Tip: Opening Tabs and Tab Groups in Internet Explorer 7

So you have installed the latest version of Internet Explorer, IE7, and you are excited about the space-saving and navigational benefits of tabbed browsing. These tips are for you…

Quickly Opening Links in New Tabs

There are several ways to open links in tabs while browsing the Web, including:

  1. Click the “New Tab” placeholder on the tab toolbar (see the image below), copy & paste the new link into the address bar, hit Enter;
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key and left-click the link;
  3. Right-click on the link and choose “Open in New Tab;”
  4. Middle-click the link.

New Tab in IE7

My personal favorite is #4 since it is fast and requires a single action. It is about time the middle mouse button actually does something useful in IE7. (Middle-click works the same in Firefox as well.)

When I am reading a blog or article containing several external links, I middle-click on each link that interests me to launch it in a separate tab. After reading each topic I then close its tab and avoid the painfully slow click-read-back, click-read-back mambo. Middle-clicking anywhere on a tab closes it as well — no need to click the ‘X’.

Saving Tabs as Tab Groups

If you want to save the tabs you have opened in your current session for later viewing, you can choose “Add Tab Group to Favorites” from the “Favorites” menu. If you don’t want to clutter your Favorites or only want a one-time save, just close the browser and, when prompted, choose the option to open the same tabs/sites the next time you start IE under “Show Options” (see the animation below).

New Tab in IE7

Opening a tab group saved under Favorites requires a bit of work:

  1. Press Alt+C to open the “Favorites Center”
  2. Right-click on the folder containing the favorites you want to open as a group
  3. Choose “Open in Tab Group”

Hopefully the IE team will address this issue in a future release by allowing tab groups to be opened directly from the Favorites menu as well.