Windows

Put your applications into a tabbed user interface with WinTabber


If you've been using Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer 7.0, chances are that you've fallen in love with having a tabbed user interface in your Web browser. Keeping each site that you connect to during a heavy surfing session on separate tabs is very efficient use of screen real estate and provides a great experience.

As such, you've probably found yourself in situations where you're working with other applications or even certain operating system components and wished that the user interface had tabs.

For example, suppose that you're working with multiple copies of Windows Explorer and simultaneously working with files and folders on your hard disk and mapped network drives. Maybe you're working with multiple text files and have several copies of Notepad open at the same time. Sure the Taskbar is designed for these sort of operations as is the task switcher ([Alt]+[Tab]), but having multiple windows in a single tabbed interface sure would be nice.

The folks at WinTabber have created a FREE tool that will allow you to easily transform your multiple windows into a single tabbed user interface. Once you have WinTabber up and running, you can open multiple windows, and then with the click of a button, you can add each window to WinTabber. Once in WinTabber, each window becomes a tab (Figure A) and you can begin clicking tabs to switch between the windows. Figure A
Each window becomes a tab
Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

22 comments
s31064
s31064

My immediate reaction was "So?" Windows has been doing this for over a decade now. On further reflection, and I don't know if it can do this or not, I haven't tried it yet, it does have potential for grouping project applications. For instance, I work on several long-term projects each day (16 currently on my whiteboard) and each has it's own set of spreadsheets, documents, emails, etc. If this will allow me to group each of the different apps in a project window without affecting the same apps in another project window, this may actually have a valid reason for existing. Of course, it would need to be able to remember each window's grouped apps and their respective files so it can open them each time I need that project in front of me.

seanferd
seanferd

I wonder what is up with that.

weezyjoe
weezyjoe

I've been using this tool for a year now and since version .232 it's pretty stable. Of course there are many inprovements to be made, but until now it seems to do the job good. IE7 isn't supported well, but that has tab support anyway, like firefox. I'll be looking forward to future version of this handy app that really has potential! ps: I use it on a WinXPpro 1gb amd and a 2gb inXPpro intel.

The_3rd_Bit
The_3rd_Bit

If Internet Explorer crashes, you loose all your applications

brent84
brent84

Perfect for home users that like gimicky crap. Serves absolutely no purpose though, as everyone else has said, ITS THE SAME AS THE TASKBAR! At least the taskbar works though...

read
read

From the screenshots I don't see how this differs at all from the TaskBar that has been in all modern versions of Windows since 95. Perhaps if they ported it back to Windows 3.1 they might solve a problem for a few people. That having been said I've not tried it (precisely for this reason) so maybe there is some killer feature it adds? Does it support Alt+Tab -- oh wait, seems that Windows has that feature already too. Anybody able to say why this is different from TaskBar in any way? I can doc my TaskBar to the top of the screen too so that doesn't count.

tommiami
tommiami

Does exaclty the same thing as taskbar, except at top.

objunior.bhz
objunior.bhz

i run wintabber in my old athlon 2600+ with 1.5 gb of 400 mhz ram on win xp pro and all went well for some 12 hours. then it vanished with seven tabs open, better still running. i had to kill the processes with our good friend process explorer from sysinternals. that was that for me. despite the great idea, i wonder how many others experienced the same.

daring
daring

They thought of this already in Windows 95. Macs had it even before that. Windows has been designed for multitasking using the taskbar since day 1, but nobody seems to realize this. Everyone buys desktop managers and multiple monitors, forgetting that you have the ability to move and resize windows. It's called Windows for a reason! Anyway, I've tried all different managers and explorers but when you know how to use them, the Microsoft versions work the best. There, I said it.

kdust111
kdust111

Obviously there are those who want a single, tabbed, window and those who don't. I belong in the latter category. It was hate at first sight with IE7. I think it makes my work so much harder when apps are grouped. At a new box I always make sure I unclick the "Group Similar Taskbar Buttons" because more time is spent clicking the taskbar icon and then clicking one of the components. This WinTabber doesn't seem any better. MS has already made it a hassle when working with multiple Excel files to get to the next one. At least with Word I get the option of having a separate taskbar icon for each. I finally learned to open separate Excel windows to get separate icons. I want all my open files on separate tabs/icons on the taskbar. It's a requirement in the jumping between apps that I do at work. That's my take. - KD

harrylal
harrylal

I like the idea and it looks kind of cool but I keep getting a runtime error 429: ActiveX component can't create object error Not sure what is causing it, but it's rather disappointing, because I like tab features as in IE7 and Firefox a lot.

saaa
saaa

After having tried the software you suggest I tried QT Tabbar...it's much better...I cannot use a pc without it :) http://qttabbar.wikidot.com/ check this out... Giulio

Nitrous19
Nitrous19

Ive been running this for approx 20 mins and all seems fine. I have only found a couple of things that dont work. RDP dosent seem to work and Tabbed browsing within explorer seemed to crash it. But over all has lots of potential to be a great application with a tad more work on it to fix a few bugs Graham

CisfRjsii
CisfRjsii

Breifly Remembering the Dinosaur age of Computer programming; I Realized that as we projected windows in ( MLX ) or Hex from various aspects of the screen, only (1) ONE Window with the Flexabilty to be garnered between the Links, Shortcuts,Taskbars, Desktop Background and other relationships accordingly like the ChannelBand ( Visable & Functional ) third Party Taskbars Like Earthlink and so many more places to Quickly ACCESS - Then the most formatable Window actually becames a SINGLE Window with accessability to the forementioned Roots When Properly Positioned ... he,he, Windows .... Microsoft versions work the best ... LOOK For Ziggy.42o`s Tips & Tricks Coming soon On a WebSite near you ... Sincerely Ziggy.42o SKYPE: Ziggy.42o(c)tm. SKYPE: +1-912-228-4907 eMail: CisfRjsii@yahoo.com Cisf(c)tm.Rjsii: 1984-(R)-2084 Computer Interface Systems (R) First

Nitrous19
Nitrous19

End of the day its down to the individual what suits best. I agree with you, tabbed browsing has been around for a long time but it is still fairly new to Microsoft. Microsoft has for a long time been the leaders in desktop OS's hence why not as many people as you may think have seen it before. Its just nice that some programmers out there are willing to write apps like this to give people the options that Microsoft cant (At The Minute) Graham

Nitrous19
Nitrous19

Thanks for the great App recommedation but it dosent enable you to tab applications like WinTabber does. I do love the way you can browes folders through drop down menus though.

dirk
dirk

This is a great idea. I have used it for a while, and this would really help me organizing my desktop. Unfortunately, it keeps crashing. I tried it on my XP laptop too (new dell) but there it crashes too after a while. I look forward to a bug free version. Dirk

Nitrous19
Nitrous19

I like the single window!!! and plus when I have lots of windows open I can group them all together where I can see them all easier than them been grouped on the taskbar. Like a lot of you have said it is just like windows taskbar, but when you use them both together it helps to free up windows taskbar and group them in a single window that is easily viewable Graham

Timbo Zimbabwe
Timbo Zimbabwe

"I agree with you, tabbed browsing has been around for a long time but it is still fairly new to Microsoft." What did you think the Taskbar was for? Show? That is tabbed app browsing. Sorry if it isn't in a pretty, single window...

barrie.duke
barrie.duke

Great idea especially when I run remote desktop connections. There is no point in changing font/tab colours when they do not save. Needs to be able to open with previously tabbed programmes to be a winner.

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