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Better Browsing with Pinned Tabs

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If you're like me, you tend to work with a lot tabs open in your browser. We rely on so many web apps these day, that this boat is becoming more common among us. This doesn't mean that you're required to have a mess of tabs going, getting in the way of your workflow.

If you are running Firefox or Chrome, you have had the ability to pin tabs for some time now, but probably weren't aware of it. Many new features are stumbled upon by accident, unless users spend a lot of time following browser updates.

b2ap3_thumbnail_pinned-tabs_20131020-181808_1.pngSo what is a pinned tab? Well, quite simply, it's a minimized version of a tab that just shows the sites favicon and remains 'pinned' to the left side of your browser window for easy and quick access.

Provided you don't close them when you close your browser, these pinned tabs will remain when you relaunch, a very handy feature. You can see in my screenshot a few of the tabs that I have open whenever I launch Chrome. You can see Buffer, Facebook, Twitter, Clicky and GMail among others. This saves me having to open them every time I launch my browser.

When one of the tabs detects an action, such as a new comment on Facebook or a new email, that tab will flash momentarily, giving you a visual indicator that something has happened. If you also sign into Chrome with your Google account, and have enabled browser syncing, your pinned tabs will travel with you across devices.

b2ap3_thumbnail_pin-tab-option.pngPinning a tab is very simple, just right click (or control+click if you're not using a mouse) on any open tab and select 'pin tab' in either Chrome or Firefox (Think somebody will file a lawsuit claiming rights on pin tab technology?) and it will be added. Similarly, if you want to remove a pinned tab, you can right click and choose Remove Tab or Unpin Tab depending if you want to keep the tab open or close it completely. To rearrange your tabs, simple click and hold on the tab and move it to the position you would like.

I must mention that you must be careful in your pinned tabs. Sometimes you forget that it's pinned and you go into the URL bar and go to a different site. Needless to say, this will change the site that is pinned, and wherever you leave this tab is where it will be when you return. I have messed up a few tabs this way, so keep this in mind when you're surfing.

Hopefully this will help you be a little more efficient with your web browsing habits.

Kray Mitchell hails from Calgary, Alberta, and is an educator at heart. Through speaking, workshops, consulting and training, he aims to assist people with understanding the technology that affects their day to day lives.
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