Managing Tabbed Browser Settings in Internet Explorer 7

One of the nice features of Internet Explorer 7 is the ability to use tabbed browsing. The way your tabs behave can be easily modified to your liking. This tutorial teaches you what these modifications entail and how to make them.

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Open Your Internet Explorer Browser

First, open your Internet Explorer browser.

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The Tools Menu

Click on the Tools menu, located at the top of your Internet Explorer window. When the drop-down menu appears, select the Internet Options choice.

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Internet Options

The Internet Options window should now be displayed, overlaying your browser window. If it is not already selected, click on the tab labeled General. Towards the bottom of the General window, you will find a Tabs section. Click on the button labeled Settings located within this section.

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Tabbed Browsing Settings (Main)

The Tabbed Browsing Settings window should now be visible, containing several options involving tabs. The first, Enable Tabbed Browsing, is checked and therefore active by default. If this option is unchecked, tabbed browsing is disabled and the remaining options within this window become unavailable. If you modify the value of this option, Internet Explorer must be restarted for the appropriate changes to take effect.

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Tabbed Browsing Settings (Options - 1)

The various options in the first section of the Tabbed Browsing Settings window are each accompanied by a checkbox. When checked, the respective option is currently active. Below is a brief explanation of each one:

  • Warn me when closing multiple tabs: Active by default, this causes Internet Explorer to display the following warning dialog when you attempt to close several tabs at once: Do you want to close all tabs? This dialog gives you the option to close all tabs as well as the choice to have these same tabs opened the next time you launch IE.
  • Always switch to new tabs when they are created: When a new tab is opened via a link, its default behavior is for the current tab to remain active. With this option selected, new tabs automatically gain focus and become active.
  • Enable Quick Tabs: Active by default, this causes a Quick Tabs button to become available. The button, graphically represented by four small boxes, is located on IE's Tab Bar in between the Add to Favorites button and the first open tab. Clicking on the Quick Tabs button will display thumbnail images containing page previews for all of your open tabs. Clicking on a thumbnail image itself will take you directly to the respective tab. If you modify the value of this option, Internet Explorer must be restarted for the appropriate changes to take effect. Also please note that in lieu of clicking the Quick Tabs button the following shortcut keys can be used: CTRL + Q.

 

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Tabbed Browsing Settings (Options - 2)

  • Only open the first home page when Internet Explorer starts: IE 7 gives you the option to have multiple home pages, also known as home page tabs. With this option selected, only the first entry in your home page tabs will automatically open. If it is not selected, each home page will open at the same time in separate tabs.
  • Open new tabs next to the current tab: Active by default, this option causes new tabs to open directly to the right of the tab that is currently active. If this option is turned off, new tabs will be opened to the right of the last tab on the Tab Bar.
  • Open home page for new tabs instead of a blank page: When opening a new tab to an unspecified location, such as from the New Tab button or by using the CTRL+T shortcut, IE's default behavior is to open its Tab Help screen (about: Tabs) in the browser window. With this option selected, your home page will load in the new tab in place of this help screen.
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Tabbed Browsing Settings (Pop-ups)

The second section in the Tabbed Browsing Settings window deals with how IE handles pop-up windows in relation to tabs. Labeled When a pop-up is encountered, this section contains three choices each accompanied by a radio button. They are as follows.

  • Let Internet Explorer decide how pop-ups should open: This option allows the browser to determine, based on type, how to handle each pop-up it encounters.
  • Always open pop-ups in a new window: Active by default, this forces IE to open all pop-ups in a new browser window.
  • Always open pop-ups in a new tab: This option forces IE to open all pop-ups in new tabs rather than the standard behavior of opening a new browser window.
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Tabbed Browsing Settings (Outside Links)

The third section in the Tabbed Browsing Settings window deals with how Internet Explorer handles links from other programs such as your email client or word processor. Labeled Open links from other programs in, this section contains three choices each accompanied by a radio button. They are as follows.

  • A new window: This option will force IE to open links from outside sources in a new browser window.
  • A new tab in the current window: Active by default, this option forces IE to open links from outside sources in a new tab in the active browser window.
  • The current tab or window: This option will force IE to open links from outside sources in the active tab or window, overriding the current page that you are viewing.
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Restore Default Settings

If you would like to revert back to IE's default tab settings simply click on the button labeled Restore defaults, located at the bottom of the Tabbed Browser Settings window. You will notice that the settings within the window change immediately. Click OK to exit the window. Please note that you may need to restart Internet Explorer for some changes to take effect.