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elinks/doc/tabs.txt

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The Wonders of Tabbed Browsing
------------------------------
In this information age with our stream of consciousness constantly being
dispersed by links to different resources on the Net, it is a challenge to keep
track of where you are going. The need for being able to access several pages
in parallel arises. Tabbed browsing gives you an easy way to browse multiple
sites in parallel.
If you are not already familiar with the concept of tabbed browsing you can
think of a tab as a separate browsing context with its own history and various
other browsing state information, such as search word and document loading.
Whenever you stumble upon a link to a document that you want to follow without
leaving the current document, you can open it in a new tab. This makes it
possible to more easily jump between pages on the Net and removes the need for
running more than one ELinks for that purpose.
Options related to tabs are located under ``User Interface -> Window Tabs'' in
the option manager. In the configuration file the naming prefix is ``ui.tabs''.
Tabbed browsing has been supported since version 0.9.0 and is fairly complete.
The documentation on tabs is therefore divided into two chapters: a general
introduction and an introduction to advanced topics.
Introduction to the basic actions involving tabs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The tab bar and the tab menu
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
The current state of all opened tabs are displayed in the tab bar. The tab bar
will, by default, become visible when more than one tab is open, but this is
configurable. For each open tab, the document title will be shown, possibly
truncated. The current tab is highlighted. The tab bar will also display
a load meter for tabs that are loading documents. Finally, any tab that has not
been selected since its document was loaded will be marked as ``fresh'' by using
a different coloring scheme.
The tab menu gives access to tab specific actions along with some other useful
document specific actions. So even if you haven't configured keybindings for
all actions, chances are you will find it in the tab menu. By default, it is
opened by pressing 'e'.
Creating new tabs
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
When creating new tabs, it is possible to specify whether to create the tab and
make it the current active tab or if the tab is to be created ``in the
background'' -- that is, without it taking over the focus.
Tabs can be created either with or without specifying a desired first document
to load. That is, you can open links or submitted forms in a new tab or just
open a new tab. Depending on your configuration, the latter will load the
configured homepage in the newly created tab or simply leave the tab blank with
no loaded document.
By default, 't' will open a new tab and 'T' will open the current link in a new
backgrounded tab. You can configure keybindings for opening a new tab in the
background and opening the current link as the active tab.
Switching between tabs
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
By default, it is possible to switch between tabs by using '<' and '>' to select
the previous and next tab, respectively. When positioned at the leftmost tab,
and switching to the previous tab, the tab switching will perform a wrap-around
so that the rightmost tab will be selected. The wrap-around behaviour is
configurable.
Closing tabs
^^^^^^^^^^^^
Tabs can by default be closed by pressing 'c'. It is possible to optionally
have a confirmation dialog pop up when closing a tab to avoid accidental
closing. To complement closing of the current tab, it is also possible to close
all tabs but the current one. No key is by default configured for this; the tab
menu, however, provides this ability.
Note: downloads initiated from a tab are in no way tied to that tab, so tabs can
be closed and the download will not be affected.
Advanced topics involving tabs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Moving tabs
^^^^^^^^^^^
Newly created tabs are always positioned as the rightmost tab, but it is
possible to move the current tab either to the left or the right. The default
keybindings have them bound to Alt-< and Alt->. Note, however, that there are
problems recognizing those keybindings when using XTerm, so you might want to
rebind them.
Saving and restoring tabs
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Several features use bookmarks to save tabs; they will create a folder and
bookmark therein the currently displayed document of each tab:
- You can explicitly command all tabs to be bookmarked. This will ask you for
a folder name in which the tabs will be bookmarked.
- At startup and shutdown tabs can automatically be bookmarked in order to save
and restore the browsing state. Note that when restoring, all history
information will be gone. It is possible to configure both tab saving and
restoring via options in ``UI -> Sessions''.
- As a mean of crash protection, tabs can periodically be saved so that it is
later possible to reconstruct opened tabs. In case of a clean shutdown
periodically saved tabs will be removed.