All the talking about sidebar tabs today in Firefox reminded me that I wanted to write about a similar feature in Google Chrome, to be more precise in the Google Chrome dev releases and Chromium.
The developers of the browser have added a startup switch to enable side tabs. Users who are running a dev version of Chromium or Chrome can add the startup parameter –enable-vertical-tabs to enable the side tabs functionality.
Here is how it is done in detail (Windows):
Locate the Google Chrome icon, right-click it and select Properties. This opens the Google Chrome Properties window. Locate the Target field and add –enable-vertical-tabs at the end of it. Make sure there is a space between chrome.exe and the parameter.
A click on OK saves the new parameter. Start or restart Google Chrome. There is no visual indication of side tabs yet. They are activated by right-clicking a tab and selecting Use side tabs from the context menu.
The current version seems to have problems drawing the side tabs right away. It is necessary to resize the screen, or minimize / restore it before the tabs are displayed in the sidebar.
Each website is represented by its favicon, page title and a close button. It does not seem possible to change the width of the sidebar tabs yet. The title bar looks awfully empty as well with side tabs enabled.
A right-click on a tab in the sidebar and the selection of Use side tabs will revert the changes and move the tabs to their original location in the browser. It is once again necessary to resize / minimize the window before the tabs are displayed.