Still surprised about Vertical Tabs



  • I am still so surprised that even now Vivaldi is one of the very few popular software tools to have implemented the extremely logical design of a vertical tab bar. It blows my mind that this is still so rare given that we migrated long, long ago to widescreen monitors that added exceedingly little to the general web surfing and word document read/write user experience. That space is still being wasted yet the majority of the most popular web browsers and text editors refuse to implement this feature which instantly enables the user to (for example) now see a full list of 21 tabs where before they could only see 7 tabs across the top (before they begin shrinking into obscurity). Not to mention the fact that the vertical space is premium real estate in a world of web pages and word documents, whereas the side margin space often lies completely unused.

    Anyone else wonder why this apparently obvious UX/UI feature has for so long gone under-appreciated by software developers?


  • Ambassador

    I have already asked myself the same thing infinite times. Most program, not only browsers, wastes spaces for access and controls. On widescreen monitors the upper and lower edges are spaces too valuable to fill them with wide bands with tabs, icons and accesses, that would be better on the sides, since documents and web pages do not use a landscape format, but vertical and lines with horizomtal texts (in most languages).


  • Ambassador

    @shaneb Moving the tabs to the side just wastes space. At the top they use the otherwise unused space of the Window title bar. Since I seldom open more than five tabs, the width is adequate even on my 1200x1600 portrait monitor.

    If you really need the space, turn off the tab bar and use the tab cycler show as list, or the Quick Commands (F2) to switch tabs.


  • Vivaldi Translator

    I'll second @Pesala's post. Moving the tabs to the side takes up way more space (in my opinion) than having them at the top, especially since the upper tab bar is integrated with the window border/title bar.

    Personally, I usually find width more important than height in my applications which is another reason I don't like vertical tabs. Though, of course, having the choice of where to put the tab bar is the best design choice as each user can adapt things to their needs and preferences.

    It would be interesting with a poll to see how many Vivaldi users use a horizontal vs. vertical tab bar. 🤔



  • Agree with @Pesala. The tab bar in the Top position only takes half a line because it partially overlays the title bar. Put the tabs on the side (or bottom) and now you're looking at a huge tab title space, and a lot of room is taken up on the side. Nice idea but not worth it.


  • Ambassador

    @Komposten , it is at least one line less than seen from the page, for this same reason I have also put all the status bar icons up, next to the search bar and hidden the status bar, another line that is seen from the page .
    The title bar, search bar and bookmarks bar I have kept as narrow as possible, using letters and small icons and so there are 3 more lines that I see on the page.
    On a web page I need height on the widescreen monitor, not width, Widescreen is fine for videos or games, but not for a web page, where spaces up and down cut lines, always.
    Well, everyone has their preferences and I'm very grateful for this that Vivaldi offers these possibilities of gaining readable space for who want this..

    On web pages I have plenty of space on the sides.


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