It is common for any Chromium-based web browser to have a unique feature or features that set it apart from its competitors. When you open Microsoft Edge, you’ll see a row of tabs instead of icons running down the left side of your window. This is one of Edge’s distinctive native characteristics. In fact, PCWorld identified vertical tabs as one of the five reasons Edge trumps Google Chrome.
It was after reading a lot of positive reviews that I decided to give this layout a go myself. It’s generally agreed that having more space to browse enhances the user experience. After a few months of using vertical tabs, I must admit that I’m still unsure about my feelings on the matter.
Of course, there are things I like. Starting with the quick and easy changeover between vertical and horizontal tabs. On your keyboard, press CTRL + SHIFT +. Instead, go to Settings and look for it there, or just click on the black window symbol in your tab row to bring it up.
To keep track of a large number of open tabs while keeping the window clutter to a minimum, vertical tabs are ideal. Each tab is represented by a single icon, making it easy to scan and learn new information. There is a bar that appears up when you hover your cursor over an icon that shows the names of all the tabs you have open.
However, having this layout on a display that is oriented in portrait mode is the most useful. Horizontal tabs may be a tremendous hassle to navigate when your display is turned that way—especially in Edge. When you have a lot of tabs open in Microsoft’s browser, the symbols are squashed together to the point of being unrecognisable. Vertical tabs eliminate all of it.
However, there are aspects of my life with which I have difficulty. That’s mostly because of my body’s memories. Horizontal tabs have conditioned me to believe that if there are no tabs at the top of my screen, it means there is just one window of information…which I subsequently dismiss out of habit. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve panicked and reopened a window that had 20 or more tabs open. (Opening a previously closed window in Edge is more nerve-wracking than on Chrome and Firefox—if you accidently open another tab or window before attempting recovery, it’s gone.)
Switching to a different tab with my mouse is also a visual pain for me. When you hover your cursor over a tab, a sidebar displaying tab information comes up. As a result, it keeps popping up whenever I click on anything, which I find irritating. In spite of this, I have yet to move back to horizontal tabs. Like learning CTRL + SHIFT + A to bring up the tab search menu and bounce between tabs that way, it’s progressively pushing me to develop new muscle memory
The fact that I routinely use other browsers with horizontal tabs may be one reason why I haven’t made the switch to Edge’s vertical tabs. A dual-monitor setup is more convenient than having to flip between monitors all the time. However, don’t let that deter you from giving it a go. With time, you may grow to like them unconditionally and find it easier to adjust.
Subtly charming pop culture geek. Amateur analyst. Freelance tv buff. Coffee lover