Ever found yourself drowning in a sea of open windows on your desktop? Remember how the web browser revolutionised the way you viewed the web by introducing support for multiple tabs instead of waves of windows? Wished Windows offered that kind of feature? You need TidyTabs.
TidyTabs is one of those rare breeds of apps that spots a small, but noticeable gap, in Windows, and fills it with an elegant, straightforward solution. TidyTabs cleverly combines multiple windows into a single tabbed window, with the tabs displayed semi-translucently across the top of the main window – just click on a tab to bring it into focus.
The free version of the software allows you to manually group up to three windows together by clicking and dragging the tab of one window on top of another - this can be a little fiddly to get right at first, but persevere and you'll soon get the hang of it.
You have limited options for customising the appearance of the tabs in terms of transparency and the size of the preview window when clicking and dragging a tab. You can also set up exclusion lists to ignore specific applications and automatically hide tabs when only a single window is open.
The Pro edition – available for a miserly $9 per computer – takes things even further – it removes an arbitrary limit of three tabs per window, allows you to automatically group windows by application (so all your Word documents automatically appear in a single, tabbed window), plus lets you reorder tabs, rename them with a double-click, and close individual tabs with a middle click. You also get control over tab colours with additional options: none, custom or Windows theme (the default colours them according to the application’s own theme).
You can road-test all these extra features for up to 60 minutes at a time (when the trial ends, you’re left with free functionality only, but can quit the program, restart it and restart the trial).
TidyTabs is free, simple and within minutes of using it you’ll probably wonder how you ever lived without it.
A simple, mostly elegant solution to the problem of having too many windows open on your desktop at once.