To open a link in a new tab, we either right-click it and use the ‘Open link in new tab’ option from the context menu, or if we’re using a mouse instead of a touchpad, we use the mouse wheel and ‘middle click’ on the link. The mouse wheel is my preferred way of opening links in new, background tabs but when using the touchpad, the option just isn’t there. If you’re a Firefox user though, QuickTab is an add-on that can help you. It lets you open a link in a new background tab by clicking on it longer than you normally would if you wanted to open it in the current tab.
Install QuickTab and then navigate to a page with a link you’d like to open. Left-click the link but do not release the button. Instead, wait for the little tab animation to appear just above the cursor. It will indicate that a long click is being recorded. If you release the left-click button before the progress spinner completes, the link will open in the same tab.
If you let the progress spinner complete, the add-on will open the link in a new tab.
Pros & cons: the add-on works as good any native Firefox function which means you will have a seamless browsing experience. What it doesn’t have is a way for users to customize the long-click interval. The default interval is 1.2 seconds and that’s a bit too long for my personal taste though understandably, it’s there to prevent accidental tab opening. The longer interval also means you can quickly drag & drop links to share them over online messaging service without opening it so it’s fairly balanced.