9/7/16
4:30 am

Tabs in macOS Sierra

With macOS Sierra you can use Tabs in more apps than just the Finder and Safari. Most Apple apps such as Pages, TextEdit, Keynote and Numbers support tabs, so you can have several documents open in the same window. Some third-party apps already support tabs. Others will most likely add compatibility in the future.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. On today's episode let's look at a new feature of Mac OS Sierra that let's you use tabs in many applications.

With Mac OS Sierra coming up really soon I want to show you one of my favorite features. It's Tabs which aren't anything new, right. Here in Safari you've got tabs and you can add another tab in Safari. Also, in El Capitan we had tabs in the Finder. So I can do Command T to create another tab and I can go back and forth and have two tabs open in the same window.

But, in Mac OS Sierra we've now got tabs in other apps as well.

Now with other apps you don't always have the Create New Window or Create New Tab option as you do in Safari in Finder. But you can still do it in various ways.

So, for instance, in TextEdit here I've got a TextEdit document and I can create a New document and I can merge these two by going to Window and saying Merge All Windows. Now they're merged into one window with two tabs. I can also drag that tab out to go back to one window.

Now an easier way to do it I found is to, in this first window here I want to create another document and I want to create a new tab but I don't have that there. I can go to View, Show Tab Bar. Once I have Show Tab Bar I can hit the plus button here and create more documents and more tabs.

Let's look at this in Pages. So in Pages it's almost exactly the same. I have a document here and I can create a new document and then merge them. Or I can go to View, Show Tab Bar and you can see I've got the tab bar now with the plus button here. It even brings up that little choose a template window but inside of the tab which is really nice. It shows that it really is integrated with Pages. So now I've got two tabs here. I can close individual tabs. I can add another tab. I can do all sorts of things that I normally do with windows including drag out to create another window there or merge these together into one window with multiple tabs.

So what about third party apps. Well, it works with some and not with others right now. I expect a lot of developers will be updating to incorporate this. So, for instance, the image editing app Pixelmator doesn't seem to have any ability to bring up the tab bar or to create multiple tabs. But the image editor Acorn does indeed have that. I can do Show Tab Bar. Have multiple documents open in different tabs. Even under Window I've got Show Previous Tab, Show Next Tab, Move Tab to New Window to break it out.

So some third party apps are going to support this right at the beginning here and others may take a little while.

Now I think it is definitely a requirement here that the app you're using have normal document windows like Pages and TextEdit and image editing apps, and Numbers, and Keynote and all that. When you have apps that have unusual windowing things, like Notes has really just this one window here so there is no ability to tab. Even Reminders where you can actually open these special windows with just a single list doesn't seem to have any tabbing ability because this type of window and this type of window aren't exactly the same kind of thing.

So this works in normal apps but not so much in unusual apps. It really goes from app to app. But things that edit documents like Pages, Numbers, Keynote, TextEdit, and the like will most likely support this with the release of Sierra.

Comments: 3 Responses to “Tabs in macOS Sierra”

    Bruce Peck
    9/8/16 @ 7:26 am

    Will this feature work with MS Excel?

    9/8/16 @ 7:32 am

    Bruce: not sure. Try it once you have Sierra and let us know.

    Nicholas Manno
    9/27/16 @ 12:29 pm

    Bruce Peck – I have looked all through MS Excel and if it allows Tabs, I can’t find it anywhere.

    Gary, keep up the fine work. It is appreciated.

Comments Closed.