New features in Microsoft Edge make tabs more manageable

Microsoft Edge gains new tab and book reading features

Microsoft continues to develop Edge, the new browser replacement for Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10 and there are a bunch of new features that could make it much more useful to you.

New tab features in Microsoft Edge enable you to browse them as thumbnails and save them as groups, keeping the browser clean and clutter free

Microsoft Edge’s share of the total web browser market is still small and according to the Netmarketshare website in January 2017 it was just 4.52%. That is less than half the share of Internet Explorer 11, which was just over 10.46% (older versions of IE boost the overall IE share). Google Chrome in comparison, has over 60% of the browser market.

However, you must bear in mind that Edge is only available on Windows 10 and that OS has just 25% of the OS market. Windows 7 users cannot run Edge.

When you look at Windows 10 users, the percentage that use Edge is much higher., although not as high as Microsoft would like.

Tabs in Edge

A new feature that has been added to Edge in the Windows 10 Creators Update is a tab bar that shows thumbnail images of the web pages.

Edge has had the ability to show thumbnail images when the mouse hovers over a tab for some time. Now a new control to the right of tabs which looks like a V is used to open the tab panel. It shows thumbnail images for all the tabs.

This makes it easier to switch tabs because you no longer have to guess which tab you want or try to read the title on the tab, which is usually cut off anyway. You can see the thumbnails and click the one you want.

New tab controls in Edge

When tabs are open and Edge is beginning to look cluttered, an icon on the left in the title bar/tabs enables all the tabs to be cleared, a bit like pinning them all. Tabs are set aside.

The new tabs view in Microsoft Edge

Image credit: Microsoft

Click another button on the left side of the title bar/tabs and a wide panel slides out to show thumbnail images of all the tabs that have be set aside. Tabs are organised into groups. You could open tabs for several news websites for example and add them all to a group.

Then you could open a new set of tabs to show your favourite sport sites. These could be saved as another group. Opening the tabs that have been set aside shows each of the groups and there is a link to reopen all the tabs in that group.

It is not unlike saving a group of tabs as a single bookmark so they can all be reopened with a click. It sounds like a feature that could be very useful.

Books in the Edge Hub

Edge is already a PDF viewer and in the Windows 10 Creator’s Update it will become an ebook reader too. Books are coming to the Windows Store and you will be able to buy them and then read them in Edge.

Click the Hub icon in Edge (the three horizontal lines) and in addition to Favourites, Reading List, History and Downloads, there will be a Books icon. This shows thumbnail images of the covers of all the books you own.

Click a book cover and the book is opened for reading, with two pages shown side by side like an open book.

You might not want to read ebooks on your desktop computer, but there is an increasing number of hybrid devices that combine features of a laptop with those of a tablet. Detach the screen and you can hold it in your lap and read your favourite ebooks.

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