Chrome Tab Search is a fast tab switcher for Google Chrome

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 20, 2015
Google Chrome, Google Chrome extensions

Chrome's system of displaying tabs in a single row without horizontal scrolling works well up to a point.

Eventually though you will notice that tabs cannot be identified anymore as they don't show any information whatsoever.

That's when tab switching can become problematic as it may happen that you will click around until you find the right tab you were looking for.

Extensions like TabSense, Tabs Plus or vTabs have been created in the past to address the issue. Most display tabs on a single page or vertically so that all tab titles become readable again.

Chrome Tab Search works in a different way. Instead of providing users with a list of tabs that are open in the browser, it adds a search to it that can be used to find tabs matching the title or url.

The Chrome extension maps the shortcut Ctrl-o to the functionality which is used by default to open the file browser. It is still possible to open files using the shortcut but only on the new tab page and not on other pages.

This means that the search is not working on new tab pages but that is the only limitation.

chrome tab search

When you use the shortcut a search box opens in the center of the page you are own. You can type right away and all matching websites in tabs in the browser are displayed on the page.

The results update in real-time while you type and include all open tabs in all Chrome windows with the exception of tabs open in incognito windows.

Each result is displayed with its page title and address. You can click on a result to be taken to the selected tab automatically.

An option to use the cursor keys to select results is unfortunately not available. This means that you use the keyboard to display the search box and search but the mouse to go to a result.

Full keyboard support would be a superior option in my opinion as you would not need to take a hand away from the keyboard to use the mouse to click on a result.

The extension is brand new on the other hand which means that it is possible that it gets updated with that functionality in the future.

Chrome Tab Search can still be useful, especially if you manage lots of tabs in Chrome.

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Chrome Tab Search
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  1. Frank Church said on February 11, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Sidewise Tree Style Tabs and Tabs Outliner also help with tab management. They don’t hide tabs toolbar but make the experience more pleasant

  2. Ron said on January 21, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    I like how Pale Moon, a Firefox derivative, handles tab switching. Pressing Ctrl-Tab displays a pop-up of tab thumbnails, in the order that they were last accessed. So I don’t have to actually activate all of the other tabs until I find the one I want, I just hold down the Ctrl key and press the tab key until the thumbnail I want is highlighted, then release to show the tab. Plus, because of the way the thumbnails are ordered on the list, it makes it easy to switch back & forth between my two most recently accessed tabs by just pressing Ctrl-tab once and releasing, instead of continually hitting the tab key to cycle through all of my open tabs.

  3. Alex said on January 21, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    I prefer cVim or Vimium or similar than dedicated, one feature-focused extensions for that.

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