Since Microsoft switched Edge to the Chromium engine, the browser has been gradually gaining more and more features. For the most part, this has meant playing catch-up with Google's web browser, but there have been occasions when Edge gains something unique.
And this is precisely what is happening with a new vertical tabs option that is currently undergoing testing as part of a preview program. The vertical alignment has been designed to make it easier to manage a large number of tabs.
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The problem with the traditional horizontal arrangement of tabs is that once several are opened, they have to be shrunk down to enable them to fit within the browser window, making it very difficult to quickly identify tabs. Google has experimented with making the tab bar scrollable, but Microsoft has a different approach.
The company recognizes the problem of working with large numbers of tabs, and also notes that the adoption of widescreen monitors means that most people have spare horizontal space available in their browser. As such, Edge is gaining an option to display open tabs in a pane to the left hand side of the browser window.
Wide or tall?
Although the feature is currently only available as a preview, it is easily accessed for anyone running a compatible version of Edge – you just need to enable the 'Vertical tabs' option in the 'Appearance' section of the settings menu. A simple toggle button in the upper right of the Edge window then lets you switch between horizontal and vertical tabs.
Just as with horizontal tabs, when in vertical mode it is possible to rearrange tabs as required. You also have the option of shrinking the tabs pane down to a narrow strip that just displays sites' favicons if you need to see more of a site, or want to reduce on-screen clutter while you concentrate.
For now the vertical tabs option is only available in the Canary and Dev versions of Edge; you can sign up for the Edge Insider channels here. Of the two, the Dev version – which receives updates on a weekly basis – is generally more stable that the Canary build which receives daily updates.