Experimental Firefox 4 with tabs on title bar
Posted by Percy Cabello on December 29th, 2010 • Tags: ,

A common complaint about the current Firefox 4 theme is the wasted space in the title bar, between the Firefox menu and the window control buttons (maximize, minimize, close).

Mozilla is planning to fix this in the next betas, and as usual, it is already providing experimental builds that show the tabs at the very top, at least when the window is maximized. In other sizes, tabs are shown just below the title bar.

Firefox 4 with tabs in title bar

The experimental build also improves in discoverability with automatic display of submenus for Firefox menu items.

If you want to try these experimental builds, check Bill Gianopoulos’ web site.

sxe said on December 29, 2010, 9:11 am:


nice to hear that, i like it, but please make it possible to enable this feature, when the window is NOT maximised, too.


Michael Lefevre said on December 29, 2010, 9:55 am:

It’s not correct to say that Mozilla is providing experimental builds. Bill is the one providing the experimental builds, as he makes clear on his website, based on source code that hasn’t been put into the Mozilla nightly builds yet. (In this case, the patch in bug 572160 which is waiting to be reviewed).

MOYcano said on December 29, 2010, 10:46 am:

I hope they decide to use this idea… I mean, is an already waited change to most “modern” browser users. And, personally, in wide screens I always use half screen-size windows so have to change to Fullscreen just to get back the vertical space isn’t a great solution for me (but F11 –> CTRL+ALT+Left in WinSplit Revolution is a great workaround)

DMack said on December 29, 2010, 6:27 pm:

Won’t this just make it hard to move the window?

Why not put the tab title there like in 3.6 and every other application?

Quarck said on December 29, 2010, 10:48 pm:

Now it’s look exactly like Opera :)) But Opera did it earlier

WulfTheSaxon said on December 30, 2010, 12:49 am:

As mentioned in the article, the tabs only go there while the window is maximized. Most users wouldn’t want to drag a maximized window (although it is possible to drag a window out of its maximized state) anyway.

Putting tabs in the title bar takes advantage of Fitts’ law, essentially giving them infinite height – thus making them much easier/faster to click. See http://people.mozilla.com/~faaborg/files/20100625-tabsOnTop/mouseInfinity.png for an example of how this works.

MOYcano said on January 4, 2011, 10:14 am:

So? Firefox was available at zero price before Opera… we can do this kind of pointless arguments indefinitely xD

WulfTheSaxon said on January 4, 2011, 4:47 pm:

Actually, Opera’s implementation of tabs-on-top is rather pointless. They still don’t touch the top of screen, so there’s no Fitts’ law advantage.

WulfTheSaxon said on January 4, 2011, 4:48 pm:

Actually, Opera’s implementation of tabs-on-top is rather pointless. They still don’t touch the top of the screen, so there’s no Fitts’ law advantage.

Blah said on January 8, 2011, 6:04 am:

This will be included in the next nightly and thus in beta 9, too. Yay!

brothers said on January 13, 2011, 10:13 pm:

I’m getting more and more frustrated with Firefox’s release schedule. Where is the 4.0 release? It seems like it should have been out long ago. Andy why is “tabs on top” still in an experimental state when Chrome has proven the UI concept already? It’s a no-brainer that Firefox should do this so GET IT DONE and get back to innovating! Firefox is starting to feel like IE used to feel; bloated, stale, and inferior.

FirefoxLover said on February 3, 2011, 2:23 am:

One does not need any experimental builds to get this behaviour – all it needs is some css in userChrome.css or as a Stylish script.
I have always been using Firefox from mozilla.org and I have had my tabs on top since some time last year by using Firefox nightlies and betas with css as customization.

Juan Avila said on February 11, 2011, 11:32 am:

Tabs on title bar seems a great way not to waste space, nevertheless, on Windows 7, where you are able to grab a maximized window and move it, it is difficult to find a space on the title bar to place the mouse, specially when you have many tabs opened.

Are there any plans to include a “grab” icon or area on the title bar that facilitates moving a maximized Window on Windows 7?

Michael Lefevre said on February 11, 2011, 12:00 pm:

Yes, there are, and this should happen before Firefox 4 is released.

It’s https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=624129