Tuesday 09 November 2004

Firefox: Open Links From Other Applications in New Tab in Current Browser Window

Back in July this year, I wrote about my difficulties in getting Firefox to open links from other applications in a new tab in the current browser window. At the time, I recommended Tabbrowser Preferences Lite as it was the only way I could load external links in a new tab.

However, when Firefox 0.10.1 was released, I didn't upgrade Firefox on my home PC because I was worried that the extension would be disabled and I would be forced to hunt for an extension that will work with my profile. I really didn't want to try out the latest version of Tabbrowser Preferences though I understood that its bugs have been fixed and I didn't have much luck with the other Single Window extensions and Tabbrowser extensions in the past.

Then in early October, Cheah Chu Yeow mentioned on his blog that the latest nightly build will open links from other applications in a new tab as well as force links that open in new windows to open in a new tab. I downloaded that build and began checking the Firefox Nightly builds for new fixes via Jesse Ruderman's nightly build changelog (sadly, there weren't anymore that really interested me).

Forcing links that open new windows to open in a new tab proved quite useful with Bloglines where links tend to want to open a new window. Then this feature disappeared again from the nightly builds - apparently, it did not always work with JavaScript Links.

Today, I notice in Jesse Ruderman's Unofficial Firefox 1.0 Changelog that I can still force links that open new windows to open in new tabs by setting browser.tabs.showSingleWindowModePrefs to true in about:config.

Now, my next task will be to stop these new tabs which are opened when a link tries to open a new window, from grabbing focus. I want the tab to open in the background without taking me there - I seem to recall seeing this feature in the Firefox Options in the past but I can't seem to find it at the moment. About:config confirms that browser.tabs.loadInBackground is set to true.

Update: I solved this by setting browser.tabs.loadDivertedInBackground to true.

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