Help me find the right "X" in firefox
July 11, 2012 11:16 AM   Subscribe

I keep 15 to 30 tabs open in firefox and have a hard time distinguishing which "tab close X" is the active one and which ones are greyed out.

Several tabs will be open from the same site, so the icons on the tabs don't help and I have to go back and forth between different tabs. I've searched firefox accessibililty options and have not find the answer. I can't be the only aging user who can't tell the difference between a greyed out x and an active x. Tab mix plus doesn't do this. Haven't found a greasemonkey to do this either.
posted by aliksd to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Control-W or Apple-W on the keyboard to close the active tab? Then whatever window you are looking at goes away and the next tab in line becomes the active tab.
posted by newg at 11:19 AM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Mouse over the x. If the x changes color, it was grayed out. If the x doesn't change color, it's the active one.

I understand not being able to tell the shade variation looking at all of them together, but you should be able to tell that it's changing if you're looking right at it.
posted by phunniemee at 11:21 AM on July 11, 2012

I don't know of any accessibility options, but I recommend becoming familliar with the following shortcuts:

windows and tabs shortcuts in firefox.

basically, press ctrl+[left/right arrow] till you're on the tab you want to close and then press ctrl+w to close it.

there are other shortcuts there too, for other more specific tasks (like going straight to tab 1-8)
posted by shmegegge at 11:21 AM on July 11, 2012

phunniemee, that works. Thanks.
posted by aliksd at 11:26 AM on July 11, 2012

This forum post claims that Tab Mix Plus will hide the "X" on inactive tabs. Will that help?
posted by misterbrandt at 11:28 AM on July 11, 2012

On Ff 13.0.1 (windoze), my inactive tabs don't have the x. Versioning issue?
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 11:31 AM on July 11, 2012

Tab Mix Plus allows you to customise the display options for the current tab (colour, font styles, etc.) which will make it easy to determine which is which. You can also hide the close tab button on all tabs other than the current one. Or, best of all, use keyboard shortcuts.
posted by turkeyphant at 11:39 AM on July 11, 2012

FabTabs gives you lots of customisation options for your tabs, including colouring each tab according to the colour of the page, as well as other options to set contrast and opacity for the active tab.
posted by pipeski at 11:53 AM on July 11, 2012

in tab mix plus, under options-->mouse-->mouse clicking you can set it to close a tab on double click, middle click, ctrl-click, shift-click, or alt-click on the tab.
posted by juv3nal at 12:25 PM on July 11, 2012

Another option is to move the X to the right-hand side of the entire tab bar so you'll never close another tab by simply close it.

Type "about:config" into the address bar, click the OK to "be careful!" message if it appears. In the filter field, type in: "browser.tabs.closeButtons", double click on it, and change the value to 3. Firefox should immediately change the location of the X so you can see if it works for you.
posted by jmd82 at 12:51 PM on July 11, 2012

For a non-technical solution, try adjusting the colors so there's more contrast between the active tab and inactive tabs.
posted by DrGail at 1:24 PM on July 11, 2012

Tabberwocky! Although I am not sure it works with the current version of firefox, to which I refuse to update.
posted by elizardbits at 1:47 PM on July 11, 2012

Had a similar issue and used the same resolution jmd82 suggests, but changed the value to "0", which only shows a close X on the active tab, and not on any of the inactive tabs.
posted by xedrik at 2:35 PM on July 11, 2012

Yeah, there's not much reason to have the Xes on every tab, so I would change the browser.tabs.closeButtons settings so there is just one X, either on the current tab itself, or off to the right side (try out the different options to see what you like, 0 through 3 or 4, I believe). If you want to close a tab that's not the active tab, the entire tab is a close button: just middle-click on it.
posted by stopgap at 8:43 PM on July 11, 2012

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