The Opera browser has had this for a while and it’s been indispensable for me. Typically, I have a few tabs open in my browser. Actually that’s a lie, I have far too many open and then when I start going down rabbit holes, it gets out of hand.
The problem happens when I want to return to a tab that I have open – somewhere. After a while, each tab gets squished so that only the icon of the site remains. Opera has had me covered for a while now. By floating my cursor over each tab, it displays a preview in the middle of my screen.
So, for example, I know that in among all the shared documents, there’s one that I share with Stephen Hurley and guest host for This Week in Ontario Edublogs. I just hover over the document icons until the preview pops up.
I recognize the content and click the tab to resume work on it.
A similar feature is available on Safari for Macintosh in preparation for MacOS 11 and the Vivaldi browser.
In Google Chrome, there was a hover feature but it was limited to the title of the window. No preview of the actual page …
A similar feature wasn’t available in Google Chrome until recently. It’s actually not officially there even now. I was reading about current “experiments” and this one sounded promising.
I enabled it, did the reboot of the browser, and voila! It doesn’t give the huge preview that Opera does but enough to give me an idea of what’s happening.
Now, experiments always come with a warning that things may not work perfectly, you’re doing so at your own risk, and you should undo the setting if you run into problems.
To date, this has been a very good actor for me and I like it. Productive time has increased as I spend less time looking for that elusive tab in my admittedly messy workspace. I suspect that this will be an official feature at some point.
For now, if you’re interested, just go to the chrome://flags/ page and look for
Tab Hover Card Images
enable it, and then reboot your browser.
Of course, the standard message about experiments applies.
If you try this, I’d be interesting in hearing your thoughts.
And of course, even geeky people don’t like new features. Here’s how to turn it off!
- Google Chrome – just go back the flags and turn it off
- Safari – https://troubletoday.net/ask-different/how-to-disable-tab-preview-on-mouse-hover-in-safari-for-macos/
- Vivaldi – https://forum.vivaldi.net/topic/5424/disable-tab-preview
- Opera – in the browser setting, it’s the first switch in user interface
- Edge – similar to Google Chrome (just use edge://flags)