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Firefox: Force New-Window Links into a Tab

Thursday, January 19th, 2006 · 2 Comments

For those of us who prefer to see the world of the Web (remember back in the day when it was only called the World Wide Web?) through the elegant interface of Firefox, we’re accustomed to the beauty of the tabbed browsing experience. Gone are the days of so many IE windows that you can’t even keep track of what you were originally doing. Ditto for obnoxious pop-up windows. Remember the time you were at work and “accidentally” went to a porn site that spawned endless windows that could only be stopped with rapid-fire clicking? Come on, you know that’s happened to you. But I digress. Once you’re used to thinking in tabs, and if you work on the Web like me, then why would you ever want a separate window to open? Your primary Firefox window is like your work console. Why let more than one window distract you?

So you can imagine my delight this week when I stumbled across my new favorite option in Firefox, which you’ll find under Tools | Options | Tabs: Force links that open new windows to open in: a new tab.


You also have the option to open new-window links in the same tab/window as the link, but I prefer to send it to a new tab so I can keep my focus on the original content, then visit the new link when I’m ready. This is also most excellent for Gmail, of course, since any link you click there (be it in an email or a contextual ad) will launch a new window. Prior to discovering this little gem of an option, pretty much every link I clicked that I wanted to send to a new tab for later review, I did so via control-click, which has the same effect. But now I can give my left pinky finger a rest, while being assured that any click I do won’t be an assumptious new window in my face.

Tags: technology

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jordan // Jan 19, 2006 at 1:26 pm

    The forcing all windows to be a new tab feature was available before in the scary about:config secret page of Firefox. The only time I’ve seen a site successfully open a new window on me is through Flash. It was during a Strong Bad e-mail cartoon; fie on those sneaky people.

    The last issue I have is that some sites first pop-up a window, and then use javascript to resize the window. If it pops up in a new tab, it will resize your entire firefox browser. It’s painful.

  • 2 M // Jan 20, 2006 at 12:09 pm

    Re. the above note: You can change your Javascript options so windows aren’t allowed to resize themselves under Tools-Options-Content, Javascript Advanced Options.