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Tab Catalog

April 13th, 2007 at 2:00am — Rating: Firefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointFirefox no pointLink

When the Extend Firefox contest started, there was an entry called Reveal. Reveal had a unique way of displaying all of your tabs using a thumbnail-style window. I thought it was pretty cool. As a matter of fact, it won the grand prize of an Alienware Firefox PC.

Then they started cropping up. Firefox Showcase was another entry in the contest. Another extension was foXpose. And now, Tab Catalog.

The Tab Catalog extension provides users with another way of displaying their tabs in a thumbnail fashion. After installation, I played with Tab Catalog for a week and the extension functions just like the other thumbnail extensions except for one feature...a thorough configuration screen.

The configuration screen has three push buttons (similar to tabs) named catalog, appearance, and auto popup. The catalog dialog allows you to change your shortcut key, allow a scroll bar to show, a panning scroll feature, and other general options for the extension exist in this section.

The appearance dialog allows you to customize your thumbnails displayed. Additional options include adjusting the thumbnail size, whether to show a title bar for each thumbnail, or how you want to render your results.

This next dialog, the Auto Popup, is a feature that I think may need to be disabled on startup. I've had times where I've brushed my mouse across the icon in the toolbar and the extension was accidentally activated. Setting the "show catalog" milliseconds option or disabling the auto popup would be the best course of action to rid yourself of this issue.

There are six methods of activating the extension. Two are keyboard commands and four are mouse actions. F8 is the default function key to activate Tab Catalog, but as I've mentioned before, you can change the hot key through the configuration dialog.  The other keyboard command is the CTRL-Tab shortcut (command-Tab on Mac).  The mouse actions include:

  • both left and right buttons are clicked together
  • mouseover on the toolbar button
  • mouseover on the tab bar
  • switching tabs by wheel scrolling

Tab Catalog adds a couple of customizations to the thumbnail-style viewing of tabs, but still doesn't have enough to replace some of the veterans of the thumbnail extension world.

I have no complaints regarding this extension except for the mouseover functionality on the toolbar that is set as a default. Tab Catalog seemed stable enough over the course of this past week to achieve a rating of 4 but falls short in the category of additional features.