Microsoft started to work on a vertical tabs implementation in the company's Chromium-based Microsoft Edge web browser some time ago. Designed to move tabs from the horizontal toolbar at the top of the browser interface to a sidebar, it is serving several purposes for users who enable it.
Two of the main advantages of using vertical tabs are that more tabs fit into the sidebar with full length page titles, and that this unlocks management options such as easy reordering of tabs.
The second advantage over the horizontal tab bar is that its removal frees up a bit of vertical space for the display of websites which in turn means more information is displayed directly on the screen. Granted, the sidebar takes away space and that may lead to some display issues on small resolution devices, but Microsoft did add an option that resolves that.
The vertical tabs feature was unlocked for some users only for testing purposes; even users who enabled vertical tabs on Edge's Experimental Flags page could not get it to work in the browser if they were not selected for the experiment; this has changed now as all users of Microsoft Edge Canary or Developer may use the feature (once updated to the most recent version).
How does it work?
Microsoft added a button to the Microsoft Edge tab bar that, when activated, switches between horizontal (default) and vertical tabs in the browser.
The icon is controlled by a preference in the Settings of the web browser. If you don't see it displayed or want it removed, open edge://settings/appearance in the browser's address bar and toggle the "show vertical tabs button" slider on the page under Customize toolbar. A blue slider means that the button to activate vertical tabs in Edge is enabled, a gray one that it is disabled.
Note: if you don't see the button or the setting, load edge://flags/#edge-vertical-tabs and set the flag to Enabled. You need to restart the Edge browser afterwards to complete the change.
A click on the vertical tabs button moves tabs to the sidebar and hides the main horizontal bar in the Edge browser. The button is moved to the sidebar as well, and you may activate it there to return to the horizontal tab bar at any time.
The process of switching between the two tab display forms is fluent. Users on low resolution devices may collapse the sidebar with a click on the "<" icon that is displayed in its header; this collapses most of the sidebar so that only favicons of the sites opened in the browser are displayed.
Vertical tabs have a number of features attached to them that users may make use of. Hold down the Ctrl-key and use the left mouse button to select multiple tabs and perform multiple operations on all of the tabs, e.g. by right-clicking and selecting mute tabs, adding them to the favorites of the browser, or pinning them to the tab bar. Reordering works with multiple tabs selected, just drag & drop the selection around.
The vertical tabs option in Microsoft Edge works well already, despite it being available only in Canary and Dev versions of the browser. There is still room for improvement, especially if you compare Microsoft's solution to extensions such as Tree Style Tabs which support more features such as tab hierarchies.
Now You: Vertical or horizontal tabs, what is your preference and why? (via Microsoft)Advertisement
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