TabFern

Google Chrome extension for saving and restoring sets of tabs, and for switching between windows and tabs from a vertical, grouped list.

What TabFern does

  • Saves browser windows so you can close them and come back to them later with all their tabs intact
  • Backs up your windows and tabs with just two clicks!
  • Gives you a single window showing all your open browser windows and tabs,
    listed vertically.

Usage

  • Click the fern icon    in the Chrome toolbar to open the TabFern view. The view will also open when you start Chrome. (If you can’t find the TabFern window, double-click the fern icon in the taskbar in any Chrome window. That will summon the TabFern window to that Chrome window.)

  • The TabFern view shows a list of all your open windows and tabs, in white. It shows you saved windows and tabs in gray.

  • You can control other Chrome windows from the TabFern window by right-clicking their entries, or by clicking the corresponding buttons that appear at the right when you hover the mouse pointer over the window’s name.

  • To mark a window to be saved, you have two choices:-
    • Give the window a name using the pencil icon 
    • Hit the middle icon showing a rectangle with a red dot . The window will close.

  • Folder icons are:-
    • Open, unsaved: a monitor  
    • Open, saved: a monitor with a green dot  
    • Closed, saved (closed unsaved aren’t in the tree): a white file folder.

  • Saved windows will be saved even if you close them manually. To remove them from the tree, hit the delete icon    (If you accidentally delete a window, look on the main menu (bottom-right of the TabFern window — see next section). There will be a “Restore last deleted” option that will bring the tabs back.)

  • To change the text size in the TabFern window, click into the window, then hit Control+Plus for larger or Control+Minus for smaller. This is the normal Google Chrome browser zoom.

  • For help, sorting, options, or more functions, click the menu icon () at the bottom right of the TabFern window.

  • Note: windows you do not expressly save will not be saved when you exit!
    I am open to discussion of better ways to handle this.

Backup & Restore

On the menu in the bottom right (), you have options for “Backup” and “Load contents”:

  • Click “Backup now” to save a backup as a .tabfern file in our Downloads directory.

  • Click “Load contents of a backup”, then choose the file ou want and hit OK, to add the backed-up windows to your tree.

  • Loading a backup is not a “restore” operation that takes ou back to where you were. Instead, it adds the loaded information to the windows and tabs you already have open or saved. That way you don’t have to worry about losing your current place.

Limitations

  • There is only a two-level hierarchy — tabs cannot be the children of other tabs in the tree.

  • You cannot open and close individual tabs — you have to open and close the window as a whole.

  • Windows will not necessarily open at the size of the last-closed window, like they do normally in Chrome.

  • See the  issue tracker  on GitHub for more about current limitations, and where TabFern is going in the future!