Maintain an orderly list of your tabs with Tabs Outliner

This Chrome extension assists with the management of your tabs via a neat and orderly hierarchy tree.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops | Desktops | All-in-one PCs | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
3 min read

I may need a tab manager manager before it's all said and done. After trying out Chrome extensions TabMemFree, OneTab, and TabJuggler, along comes Tabs Outliner. What I like about Tabs Outliner is the orderly, hierarchical structure it lends to your tabs in Chrome. It shows your open tabs, letting you jump from one to the next, but even more useful it keeps track of tabs you have closed, which provides a trail of your Internet wanderings without hogging system resources by leaving the tabs open for prolonged periods.

Tabs Outliner installs a button to the right of Chrome's URL bar. Clicking on the button opens a pop-up window. There is a lengthy How To Use section, above which your open tabs are listed in a hierarchy.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

You can use the How To Use section to familiar yourself with the extension, and there is a Hide button at the bottom of the section to click when you've digested its contents. Briefly, you can double click on a node in the Tabs Outliner hierarchy to go to that tab in Chrome. You can drag a node in Tabs Outliner from one area (read: Chrome window) to another, and the tab in Chrome will act accordingly. When you mouse over a node, you'll see a delete button and a green X button to its right. The delete button closes the tab in Chrome and removes the nde from Tabs Outliner. The green X button closes the tab in Chrome but instead of removing it from Tabs Outliner, it only grays it out, making it a great method to keep track of your tabs without slowing down your system by keeping open dozens upon dozens of tabs. Doubling clicking on a grayed-out node in Tabs Outliner reopens the tab.

There is a group of buttons that appear when you point your cursor at the lower-left corner of the Tabs Outliner window. You can drag these buttons to your hierarchy tree, for example, to create a new Chrome window (and, thus, a new node in Tabs Outliner) or add a spacer to separate areas of, say, a lengthy and confusing hierarchy. There is also a button you can drag to a node to add a note. Adding a note not only lets you add a description to a node to help you remember its contents or importance, but nodes with notes are saved when you exit Chrome. It should be noted that an easier way to save tabs after exiting Chrome is either to gray them out via the green X button or keep them in a node with a custom title. (Nodes with a little green dot next to them will be saved after you close Chrome.) To create a custom title, mouse over the Window header and click the pencil button on the right.

I'll close with two other notes that might be of interest. First, as with any Chrome window, you can search the Tabs Outliner window via Ctrl-F. And second, the button Tabs Outliner adds to the right of the URL bar in Chrome lists a number of open tabs you currently have open, helping you to discover what level of tab addict you have achieved.

Tab addicts, tell me: what is your favorite method for managing tabs?

(Via Lifehacker)