Rapid release cycles followed by Firefox and Chrome facilitates adding support for new web technologies as they are developed, meaning there isn’t an extended waiting period where users are left with a substandard application that doesn’t employ the latest technologies. It does have its drawbacks though; sometimes features we love are axed in favor of something new, with only a small chance of them ever coming back. Fortunately with Firefox, there is always an add-on to make up for nearly any feature that has been done away with. Firefox 21 came packed with new features, but it has also, very discretely, killed the tabs preview that was introduced in Firefox 3.6. Longtime Firefox users will remember that Firefox 3 was very popular, and this feature will be missed. All Tabs Restorer is a Firefox add-on that brings the tab preview feature back, to some extent. The add-on gives you a preview of all tabs open across multiple windows, and using the Tab key, you can select and switch to any one of them. You can use either the Ctrl+Shift+Tab keyboard shortcut or the add-ons button to view the tabs.
Once installed, drag out the ‘All Tabs’ button from the customize toolbar window. Clicking it will bring up a preview of all tabs complete with a search bar. As you type in the search bar, the add-on will search across your tabs for pages that match. You can move between the search bar and the listed tabs using the Tab key.
According to All Tabs Restorer’s description, it will work with the Ctrl+Shift+Tab shortcut and bring up the tab preview, but that didn’t work in our tests; it simply allowed us to move through the tabs in the current window, which is Firefox’s default behavior. One small limitation with the add-on is that if you’ve set it up so that tabs don’t load unless you select them (Options > Tabs > Don’t load tabs until selected), you will not see a preview for those tabs. This only matters if you have set Firefox to restore your previous session whenever you launch or restart it. The developer plans on fixing this in the future.
You shouldn’t experience any significant problem with the add-on, unless you like to hoard your tabs across multiple windows. If you have too many tabs open, you might not get a very good thumbnail preview of them, the tab titles might not be legible, and the close button might be overlaid or placed incorrectly. If this last problem occurs, hitting the Escape key will save the day.