NelliTab is a highly customizable new tab extension for Firefox and Chrome


Not everyone likes the default new tab page in the browser, because it’s boring. Besides, why use that when you can add speed-dials of your choice.

NelliTab is a highly customizable new tab extension for Firefox and Chrome

NelliTab is a highly customizable new tab extension for Firefox and Chrome. Before using it, the add-on displays a message asking you to set a root folder for it. Click the banner, and scroll to the bottom of the side panel. Select a bookmark folder, I recommend creating a new folder for the add-on. You can add multiple root folders.

NelliTab get started

Since the folder is empty, we have to add some shortcuts to get started. Right-click on the bookmarks panel and NelliTab’s context-menu will appear. Click on the New Bookmark option, and enter the URL of the site. The add-on does not name the shortcut automatically, so you have to rename each one manually. Hit the enter button and the extension will assign an icon for the dial. This works for some services like YouTube, Twitter, etc. If the website’s icon isn’t found, you can upload (assign) an image file.

NelliTab add new bookmark

Use the new folder option to create a new sub-directory in the current folder. You can rearrange the shortcuts by clicking and dragging a bookmark to a new location. To rearrange the folders, mouse over it, and click and drag the move button. Hold the shift key and mouse over a folder to enter edit mode. This is useful for selecting multiple shortcuts, and editing them.

NelliTab edit mode

If you have a lot of dials and are having trouble finding a specific site, use the search tool in the top right corner.

NelliTab context menu

Open the add-ons settings page by clicking the gear icon in the corner. There are a ton of options here. Enable permissions for the Top Sites, History and Downloads sections, and the add-on will add shortcuts for each site in those folders. You may revoke these permissions with a click, if you change your mind.

NelliTab settings

NelliTab comes with over a dozen themes to choose from. If you don’t like those, change the colors (background, foreground border), the font type, size and toggle the visual elements to create a custom theme. The extension also supports wallpapers, so if you can set an image as the speed-dial page’s background. The icon style is customizable as well. The add-on has some animations for the mouse hover effect, these are disabled by default, but you can switch them on if you want to.

NelliTab settings 2

The add-on opens the selected bookmark in the same tab, but you can set it to load the website in a new tab, background tab or a new window. Enabling captions displays a favicon below the dial. Backup and restore NelliTab’s settings, so you don’t have to start over.

NelliTab settings 3

Download NelliTab for Firefox and Chrome. The add-on is not open source, but it does not display ads, or syncs your content with a server and the privacy policy is good. The extension does not require registration for an account either. Overall, I think it is a good extension. Since it relies on bookmarks folders, there is obviously no way to add a website to the dial from the context menu. The plugin’s icon search is a hit-and-miss for some sites. I would have liked an option use the favicons or a thumbnail of the webpage as the speed-dial’s image.

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