Opera Software was the first company to introduce a speed dial like interface on the new tab page to provide users of the browser with quick access to often visited or favorite websites and services. The majority of web browsers nowadays feature a similar looking new tab page, and while they do not look identical, they are more or less just that.
Firefox for instance displays a mix of often visited and pinned websites and services on the new tab page. The only options offered are to remove or pin sites to the page, or to hide it completely. If you know your way around on the about:config page, you may get a couple of extra options that you can tweak, but nothing too spectacular either.
That is probably one of the core reasons why new tab extensions are that popular for the browser.
New Tab Pro looks like any of them on first glance, but that quickly changes after you have installed it in the browser and opened a new tab page. You will notice that it is adding buttons to each side of the interface. You can use these buttons to increase or decrease the number of rows or columns displayed on the page.
Want to display 5x5, 6x4 or 7x7 website thumbnails on the new tab page? That is no problem, all you have to do is click on the vertical and horizontal buttons to increase the number of columns and rows accordingly.
If you do not want to click, you can change the number of rows and columns in the add-ons preferences as well.
The extension has more to offer than just that though. You may have noticed the icons on the top and right next to the icons that increase and decrease the number of columns and rows.Those provide you with time filters that you can apply.
You can use the feature to limit the display to websites that you have visited in the past day or week. That's an interesting feature as it blocks all other sites that you may have visited often in the past from appearing here.
While you can get the same effect by deleting the browsing history, or removing pages from the new tab page manually, it is not the same thing as you do not get those information back once you do so.
Note that you can keep the current number of rows and columns even if you remove the extension from Firefox. you get a prompt to either keep the current layout, or modify it.
If you want more control over Firefox's new tab page, consider taking New Tab Pro for a test drive. The one thing that I dislike about the extension is that the icons on the side cannot be hidden. An option to hide or display them, for instance via a single button displayed here, would go a long way. (via Firefox Facts)
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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.