that the mouse cursor needs to be on the tab bar, as you will scroll the webpage otherwise.

Left and right buttons incoming as well

It appears that Google is working on adding left and right navigational buttons as well to the feature. The commit landed on September 29 and cannot be enabled yet. Chrome will display left and right arrows on the left and right side of the tab strip similarly to how Firefox displays them when tabs can be scrolled in the browser.

Closing Words

The feature is experimental at the time and it is possible that it gets killed before it lands in Stable. If it lands in stable, it will improve tab management for users with a lot of tabs.

Now You: Scroll buttons, using the mouse, or Chrome’s way: what is your preferred way of displaying tabs in the browser? (via Deskmodder)

Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post It took Google more than a decade to add tab bar scrolling to Chrome appeared first on gHacks Technology News.



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