Vermont Department of Libraries

February 6, 2008

Multiple homepage tabs

Filed under: Tips and tricks — vtdeptlib @ 9:35 am

So I guess multiple homepage tabs for browsers have been around at least as long as the tabs themselves, but I only got around to figuring them out a couple of weeks ago.  I had decided that there were at least four web sites that I wanted always to be no more than a a tab away, so every morning, immediately after starting my browser, I would go through the process of opening mutiple tabs for these web sites.  But one day when I got to the fourth tab, I said there must be an easier way.

Right now, if you want to skip the rest of my confession about stumbling upon my solution and why I needed it in the first place, you can look at a couple of screencasts that walk you through the process of setting up multiple home page tabs in Internet Explorer and Firefox:
http://www.helpmerick.com/node/1314
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJG9oJfnB3Y

The curious thing about my discovery of the solution is that even though multiple homepage tabs are standard for me now in Internet Explorer and Firefox, I can’t rebember how I figured it out.  My best guess is that while contemplating the whole issue of homepages, I took a shot at checking out the Tools, Options…commands in Firefox, and I actually read the buttons under the homepage box and saw that the first one said “Use Current Pages.”  The plural of pages was likely the source of my discovery. I was an english major after all.

One would think that I would have learned my lesson and when I tried to do the same for Internet Explorer, and I would just read the dialog box for “Tools, Internet options…” more carefully.  But I managed to again miss the obvious and go right past the instruction above the homepage box: “To create home page tabs, type each address on its own line.”  Assuming that multiple homepage tabs was another thing that Microsoft was hiding in the software glut of IE, I went off to do some searching.  After a few tries I came up with several sets of instructions, including the screencasts linked to above, for setting up multiple homepage tabs in IE, pointing out the obvious option that I kept missing.

So why are these multiple homepages so important to me of late?  Well I am tracking a couple of experiments in online interaction and also trying to be more efficient in keep up with RSS feeds.  My first tab is just the DOL homepage because it is easiest for me to navigated to our resources from there.  The second tab is my Google Reader page with my feeds with seperate folders for professional and personal feeds.  The third tab is my login to a Meebo account where I am experimenting with a MeeboMe widget that I put on the “Contact the library” page in our online catalog.  And the fourth homepage tab is another experiment with the “Who is Online” chat function embedded in the VT Libraries toolbar

While it is looking like the two experiments will not progress beyond being just that (some technical difficulties and some sense that users are not exactly clamoring for the functions), they at least gave me the chance to discover multiple homepage tabs. 

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