A rather unknown feature of Firefox is the ability to quickly switch tabs with the shortcuts CTRL 1-9. To switch to the fifth open tab in Firefox, you would for instance use Ctrl-5 to do so.
It obviously only works for the first eight tabs and the last tab (since Ctrl-9 switches always to the last tab regardless of actual position on the tab bar), additional tabs cannot be accessed with the shortcut.
If less than nine tabs are open tapping a number that corresponds to a non existing tab will activate the last tab that's available.
We already discussed numbered tabs in the past to make the identification of the correct corresponding number easier.
All those extensions did on the other hand was to display the number. This changes with the NumExt add-on for Firefox.
The add-on is currently in experimental stage which means that users have to log into the Mozilla website before they can download it.
Once installed it adds numbers to the beginning of each tab in front of the website title. The interesting aspect is that the add-on will continue numbering tabs even if their count exceeds nine.
That would not make much sense if it would not provide an option to access all tabs greater than nine as well.
A tap on ALT-Xl opens a small box in the lower right corner of the status bar.
You can enter the number of the tab that you want to activate using it and hit enter. Once done, the extension switches to the selected tab right away.
Several additional commands have been integrated to make life just a bit easier.
A few things can be improved. It would be nice if the # sign that is following each number could be removed to save screen estate in the tab bar.
Another interesting option worth investigating would be to use [ALT 1-9] to open the tabs 10-18 automatically without having to use the form at the bottom.
Update: The extension is no longer maintained but it is still working in recent versions of Firefox for the most part. One thing that is not working anymore is the help page which is a bit unfortunate.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.