Ok … this post isn’t directly security related but when doing infosec research, this little tool is something I find very helpful in finding and organizing web pages. I’m surprised at the number of security professions that have never heard of it. The name of this little secret tool … Tree-Style Tabs.
Tree-Style Tabs basically lets you move browser tabs to the left side and organize them into groups. For me this layout is much easier than having a long list of flat tabs that scroll across the top. As an example, right now I have 25 tabs open on the left side and can see what every one is at a quick glance. Further, the plug-in allows you to arrange tabs into multi-level parent/child-type relationships. So as you are doing research on a certain infosec topic, you can group all related tabs under a common parent (e.g., your main Google search tab on that topic). In the past I’ve often grouped pages as much as four levels deep.
At a high-level the following features is why I love about this plugin.
- Multi-Level Parent/Child Relationships
- Collapse and Expand Levels
- Move Tabs Around into Groups
Yeah, I know it’s listed as “preliminarily reviewed by Mozilla” but I’ve been using Tree Style Tabs for the past two years and haven’t had any problems. Here are some pics of it in action as well as some of the description from the Mozilla add-on site.
This provides tree-style tab bar, like a folder tree of Windows Explorer. New tabs opened from links (or etc.) are automatically attached to the current tab. If you often use many many tabs, it will help your web browsing because you can understand relations of tabs.
- You can collapse/expand sub trees. It is convenient for too many tabs.
- When you close a tab which has collapsed sub tree, all of tabs in the sub tree will be closed only one action.
- The tree of tabs can be showin at rightside.
- Vertical tab bar cab be shown/hidden automatically.
- You can open new tab between existing tabs, dropping link or URL string there.
- You can save/restore the tree of tabs over sessions, by Session Manager (https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/2324) or other session-management addons.
- Drag and drop is available to modify relations of tabs and to rearrange. The behavior seems to be like “layer tree ” of Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop.
- Tab bar can be moved to leftside, rightside, top, or bottom. Horizontal tree is also available.
- This has an API for extension authors to open child tabs for existing tabs. (See also http://piro.sakura.ne.jp/xul/_treestyletab.html.en#api )
For those using Chrome unfortunately there isn’t anything equivalent to Tree Style Tabs. In beta versions of Chrome there was the ability to put tabs on the side however they were very large and didn’t support any of the parent/child-type relationships. I don’t even think you could move tabs. More recently they removed the option altogether since not many people used it. Many of the diehards complained but no enough to convince Google to add it back. Google claims they are working on something even better though. We’ll see…
Overall, I think Firefox and Chrome are both great browsers however because of Tree Style Tabs I’ll be using Firefox as my primary infosec research browser for a long time to come. You can find Tree Style Tabs on the Mozilla add-on site.