Opera AutoStack Add-on: change Opera's tab stacking behavior

Melanie Gross
Aug 23, 2012

One of the coolest recent features of the Opera web browser is its tab stacking functionality. You can use it to stack tabs on top of each other to save space on the tab bar. To create a stack of tabs in the browser simply drag and drop one on top of another on the tab bar.

You only see the title of the tab that you have dragged and dropped as the last on the tab stack. What you will also notice is a small arrow that is pointing to the right that indicates that this is a stack of tabs and not a single tab.

When you hover your mouse over the tab, you will automatically see thumbnails and titles of all websites of the stack.

You can furthermore click on the right arrow to expand all tabs so that each is displayed as an individual tab in Opera, and on the left arrow of the expanded tab listing to stack the tabs back on top of each other.

What you can't do by default is to associated a link with a tab stack directly. The link and tab right-click menu does not provide you with options to add a page that you want to open in a new tab to the tab stack. All links are automatically added at the end of the tab bar when you open them in new tabs.

Opera's AutoStack extension adds that functionality to the browser. Every new tab that you spawn from a link of a page that is part of a tab stack is automatically added to that tab stack as well. The extension is one of those small unobtrusive add-ons that can make improve your work flow in the browser. The extension is only compatible with Opera 12.00 or newer and won't stack internal Opera pages at the time of writing.


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  1. Keith Walker said on January 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Tab stacking is a hideous feature for me. I wish I could turn it off.

    One of the nice things about Opera is the ability to have loads of tabs open at once (as I type this I have 72 tabs open). This results in quite small tabs which is fine by me as long as they display the favicon (something else recent versions have trashed, now to get the favicon consistently I have to get rid of the X to close the tab and turn on double click to close the tab). But with small tabs it takes barely any movement of the mouse when switching tabs for Opera to decide that I wanted to stack the tabs.

    I never want to stack the tabs!

  2. Edson said on December 2, 2012 at 2:35 am

    There is a thread in the Opera forums urging the developers to implement an on-and-off switch:


    So far, no light shining at the end of the tunnel…

    I, too, wish the tabs behaved just like before…

  3. DC Sleeper said on August 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Tab stacking desperately needs a way to be disabled. It’s a feature that I never wanted, that gets in my way EVERY damn day!

  4. SubgeniusD said on August 24, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Apparently you’re unclear on the concept of tab stacking. It already is “turned off” by default.

    You need to deliberately click a tab and carefully drag and hold it over another tab to generate a stack.

    Don’t do that and the feature is “turned off” for you. You will never see a stack of tabs ever again for the rest of your life!

    1. ACow said on August 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      Oh, I’m pretty clear on that. You, on the other hand, seem quite confused. Let me explain it once again.

      It’s too easy to not-so-deliberately stack tabs when repositioning them with many a tab opened. But see, I don’t want them to stack, ever. Even if I accidentally do drop a tab over another tab, I want it to behave the same way it used to before the implementation of tab stacking. The feature is enabled by default; it doesn’t auto stack tabs by default (that’s what this add-on is for.)

      I hope I cleared that up for you and that you feel confident enough now to drop that prefix from your name.

  5. ACow said on August 23, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I just wish I could disable tab stacking altogether. I don’t like this feature and, considering the high level of customizability that Opera provdes out of the box, I don’t understand why there isn’t an option to simply turn it off.

  6. JBailey said on August 23, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Thanks! This is exactly what I was looking for. It was driving me crazy that links were opening outside of the stack.

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