Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Group Similar Tasks From Dissimilar Programs Together with WindowTabs

In Brief

WindowTabs allows you to maximize screen real estate and group similar windows or programs together.

Overview

After a long period of geeky-block (similar to writer’s block but involving a dry spell of geeky ideas and tips), I have stumbled upon a small tool that makes grouping related information or tasks with dissimilar programs easy to do.

WindowTabs lets you group dissimilar programs/windows with a tab interface similar to Chrome or Firefox. It is easy to use – just drag and drop the tabs (which are automatically added to the top of each program/window you have open) on another tab to combine them. You can split them out again by dragging one of the combined tabs to an empty place on your screen.

When Would This be Useful?

Let’s say you’re working on a spreadsheet of raw data in Excel. The source of your data is an online report from a CRM, such as Salesforce. In addition, you want to take some notes about your remaining tasks. Plus, you have an email that relates to the spreadsheet that you’d like to check periodically to make sure you’re on track.

Rather than having these windows floating around your screen independently (and potentially losing track of what is related to your task as you click-click-click all day), you can group them using WindowTabs.

Combine Windows by Dragging and Dropping the 'Window Tab'

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Once you install WindowTabs, each window on your screen will have a tab on the top left. If the windows are maximized, you will not see this tab until the window is reduced and the top left corner is visible.

Combine several windows by dragging and dropping one tab onto another. You can do this even with programs that are dissimilar, such as Excel and Firefox.

When you click on a tab and drag it toward another tab, the tab you are dragging will appear semi-translucent. When the tabs seem to be 'magnetically' attracted to each other, it is safe to let go of your mouse button. The tabs will now be grouped.

Toggle Your Grouped Tabs

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You can toggle which tab is visible by clicking on the tab.

Grouping your tabs in this way will allow you to combine files that you have open related to a common theme or task, even if they are in different programs.

Breaking Up a Tabbed Group

If you no longer want to group certain window tabs together, click on the tab that you want to remove from the group and drag it to an empty are on your screen. This will 'pop' it out of the grouped window. It will return to its normal state.

Downloading WindowTabs

You can download WindowTabs here.

Side Note

The trial version of WindowTabs is limited to three tabs per group with no time limit or nag screens. WindowTabs works with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, both the 32 and 64 bit versions.

Have a Question or a Suggestion?

I'm still testing out and getting used to WindowTabs, but I have found it quite handy so far. If you have a question about it or a suggestion to boost efficiency in using it, feel free to get in touch with me.

 

2009-10-22_105231 Want to contact Jenna Baze, the rather geeky writer of this rather geeky post?
Email:
rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @Rather_Geeky

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