Friday, November 4, 2011

Opera-Like Follower Tab Extension For Chrome Makes Web Surfing Effortless

If you are not familiar with Opera, it’s unlikely that you have ever heard about the follower tab. Even Opera fans doesn’t talk about it much, not that everyone is aware of its existence. It is one of those perks of using Opera – you use the browser for years and it still keeps surprising us with new discoveries.

The follower tab is a feature unique to Opera. You can create a follower tab by right-clicking on a current tab in the tab-bar and then clicking Create Follower Tab. The follower tab will be initially blank, but now any link you click on in the original tab will no longer open in that tab. Instead it will open in the follower tab.

That might not sound like a very useful thing since you can easily open links in a new tab. But one Reddit user showed how we can cleverly uses this feature to effortlessly browse the social media site. In fact, this method can be applied to browse any site with tons of links to click on such as Twitter, Facebook, forums and even blogs.

Say, you have a page with many links that you want to checkout. We will use Reddit as an example. Instead of opening a new tab for every link and cluttering the browser, we will use the follower tab.

First open Reddit in a new browser Window. Right-click on the tab in the tab-bar and click Create Follower Tab. This will create an empty new tab.


Right click on the tab-bar again and choose Arrange > Tile Vertically.


This will split the browser window in half, with the ‘Master’ tab – the one with Reddit open – on the left half of the screen and the follower tab on the right. Now click any link on the Reddit homepage and it will open in the follower tab on the right. This way you can checkout every story on Reddit without having to constantly switch between multiple tabs. See how intuitive that is?


The follower tab feature is now available in Chrome, but to make it behave like Opera the steps involved are different.

After you install the extension, open the website you want to browse (Reddit, in our example) in a new Window. Right-click on the page (not on the tab-bar) and click ‘Create follower tab’. Just like in Opera, a blank follower tab will open.


Press the Windows key in your keyboard and then press the Left arrow key, to snap the Chrome window to the left half of the screen. This is the Aero Snap feature of Windows 7.

Now drag the follower tab out of the window and drop it into the desktop to create a new Chrome window. Snap the follower tab window to the right half of the screen by pressing the Windows key and the Right Arrow key together. You are now set.


Have fun browsing your favorite social media/news site or discussion forum.


  1. Is there something similar to this for Firefox?

  2. Not working with Chromium Daily on Linux Mint 12.


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