Support multiple rows of document tabs
It would be really nice if the IDE allowed multiple rows of document tabs. Currently, I'm using the "Tabs Studio" add-in for this (http://www.tabsstudio.com). See here for an example: http://www.tabsstudio.com/documentation/addins/several-tabs-highlighted-with-the-default-style.png
Thanks for raising and voting for this suggestion, and especially to those who responded to my previous questions over email.
Based on the many responses I received, it seems that simply allowing multiple rows in the tab strip so you can have more “sets” using the existing Visual Studio 2015 and 2017 pinning capabilities is the most desired feature by folks on this discussion item.
We’re currently reviewing the suggestion for a potential future release, and this information has been very helpful.
If you have further comments, and haven’t already done so, please drop me an email at mwthomas at Microsoft dot com.
Program Manager, Visual Studio IDE
Daniel Kaufmann commented
Dropdown selection on the right:
Some times when having 50 classes opened, you acn't even find the tab. it would be cool to have a filter on the Dropdown next to the Tabs. or grouping by Project.
Or mark/highlight all Tabs that also belong to the currently selected Project.
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Just Nothing commented
Normally you would have just some important documents which you are currently working on, so just make them sticky (we already have this sticky button on each tab header), even the number of documents can be larger, just make them sticky, all sticky tabs will be always shown and organized in multiple lines (if many enough). Adding this desired feature here is some kind of making things more complicated, we don't need such complication.
Along with having many rows of tabs it would be handy to switch between several tab sets which user can add and remove at any time. When working on a some product's feature, I would like to restore only tabs that are involved into the work - i.e., controller, its views, scripts, css etc. If I want to add a new tab into a tab set, I may be should open a document and press "Save all the tabs into a new/existing tab set" option in the tab's context menu. Total Commander (popular file manager) works in the such way.
It would be also useful to rename tabs.
I also agree with Cornan that the contrast of the active tab with the non-active ones is rather low, in the case where you have multiple tab groups open.
The active one in the active tab group is highlighted nicely, but the tab of the showing file in other tab groups doesn't contrast nicely with the tabs of the files not showing in these other tab groups.
Just making the background color of the active one slightly lighter (also in the tab groups that don't have the focus) might already help I assume (not too much or else the text won't be readable any longer).
Main purpose for me would be to have more files visible in these tab headers, so I can easily switch between files without using the arrow at the right.
I think just 1 (perhaps 2) extra line(s) would be good enough for me.
Answers to your questions:
A. yes, that would already be helpful
B. for me, it could very well just be a setting in the options of Visual Studio where you enter the number of lines from 1 to ...
C. no need for me to remember tab sets
i) I use portrait monitors for coding and run out of tab space quickly. Multiple rows worked great in the VS Power Tools for VS2010 but didn't get rolled in to VS2012.
ii) Also, the active tab is very low contrast as compared to inactive tabs - I'd like the tab for the active text window to be high contrast (separate colors) with any of the inactive tabs.
Simon Morgan commented
You can have two rows, by Pinning Tabs to stay open.
You have to change the setting in TOOLS>OPTIONS>ENVIRONMENT>TABS AND WINDOWS - to Show Pinned Tabs on a Separate Row.
not quite ideal, but does allow at least 2 rows of tabs, and arrangement of tabs on each row with Click and Drag for the TAB headers
The column thing didn't work--let me try again:
Tab1 | Tab2.....................Tab7 | Tab8.................Tab12
Tab3 | Tab4 | Tab 5
Tab6................................Tab9 | Tab10 | Tab11
A) Yes, absolutely
B) No. I see this as more of a manual grouping so there does not need to be a setting anywhere; If I say to move a tab up to the next row, VS adds a row regardless of how many we already have.
C) One set per solution
Bonus: being able to further group tabs would still be nice. A simple way to do this would be right-clicking on the tab and manually designating a color. An even better way (and you *could* do both) would be to define boundaries in the document well to group tabs into columns (or you could think of it as boxes). Below is an example of how "tab columns" may appear (assuming the formatting is not changed once I post):
Tab1 | Tab2 Tab7 | Tab8 Tab12
Tab3 | Tab4 | Tab 5
Tab6 Tab9 | Tab10 | Tab11
The most important thing is that we need to be able to have manual control over how these groupings are defined. I see value in being able to set up rules to automatically group tabs, but I want to be able to manually override any automatic groupings and put things where they make sense in my own twisted mind at that particular moment.
In that same vein, note that the columns don't just appear because of space optimization--they are the result of me explicitly requesting a new column. The boundaries between columns could be fixed or elastic based on content, but I'm the one who decides what goes where.
Igor Abakumov commented
A. yes, even this it would be useful especially for big solutions with many projects.
B. well, i think it is enough to set the max row count in preferences, and after that start to do some vertical tab row scrolling (is this the dynamic you have mentioned?).
C. one tab set per solution.
Zingam of'Erkhenrang commented
Automatically grouping multiple related tabs into a single tab (+ a separate row or something for the grouped tabs) like .h and .cpp files (we can have multiple .cpp for a single .h file sometimes) and the ability to switch between the .h/.cpp with a single F4 button.
Derek Morrison commented
The biggest thing for me I think is to have tabs in VS behave like browser tabs. That metaphor seems to have taken hold. This means not auto-hiding tabs in a confusing list (though, I realize you'd have to deal with people who leave tons of tabs open) and also modifying the default key bindings where Ctrl-Tab / Ctrl-Shift-Tab work like for browser tabs.
Waldemar Haszlakiewicz commented
Yes having an arbitrary number of tabs rows would be wonderful.
You can go multiple ways to do this:
1. Add an option to create multiple pinned rows -> if user enabled the support for pinned rows and user pinned the first item all the pinned tab rows would show (even the empty ones). In this way user could drag and drop tabs between the pinned rows and select the item tab level he/she wants.
2. Add fixed number of rows and that is it (showing the empty rows too) -> user would define how many tab rows it wants and he/she could drag and drop between them.
3. Instead of the Pin tab option you could have 'Rise/Lower tab level' and with that you could show only the rows that have any tabs on it and the tab would have its own level ("tab row"). With this you could have left mouse down + up/down mouse movement is level change or double click "unpin it".
Multiple tab rows is really important feature specially now that native resolution 4k monitors are available and desktop space is not a problem anymore.
I'm waiting this feature a lot of time.
They were so useful in Delphi IDE
Ian Thomas commented
The "Show pinned tabs in separate row" option actually uses as many rows as it needs. I find this provides the best of both worlds - I might have two rows of pinned tabs with my important documents, then a third row with my unpinned tabs (which might be many more documents)
S. Wright commented
I would like to see a vertical tab well that can be moved around and docked the way the solution explorer can. Tabs Studio has this functionality but it doesn't have the auto-randomized coloring of tabs, which is a really nice feature.
Serge Populov commented
There is some trade off in VS 2013:
Tools -> Options -> Environment -> Tabs and Windows -> Show pinned tabs in separate row
But I'd preffer to have fair mutiline tabs option.
I've tried "Tabs Studio" and it's pretty good, but has its own set of limitations.
I'd love to see VS allow us to define the number tab rows. In 2013 we can pin the tabs and thus get 2 rows, but why stop at 2? I'd like to organize my tabs by grouping similar ones in their own rows. In my current project, I'd like 5 rows with between 1 and 8 tabs per row and I would like to drag and drop them to have them in the order I want.
Please implement a variable number of tab rows.
Productivity Power Tools for VS2010 had two tab rows and this made a tremendous difference because I use an HPw2408h monitor in portrait mode exclusively.
One of the benefits was that my pinned tabs stayed on the top row, while my un-pinned tabs went to a second row.
Portrait mode is GREAT for viewing code, but it means that one row of the horizontal tab row is too short, and the vertical tabs are "totally" inappropriate (try them on a portrait monitor if you don't believe me!).
My preference would be to let the user set a maximum number of tab rows, and if the user chooses two or more, switching to at least two rows whenever pinned tabs are present.