Definition

tabbed browsing

Tabbed browsing, also called a tabbed document interface (TDI), is a feature recently implemented in Web browsers to effectively contain multiple pages or documents in a single window. Each item occupies the browser's entire viewing area when displayed. Tabs facilitate navigation among the items. The term "tab" arises from the visual similarity to the physical tabs on manila folders used to store and organize hard copy.

The most often-mentioned advantage of tabbed browsing is the fact that it eliminates the need to display tiled windows that demand frequent resizing and repositioning. Tabbed browsing consumes less memory and operating system resources than tiled-window browsing provided the user does not keep too many items open at once. Some tabbed browsing interfaces allow the storage of sessions for later resumption. Some browsers allow for multiple rows of tabs. This offers flexibility but in the extreme it can cause clutter and reduce the viewing area available for page or document contents.

This was last updated in November 2008
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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