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12 Firefox extensions that help you manage tabs

Tabs are an important aspect of using Firefox. But managing all those tabs can be a real issue without the help of these handy extensions.

Firefox tabs make surfing the Web much easier. But managing them isn't so simple. That's why I've found 12 Firefox extensions to help you do just that.

12 tab managers

Duplicate Tab
Duplicate tab lets create multiple tabs with the same history. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Duplicate Tab The Duplicate Tab extension lets you copy a tab's history and open that same tab in your browser. You can also merge windows, which combines tabs from multiple instances of Firefox into a single window.

Firefox Showcase Firefox Showcase enables you to view your tabs as thumbnails in a new window, in the sidebar, or in a new tab. If you view them in a separate window or tab, the extension lets you view what's on the site without displaying it in full size. If you have a bunch of tabs open, the tool even lets you filter them to find the desired tab sooner. It works quite well.

FoxTab FoxTab is the coolest Firefox extension in this roundup. Similar to Apple's CoverFlow, FoxTab displays tabs in 3D. You can flip through them, view them in a grid, or sift through them one by one. When you click on a tab, it's brought to the front.

LastTab Firefox allows you to scroll through tabs from left to right with the control and tab keys. But with the help of LastTab, that key combination will switch its operation to move to the most recently accessed tab. LastTab provides a simple change, but it's extremely handy when you want to reference content on just a few of your many open tabs.

New Tab King New Tab King changes the function of the Control + T key combination. Instead of opening a blank tab, the combination displays a link to all the sites you view most often. You can click on the site to open it. It should help you quickly open your favorite pages.

SwiftTabs SwiftTabs makes it easy for you to switch or close tabs. The tool provides an administrative menu where you can assign your own shortcuts to those actions. So if you want to close tabs with your F4 key, you can do it. If you want to switch tabs with your Tab key, you can do that too. SwiftTabs overrides the default function of the shortcut, so be sure to choose your shortcuts wisely.

Tab Mix Plus
Tab Mix Plus extends the functionality of all your tabs. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Tab Mix Plus Tab Mix Plus extends the functionality of Firefox tabs. You can duplicate tabs with a click of a button. You can also lock tabs, pick tabs to close without clicking on them, and much more. My favorite feature is the option to close similar tabs. The tool finds all the tabs that have a similar URL to the one in the tab you're closing, and it closes them for you, so you don't have to waste time.

Tab Preview For those times when you want to know what's on a page, but you don't want to click on a tab to find out, use Tab Preview. The extension displays a thumbnail image of the page when you mouse over the tab. It's simple but useful.

Tab Scope Tab Scope lets you view the contents of another tab while still displaying your current page. When you click on a respective tab you're not on, you have the option of viewing it as a pop-up over your current page. You can click on links in the tab or scroll through the site. It's a really helpful tool.

Tab Sidebar Tab Sidebar moves your tabs to your sidebar. By default, it removes your main tab bar to increase screen real estate. When your tabs are in your sidebar, the extension shows a thumbnail of the page, along with navigation buttons that let you refresh the page or close the tab.

Tabs Open Relative Whenever you open a link on a site, Firefox usually opens it to the right of all your open tabs. With the help of the Tabs Open Relative, that link will open in the tab directly to the right of the tab in which you opened the link. It makes for switching between tabs much easier, especially when you have a bunch open.

Tree Style Tab Tree Style Tab is similar to the folder tree in Windows Explorer. Any tabs you open from a site are displayed as subtabs under the site fro which you opened the links. You can collapse and expand trees to manage their layout. It's a great way to organize your tabs.

The Top 3

You're probably wondering which of these extensions you should try out first. Wonder no more:

1. FoxTab

2. LastTab

3. New Tab King