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Can I choose when to switch to new tab?

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One of the reasons I prefer Firefox to Chrome is that when I right-click on a link, I can open the link in a new tab.

I usually read news in Chrome because, on some sites, I open 20 new tabs without moving from the main news page. I can then move to the tabs, read one, close it, move to the next, etc.

I would like to move my news reading to Firefox, but I would like to be able to choose whether (or not) to open a new tab at the time the tab is being opened.

Is this possible?

One of the reasons I prefer Firefox to Chrome is that when I right-click on a link, I can open the link in a new tab. I usually read news in Chrome because, on some sites, I open 20 new tabs without moving from the main news page. I can then move to the tabs, read one, close it, move to the next, etc. I would like to move my news reading to Firefox, but I would like to be able to choose whether (or not) to open a new tab at the time the tab is being opened. Is this possible?

Chosen solution

Thank you @jscher2000 for the suggestion. I have downloaded "Background-tab It" which appears to accomplish what I need.

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  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/68.0

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My_Cheese_Is_Slippin'
  • Top 10 Contributor
83 solutions 871 answers

Hi TdeV, Absolutely. I do it all the time. Just right-click, select Open Link in New Tab and keep on reading. Go to the tab when you're ready.

There are other ways to configure the way tabs behave in the settings. See the screenshot.

I hope this helps!

Hi TdeV, Absolutely. I do it all the time. Just right-click, select Open Link in New Tab and keep on reading. Go to the tab when you're ready. There are other ways to configure the way tabs behave in the settings. See the screenshot. I hope this helps!
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Question owner

Thanks My_Cheese, but this doesn't help me. I have my system set to open links in a new tab and switch to it immediately, BUT I also want to open link in new tab and NOT switch to it immediately. I want to make that choice at the time I'm right-clicking on the link. It also could be that you are using a different system than I am (I'm on Win 7).

Thanks My_Cheese, but this doesn't help me. I have my system set to open links in a new tab and switch to it immediately, BUT I also want to open link in new tab and NOT switch to it immediately. I want to make that choice at the time I'm right-clicking on the link. It also could be that you are using a different system than I am (I'm on Win 7).
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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8758 solutions 71655 answers

Hi TdeV, that link might be coded to pop up in a new window, which Firefox treats slightly differently. Could you check these settings:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful or accepting the risk.

(2) In the search box above the list, type or paste inback and pause while the list is filtered

(3) Double-click the following preferences to switch the value from false to true as desired:

  • browser.tabs.loadInBackground - when you right-click > Open Link in New Tab, or Ctrl+click, or middle-click a link (default = true, this is the checkbox on the Options page)
  • browser.tabs.loadDivertedInBackground - when a link was coded to launch in a new window and Firefox switched it to a new tab instead (default = false, try changing this one to true)
  • browser.tabs.loadBookmarksInBackground - when you direct a bookmark to a new tab (e.g., using right-click > Open in New Tab, or Ctrl+click, or middle-click a bookmark) (default = false)

Can you get it working the way you like?

Hi TdeV, that link might be coded to pop up in a new window, which Firefox treats slightly differently. Could you check these settings: (1) In a new tab, type or paste '''about:config''' in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful or accepting the risk. (2) In the search box above the list, type or paste '''inback''' and pause while the list is filtered (3) Double-click the following preferences to switch the value from false to true as desired: * '''browser.tabs.loadInBackground''' - when you right-click > Open Link in New Tab, or Ctrl+click, or middle-click a link (default = true, this is the checkbox on the Options page) * '''browser.tabs.load<u>Diverted</u>InBackground''' - when a link was coded to launch in a new window and Firefox switched it to a new tab instead (default = false, '''try changing this one to true''') * '''browser.tabs.load<u>Bookmarks</u>InBackground''' - when you direct a bookmark to a new tab (e.g., using right-click > Open in New Tab, or Ctrl+click, or middle-click a bookmark) (default = false) Can you get it working the way you like?
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My_Cheese_Is_Slippin'
  • Top 10 Contributor
83 solutions 871 answers

I'm on Windows 10 but I don't think that matters - it's a pretty generic action. I'm not aware of a 'system setting' to control the bahavior. I think it's controlled within the program or app itself. With Firefox, it's only an either/or option with the context menu and the browser settings. Sorry.

I'm on Windows 10 but I don't think that matters - it's a pretty generic action. I'm not aware of a 'system setting' to control the bahavior. I think it's controlled within the program or app itself. With Firefox, it's only an either/or option with the context menu and the browser settings. Sorry.
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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8758 solutions 71655 answers

Helpful Reply

TdeV said

I have my system set to open links in a new tab and switch to it immediately, BUT I also want to open link in new tab and NOT switch to it immediately. I want to make that choice at the time I'm right-clicking on the link.

Oh. There's no built-in setting for this. You would need to use an add-on, assuming one exists.

For keyboard shortcut techniques, see cor-el's reply below.

''TdeV [[#answer-1236310|said]]'' <blockquote> I have my system set to open links in a new tab and switch to it immediately, BUT I also want to open link in new tab and NOT switch to it immediately. '''I want to make that choice at the time I'm right-clicking on the link.''' </blockquote> Oh. There's no built-in setting for this. You would need to use an add-on, assuming one exists. ''For keyboard shortcut techniques, see [[#answer-1236351|cor-el's reply]] below.''

Modified by jscher2000

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Chosen Solution

Thank you @jscher2000 for the suggestion. I have downloaded "Background-tab It" which appears to accomplish what I need.

Thank you @jscher2000 for the suggestion. I have downloaded "Background-tab It" which appears to accomplish what I need.
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cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17519 solutions 158412 answers

Helpful Reply

You can middle-click a link to open the link in a new tab. You can hold the Shift key to toggle open in the background (Ctrl+Shift+left-click of Shift+middle-click).

You can middle-click a link to open the link in a new tab. You can hold the Shift key to toggle open in the background (Ctrl+Shift+left-click of Shift+middle-click).
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