Tab Sidebar

The extensions listed here are no longer supported, these pages are just maintained for historical reasons!

The tab sidebar extension, if you haven’t heard of it already, provides a sidebar in the browser that can act as a replacement to the main tab bar, with extras. The most obvious extra is that each tab includes a preview of the web page that is continually updated, but you also get navigation buttons for each tab. Since Tab Sidebar provides a replacement for the main tab bar, when the sidebar is visible, Firefox’s main tab bar will be hidden. If you still wish to use the main tab bar then you can show it again from the Tab Sidebar options.

Amongst the features this extension now has are:

  • Provides navigation options for each tab including history, stop and reload.
  • Allows you to move tabs around with drag and drop.
  • You can drop links, local files and bookmarks anywhere you like in the tab list.
  • Displays the security status of tabs.
  • Automatically refreshes the tab preview whenever the page changes.
  • Lets you hide the main tab bar when the sidebar is open.
  • Bidirectional support making the sidebar work correctly in right-to-left languages.
  • Works well with other tab-related extensions allowing you to use their context menu additions and actions from the sidebar.
  • Previews can be frozen if you aren’t interested in seeing the latest view of a page.
  • Previews can be displayed on the left, right, top or bottom of the page.
  • Themed to match Firefox on Windows and OSX (hopefully Linux will get improved in the future)

Unfortunately I am no longer planning on updating my extensions. Short of some kind of critical security issue it is unlikely this extension will receive any updates in the future.

101 thoughts on “Tab Sidebar”

  1. I love this extension, thank you very much!

    One problem I have with it is that there isn’t enough difference in the artwork between inactive tabs and the active tab (only tested with FF 2.0’s default theme).

    In OmniWeb the active tab is blue, which works very well. You’re already doing basically the same thing for secure tabs.

  2. I am finding the tool that can show the tab list on the side of browser window. This extension is very cool. But I don’t need the thumbnail preveiw.

    Please make this extention without thumnail preview or add the opption that user can select to show thumnail or not.

    I’m looking forward to your works!

  3. Hey – great extension. However I too wish that the thumbnails could be made optional (and then when you hover over a tab – a preview could pop up).

    Also – and this is VERY important in my opinion – the thumbnail previews should be stripped for any multimedia content. – otherwise it’s damned hard to view a page with a movie in it

  4. Very nice extension but, please, please make thumbnail optional. I tend to have lots of tabs opened and having them vertically on the right is a must for me… As old css hack for moving them to right no longer works with version 2, your extension would come very handy indeed… Please please make thumbnails an option…

  5. A very cool ext. , It changed the way I surf.
    The option of surfing numbers of tabs the same time is assume , it can be done by using Tabsidebar together with all-in-1-sidebar.

    May I just ask for minor fixes ?
    1. FF2 full compability ?
    2. Refresh thumbnails when on a new tab event , worked well in old version.
    3. A better integration with All-in-1-sidebar.
    4. don’t remove the thumbnails ‘ it is the main resing to use it.
    5. Pls , add a button on the thumbnails for "reload every.." event.
    6. Resize thumbnails to a minimum. worked well in old version , the latest version have a minimum size that is just 2 big.

  6. Best of luck on version 2. Looking forward to collapsed by default sidebar tabs, which can then be clicked or hovered to display the previews. That would be slick. Amazing already, good work and keep it up!

  7. Please DON’T remove the previews, as I rely on them to get work done faster in a production environment.

    Instead of having to read small text labels, I simply look at the previews of the pages and know which one to select after a brief glance over.

    Making them optional is a good compromise, but simply because some people can’t handle previews, doesn’t mean they should be eliminated.

    Thanks !

  8. Don’t know what the demand is, but simple password protection would be great so my roommates wold stop turning the dam thing off!

  9. FYI. Looks like current version of Tab Sidebar is not compatible with current version of Mozilla Firefox

  10. perfect Extension!!
    I only miss the refresh button as it was in the old version. might be nice on the Favicon, so ya have more space for the thumbnail.

    but I don’t get the request from the others to hide the thumb. What for? THAT is the feature why I installed it. If ya don’t need it you could use the normal tabs instead…

  11. Right now, there is no good extension out there that puts the tabs in the sidebar. Ever thought about all the widescreen users that would benefit from having a vertical sidebar? That is why some of us want the previews optional, so this extension can be used for that. Only other extension that does that and is compatible with FF2 is "vertical sidebar" but it is rather limited on its features and looks. I hope that explains why so many people are asking for optional previews 🙂

  12. I love it! It brings back what I missed so much after switching away from OmniWeb! I just wish that it was more obvious which tab was selected at any given moment because the only thing I have to go on is basically that the text is bold in the selected tab. Something like a highlight like you do for secure tabs would be great. And maybe the option for more "Mac-ish" close buttons would be nice. Thanks a lot!

  13. While I like the tab sidebar as it is since i have a widescreen monitor and this helps me to have more vertical space for browsing pages… I’m actually slightly annoyed by the continually updating preview window. Not a suggestion to remove this option, but please consider adding an option to disable previewing and let the tabs just look like vertically stacked tabs.

    Keep up the good work.

  14. Very nice extension. Used "Stand" with Safari for the same purpose. Would be nice if there thumbnails would use a better scaling algorithm, one which filters a bit. Another nice idea from Stand: do not scale the whole page (everything will become very tiny), but only the upper left part. The page can be identified much easier that way.

  15. I have a widescreen too and tab sidebar is the perfect companion. Any news on version 2.0? Been eagerly waiting for it for sometime. And thanks!

  16. Yes I am actually rather excited myself for Tab Sidebar 2. There appears to be *NO* sidebar whatsoever that displays tabs. I’ve looked. There’s a Russian one which… well it doesn’t even seem to really work on Firefox 2.0 and it looks pretty bad anyways.. it’s not a sidebar like Firefox’s built-in sidebars.

    It seems like a much needed functionality – for when I open a few dozen tabs (which you’d think might get crazy disorganized… but really wouldn’t be all that bad in a sidebar with Drag & Drop and maybe sorting tabs by domain name!) And a domain name sort would be amazing… It’s not very often that I have a lot of tabs open, but I like to use ‘Drag de Go’ to *very quickly* open links as background tabs for when I browse through entire Firefox extension categories, and then with the multitude of tabs open I slowly go through them and further weed out useful extensions. But my testing would be much improved if I could see the full tab name AND drag & drop them.

    What I mean is a simple sidebar that has the tabs, and you can rearrange them in there, etc. ‘Tab Sidebar’ is pretty neat, but a lot of people like me are really pining for a simple tab sidebar, aka previews optional. 😉 It would probably be okay if it wasn’t a standard Firefox sidebar, so long as it worked… but then it would be nice if it was.

    I’m really interested to see what you come up with.. maybe in the future I can work on my own if I’m not finding all of my needs met.

    Thanks for the great work. 🙂

  17. Your Tab Sidebar extension was the first and still best implementation so far. The previews are nice (though I did notice they have a stretched look when I enlarged the sidebar area) and fast.

    Showcase is the only other extension that provides a similar feature, but the slowness of the preview drawing makes it practically unusable. Although, it does have a few neat features (tab title search & well the showcase itself – like Tab Catalog).

    I can’t wait till Tab Sidebar 2.

  18. I am looking forward for tab sidebar 2. I am using a big screen. I cannot browse without tab sidebar on my right. No joy for IE7 users if they see tab sidebar for their crappy tab preview.

  19. It would be cool to be able to RESIZE those thumbnails. Well, i have over 40 tabs (!) open now, and seeing only three of them…. it’s not very convenient.

  20. I’d like to add my support for Tab Sidebar 2 — whilst the previews are pretty, I’d prefer to fit more tabs on the sidebar by removing them. Looking forward to it!

  21. for more tab thumbnails. if you use all-in-one-side bar. you can size the thumbnails in the general/appearance tab. set minimum to 125. then slide the aios to make it smaller. u can see lots more tabs

  22. I am anxiously awaiting the update to this great add-on. Tab Sidebar was the first extension I used for this type of thing (besides Viamatic FoxPose) and have stuck with.

    I’m w/ everyone else though and resizing the tabs. That would be really nice.

  23. Excellent plugin, and I’m eagerly awaiting the abilty to turn off preview. Keep up the great work!

  24. the extension.

    When coupled with all-in-one sidebar, autohide, and tab mix plus it turns firefox into a damn-near perfect fullscreen browser.

    Eagerly awaiting TS2…especially the "no preview" option. I regularly have 10-20 tabs open and don’t care for that much scrolling.

    Keep up the great work!

  25. Don’t forget the search feature so one can just press F2 or something and type foxn…. so it filters out the already open foxnews window and then one just presses enter and tada, amerikanski propaganda page

  26. Hi,

    I’m really addicted to Tab Sidebar. Understandably I’m longing for an update to version 2.0 Unfortunately there is no message on how and when. It is now time to either release the update (at least a beta) or leave a message concerning the development and roadmap.

  27. The big question … is it worth waiting for Tab Sidebar 2 since there is no update for so long

  28. Congratulation for the Tab Sidebar extension. I’m using the Tab Sidebar now for ~2 years, and it became the number one extension for me. Firefox without Tab Sidebar – unthinkable !!!
    I hope you will invest some additional work in order to create a version for Firefox

    Thank you very much for your great work !

  29. Finally, I’ve been looking for something like this, since Maxton browser several years ago. The future features are really needed (especially to hide the previews, and to show only tab labels). Here is one more feature that would be really great to have – present the opened tabs in a tree, arranged by the tab opener (so when I open the page in a new tab, this tab becomes the tree child of my opener tab). This was a great idea on how to group the tabs, that I welcomed a lot in the Maxton.

  30. I’ve been using this for ages (well at least since early last year) and I can’t wait for a version that support the forthcoming FF3. In fact, I’ll probably continue using FF2 until I can get Tab Sidebar for FF3! Thanks for all the hard work.

  31. The new version work with Firefox 3? I switch to FF3, because I need the new features (like zoom and favorites), but stop use the Tab Sidebar, unhappyly….

  32. This is a great extension! 🙂
    It would be perfect if there was a _clear_ indication, which tab is the current one.

  33. Hi Dave

    This in an invaluable extension and I’m delighted to know that you’re working on version 2; like several others here I’m keen to know what the timescale may be!

    I’ve been playing with FF3 rc1 and (using a tweaked version of MR Tech Local Install) I’ve been able to get almost all of my extensions working, but unfortunately not Tab Sidebar. Until v2 is available I’m going to have to stick to FF2, as I really can’t manage without it… unless it’s possible to release a quick update to v1 to resolve this???

  34. Please update to FF3. FF2 suck on the mac, but I’ve gotten dependent on this extension and I can’t really move to FF3 until I have something like this. Otherwise I may go back to safari with stand installed. 🙁

  35. Is there any way to change the appearance of the tab sidebar? On Mac OS X it’s way too dark for my tastes, and the color difference between the active tab and the inactive tabs is virtually unnoticeable amidst all the other grays. I tried a couple different themes to see if they would change the appearance, but no dice.

    I’m a long-time OmniWeb fan, but if I can use Firefox 3 with visual tab browsing I’d love to. Right now the dark gray motif is the only thing putting me off and I was wondering if it’s controlled via CSS or something else that I can override or modify.

  36. Request: to support “ie Tab”-Extension which integrates the MS Internet Explorer engine in Firefox (if needed for ie-browser-specific web-applications) and to show thumbnails of respective tabs instead of white screens.

  37. Just wondering why the navigation options are now limited to just the history pulldown. Can I only close a tab through the contextual menu now? I’m using the display at bottom option. What are the two little triangles at each corner used for?

  38. Thank you so much for updating this extension! I’m running Firefox on a Mac, and you’ve made an already-essential extension indispensable and great-looking! The only thing I don’t really like is the toolbar button…it clashes with the Mac icons. Otherwise, this is fantastic.

  39. Thanks a lot for making this work with FF3 ! It’s awesome ! (well my only RFE would be to have two (or three) buttons (each with a different speed) to go up end down in the sidebar ; a better scrolling system would make it perfect)

    Thanks again !

  40. I’m a big fan of this extension on the mac, and I’m hoping to use it so that I can finally replace omniweb on my machine. I have a few comments/suggestions however:

    The ‘sidebar view’ on the mac is essentially the same as the ‘left’ view. I think it would be fantastic to put the tabs in a drawer instead.

    The column sizes also don’t really go small enough, I’d like to be able to shrink the thumbs down to even half their current minimum size. Other than that, this is a winner.

  41. It would be nice to be able to control the colour of the tray, and to make the highlight of the active tab a little clearer.

    Otherwise, thank you very much, it’s wonderful.

  42. Super Feature, but 😉 I wish if I haven’T overlooked: could tab side bar open/close automaticly if moving to the main window (close) or moving to the far left (open).
    AIOS – compatibility? It opens automaticly, but closes immediatly if I’m within the tabside bar.

  43. Hello

    First question: If your window includes “exactly” a certain number of tabs i think it’s not easy to know if
    more are still down or up (you have to scroll up/down to check it). Using a different color for “sliders”
    (up and down) should do the trick (for example, use a different color when there are more tabs to this
    side, and keeping default color when you that’s the last/first one and you can’t scroll more).

    Second question: What about being able to customize the minimum horizontal size for the panel?
    Depending on your window size and/or resolution the default value may be too big, so i think it would be
    interesting to have this feature (i have tab sidebar at the left panel, so i don’t know if this limit comes from
    the panel itself or is set by tab sidebar).

    Third question: If you take the mouse cursor over a tab thumbnail a similar thumbnail popup will appear.
    Depending on tab sidebar size it may be useless, because it will show almost the same. I think this is
    another interesting-to-control attribute (to show or not this kind of popup, or only another related to the
    web’s title, or something related to the web’s url).


  44. Nice extension.
    I’m switching to it because Vertigo doesn’t work on FF 3.0 yet.

    I disable both navigation buttons and page previews, and just like to have my tabs on the side.

    Feature requests (votes):

    – Only display scroll buttons when there are more tabs to scroll to. (E.g. if there are tabs below but not above, only display lower scroll buttons.) This saves valuable vertical real estate.

    – Be able to access Tab Sidebar options through a right-click menu on the sidebar – either on the scroll buttons, on the empty sidebar background, or maybe on a tab.

    – More efficient layout when nav buttons and previews are disabled. Currently about a third of the vertical space is wasted: the text area could be shorter, and the horizontal rule seems redundant.

    Thanks for a great add-on!

  45. Hello!

    Great Add-On, I used it instead of TabMixPlus (not avail. on FF3).

    Featrue request:
    When the tabs need to scroll, and a new tab appears (f.i. if user middle-clicks on a link), then the tabs pane should scroll to show that new tab. This would help to see when it is loaded.
    Alternative (like in TabMixPlus):
    Option “create new tabs next to active tab” (not at the end of the list) – I found this VERY useful.

    I would recommend to set “on top of browser window” as default, which is in my opinion far more intuitive as it corresponds to the tabs.

    Thanks for your time & greetings from Vienna!


  46. Hi,

    @Phillipp : for your “create new tabs next to active tab”-option, you can install “Tabs Open Relative” (compatible with FF3)

    On a more general purpose, I’ll say again that I’m a big fan of this extension that I use for almost as long as Firefox (I don’t like the variable size – horizontal – navigation button free – only (poorly) titled tabs).
    I would recommend users a few extensions that work great with TabSidebar : MultiSidebar, All-in-One Sidebar and PersonalMenu (very useful for widescreen).

    I would also like to ask for an enhancement : when reopening the sidebar (after closing it) it should auto-scroll to current tab (and not show the very beginning of the tab list)

  47. Hi,

    Very usefull extension
    Here is a feature request:
    Is it possible to put a new button near the other navigation button witch can hide/unhide the sidebar simply ?

  48. Zoch you can install the “Toolbar buttons” extension, which adds you a lot of more buttons, with many of the menu options available as buttons (including Tab Sidebar).


  49. Having looked at the comments below I’ve noticed the following problems i share with alot of people
    1) the active tab needs to stand out a little bit more, could it be coulred?
    2) could we be able to size down the tabs even more?
    love the extension
    fantasic, like a the wheel “what was life before it?”

  50. Request “Scrollbar” in Tab Sidebar 2.0

    Yes, it would be nice to have the scrollbar back as an option. The top and bottom scroll buttons are a pain when you’re using a tablet.

  51. Great extension! But as bane said, it would be great with a scrollbar, and with the top and bottom button too, both as options. And one really great feature to find tabs easily could be to add tab grouping (by domain, last opener, etc…), like in the tabkit extension.


  52. I have been a HUGE tab sidebar evangelist, but I’m really disappointed in the new version. Why on earth would you take away the scroll bar? Just to toy with us? On one of my computers, I’ve even downgraded back to Firefox 2.x on one of my computers so I could use an earlier version of tab sidebar. Moreover, I can’t help but notice that fewer tabs fit in the tab sidebar in the latest version. Why???

  53. Honestly because lots of users complained that the scrollbar wasted space. Without the scrollbar the previews get a little larger which is probably why you see less on screen than before.

  54. PLEASE bring back the scroll bar. Make it optional if need be to please all users. Waiting for the Tab Sidebar with scroll bar to upgrade to Firefox 3 on several computers. The scroll bar is extremely useful when dealing with large numbers of tabs. Also, many of us now use larger monitors so the real estate taken up by the bar is minimal. Thanks as always for a great add-on.

  55. Just wanted to say, I’m a huge fan of this extension! I’m glad it works well with Tab Mix Plus, too. And I really like the latest change which makes the currently selected tab more visible; it’s a huge improvement!

    I know you don’t intend to update this regularly, but the three changes I would make are:
    • Remove the buttons at the top and bottom of the sidebar. I just use the scroll wheel, so I don’t need them.
    • Allow the sidebar to be shrunk even smaller, so more tabs can be seen at once.
    • Pass on middle-click events in empty space. In Tab Mix Plus, I have this configured as “Undo Close Tab”, but it doesn’t function when I middle-click blank space in the sidebar.

    Anyway, even if there are no more updates, I’m extremely satisfied with the extension in its current state. I hope you will at least keep it compatible with new versions of Firefox.

    Thanks for the great add-on!

  56. Hi, really good extension, but preview of object “application/pdf” is all in black. I’m using FF3.5 with Adobe PDF Plug-in for FF. what about this?

  57. Hey, I don’t know if this was a Firefox 3.5 change, a Tab Mix Plus change, or a Tab Sidebar change, but now background tabs are updated as well, and foreground tabs are updated even without scrolling. If it’s a Tab Sidebar change, then THANK YOU!!

    I love that now I can have a video going in a background tab, and still be able to glance over and see what it’s showing while still working with other tabs. (There are some sites whose videos do not update the tab preview in the background though — most likely an attempt by Firefox or the plug-in to reduce resources used by background tabs.)

  58. 2 tips:

    1. In the latest version i can see current tab’s background being white. What about being able to configure this color? Depending on your skin a different color might be more visible than white.

    2. Scroll buttons should change their color when you can still scroll to this side, but current enable/disable effect doesn’t seem to be enough for me (many times it’s hard to feel the difference). Again it would be helpful to allow the user to configure the button color that should be used when more scroll is allowed (just keeping current color when no scroll is available is fine here).

    Regards and thx for your work 🙂

  59. I love this extension dearly however, there is something bugging me about this update…
    I use to be able to drag and drop a hyperlink unto the bar and it opens a new window/ tab. I don’t know if it is a problem with this update or a problem with firefox 3.5, but this functionality is gone, and its kinda frustrating since I’ve become used to it. Also, an option to turn on the a scrollbar would be great.

  60. 1
    Great after dealing with Tab Showcase.

    Could use a scrollbar to access tabs faster.

    Press and holding up/down arrows on edge woudl be good enough to scroll, of they reacted to holdong. Also, on the mac, the down arrow, left side, opnly works once, then seems to think there are no more tabs below the first time it moves tabs down.

    Outside of the scroll bit, it’s terrific.

  61. HI again,

    Do you know you have a bug that when I press the lower left button to go to the bottom tab, it actually stops at a certain point, depending on how many tabs I have open. For example, I have 30 tabs open, but pressing that button takes me to the 12th tab. Anything over 12 tabs and it will only go to the 12th tab.

    Any chance of fixing that?

    I hope you find this critical. This is the best extension for tabs I have ever seen.

  62. I have only 4 tabs; bookmarks, history, tab sidebar, and iOpusMacros. It seems some have lots more than me. I can’t think of anything else to add that is useful.

    What are some useful tabs that you have added?

  63. very nice extension, but there is one thing missing…

    suggestion for a future version: please add a functionality to use ALT+mousewheel to scroll through the tabs! even better whould be that you can set the +mousewheel yourself. 🙂

  64. I would like to see a “refresh tab thumbnail” option in the right-click context menu. There are times I want to refresh a tab, but not necessarily switch to it. I also don’t want to keep live updating on.

  65. TabSidebar define the way I surf.
    As it is uncompilable with FF 3.7pre I found myself unable to surf the web.

    Pls,Pls, make it compatible with the new version, There is no good replace for it.

  66. ok, i updated firefox to 3.6 version and, of course, i installed your extension, this is the question, there is a way to make the sidebar background, or make it transparent, and personas can fill this space? its a stupid thing, and nothing have to do with the behavior of sidebar (wich is excelent) but i want to know because now in the bg i only can see a solid space, and that not look well, another thing, have you programed a shortcut key to turn on/off the sidebar??

  67. This is a great add-on. One thing is that it doesn’t support the “ColourfulTabs” addon which allows you to colour your tabs how you want to make them easily identifiable?

    Shame you’ve thrown in the towel. Are you going to open source the code so others can continue to update it?

    1. U can use FabTabs to color your tabs, it support Tabsidebar.

      Is there any progress with compatibility for FF 3.7 ?

  68. A simple general view is wonderful.

    Is it automatically opened and shut an exaggerated mouse it?
    In feeling like “Tree style tab”.

    And, how though the operation of the wheel is thought that faster one becomes happy and convenient?

  69. Better than Firefox Showcase! Because it has it’s own Sidebar and respects the settings of Tabmix Plus 😀
    I Hope the Extension works for the next few years and new Versions will not break it too soon…

  70. Thanks,
    This is great at the times I use my big screen for computing.
    Would be nice to get
    a) respects personas (the gray area when small amount of tabs open)
    b) new tab button

    Thanks again.

  71. This in really one of my favourite addons to firefox, but at least one thing annoys me every time I use it.
    Just as much as it annoys me with the normal tabs, that instead of being smaller and smaller, and instead starts to scroll it annoys me when my sidebar tabs starts to scroll.

    Please, just remove this “feature” with scrolling tabs, it doesn’t help changing in the about:config.

    If you have any questions or anything, don’t hesitate to mail me.

    as others have written, if you don’t plan to continue work on this addon any more, why not make it open source?

  72. unfortunately it does not work in 4.0betas. and my skill for those is not enough.
    anyone willing to update tab sidebar?
    problem: the sidebar is empty

    thank you

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