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A Collection of Random Thoughts
Friday, July 29, 2005
 
IE7 Beta with Tabs!
I've been a heavy user of Maxthon (formerly MyIE2) for a while now. I've been very impressed with the tabbed features, and quite honestly, I'm not sure how I lived without them. IE7 was released to Beta yesterday for Windows XP, so I gleefully installed it, anxious to see what the tabbed support would look like.

Aside from the location of the tabs and lack of documentation on keyboard shortcuts, they work pretty well.

First comment: location. The tabs are located *above* the File menu bar and other toolbars. The location of the tabs cannot be changed. The File menu also cannot be dragged above the Address bar, where it has been located for so long. Compare this to Maxthon, where the tabs are the last thing before the content. This is also the case when you install the MSN Toolbar with tabbed support in IE6 (assuming MSN Toolbar is the last toolbar loaded). It seems a bit unnatural to have the tabs where they are. Nonetheless, this is a beta version, so all things can change, and hopefully they will.

Second comment: I had to figure out for myself what some of the keyboard (and other) shortcuts were. These were largely based on the shortcuts that the MSN Toolbar uses, but it would have been nice to see these documented somewhere. What I've found:

Ctrl + T = New Tab
Ctrl +W = Closes current tab
Ctrl + Tab = switch to next tab to right
Ctrl + Shift + Tab = switch to next tab to left
Ctrl + Left Click = open link in new tab
Shift + Left Click = open link in new IE window

These are the shortcuts I gleaned from other places. I'm sure I'll come across others as I continue to test things.

Probably the biggest thing I missed with Maxthon is that when using OWA, the keyboard shortcut keys didn't work any more, so I was glad to see that in IE7, they do work. I don't often use Outlook Web Access from my primary laptop, but I've used it from home many times.

Paul Thurrott covers some of the same things in his review of Windows Vista (formerly Longhorn) Beta 1 over here, and he says he'll be independently reviewing IE7 by itself in the near future.
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