Split Browser: split your Firefox window into multiple browsers


Split Browser is a Firefox plugin that can”split” your browser into multiple panels, enabling you to view multiple web pages simultaneously in the same Firefox window.

It is useful in situations where you would like to be able to surf the internet using a part of the screen while maintaining another site, web mail service, or web app etc.

visible in another part of the screen at the same time.

I first saw this plugin being used by a colleague at work who was using it to keep a page on display at all times in the lower part of the screen that displayed his “tickets” (we use a “ticketing” system in our office to assign tasks), while doing his normal browsing in the upper part of the screen.

Which of course prompted me to start thinking about other pages that someone might want to be able to see alongside their normal surfing activity, e.g: web-based email, streaming internet radio or music services such as Pandora, online to-do and productivity software like GTDAgena or Vitalist, online instant messaging services such as Meebo, online note-taking services, and, naturally, the various social networking sites, etc.

Of course it is possible to have something quite similar to what Split Browser does by arranging sperate Firefox windows around your screen (for example using a program such as WinSplit Revolution), but Split Browser does the job elegantly and seamlessly inside Firefox. Here are more notes on this program:

  • Number of split browsers: You can add as many split browsers as you like and place them anywhere on screen (top/bottom/left/right). I had 6 sections going on at once at one point.
  • How to create a split browser: right click on the tab or anywhere on the page and find the “split tab to” context menu. Or otherwise hover ove r the edge of the frame and a little arrow will appear on the side that will create a split browser window for you in that side of the screen.
  • Synchronized scrolling: makes scrolling actions in any one window apply to all other split browsers which have this option enabled. Although this option appear in the main “split menu” I found that you have to enable it individually for each desired window for it to work.
  • Home page and new pages: any split browsers you create will appear alongside your home page the next time you restart Firefox or whenever you create new Firefox windows. While this makes sense on some level (if, say, you’ve splitting your browser window such that your web based IM shows on the bottom you are likely to want that window to appear every time you start your browser) .. nonetheless I would have preferred some sort of control over which split browsers are always displayed when launching new windows.
  • Split browser controls: the main “split menu” allows you to manage your split browsers quickly including closing all of them, arranging them (horizontally, vertically, or tiled), expanding or collapsing them, and gathering them all back as tabs in the main display.
  • Tabs: you can create tabs freely in the split browsers just as in the main display.

The verdict: a very interesting concept and in general a nice option to have even for normal browser activity. If there is a web page (or pages) that you would really like to be always on display Split Browser does the job simply and elegantly. Moreover if you have a large monitor/display you will find Split Browser a great help in enabling you to get the most out of it.

Version Tested: 0.5.2008101801

Compatibility: Firefox 2/3

Go to the plugin page download the latest version (approx 101K).

  • I appreciate your work and enjoy your recommendations, but please can you do something about the links to the products, I had to scan the page three times before spotting it in small font at the very very bottom, almost as if deliberately hidden !

  • David

    I just wanted to let you know that I read your website on a daily basis, and every time I want to download one of your suggestions I have the DAMNDEST time finding the download link. You need a big green button at least 100pixels wide!

  • Vend

    Try ctrl-f. I found it on the third time I pressed F3.

  • Anonymous

    Guys, it’s a FF add-on! Why do you need a download link?

  • eltranced

    meh! btw are you guys starting to post firefox extensions now?

  • Pedro

    I truly cannot understand this resistance, samer, to make the link reference *at least* as big as the text itself. Why??
    Apart from this glitch, this is the best freeware site there is, my friends!

  • Lokazan

    Opera browser’s been proposing this feature for years.
    Just create 4 tabs, and choose Tile from the main menu. Tabs can even be locked so that you get your 4 tabs any tine you launch the browser.

  • mete

    this was one of my must have addons for FF2 but, since the last time I checked it hasn’t quite matured for FF3 I am really waiting for this to be debugged I would use it(and report bugs) if it wasnt constantly crashing my FF3

    I need this badly because I use FF as a file manager as well

    @lokazan: when I first tried opera I really liked the idea of tabs in seperate windows, but I prefer something like the maxthon split screen view, operas idea of maximizing/minimizing tabs is useful at times but confusing and cluttered more of the time for me…

  • Samer

    @ mete. I tested this on FF3, and it worked like a charm.

    BTW I’m curious as to using FF as a file mananger. How do you do it, what plugin(s), etc. ?

  • Cool idea. I have two 24″ LCD monitors side by side though, so I plenty of room and don’t need something like this.

  • Important

    Very tough to find the link, easily fixable problem the link should not be that small 🙁 just a recommendation to keep people from gettings frustrated and leaving the site immediately.

  • M@

    @Brian: I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I am working on a pair of 30 inchers and I am really happy for this plugin. It’s nice to be able to have three panes going at once, each with its own job to do, and not clutter up my taksbar.

    I just wish I could find a keystroke that would transfer control from one pane to the other. I use Vimperator (awesomest plugin ever), and its a real drag to have to use my mouse to switch panes.

  • Peter Cross

    I have hit something in my Firefox (????) that split my window–the NOAA weather site I go to daily is in the left column, and cannot be expanded beyond a couple of inches–the other window may be able to overlap it–have to explore more fully. I want this gizmo GONE!!! ASSUMING this is what it is, suggestions? Just installed Firefox 13–window is staying the same.

    Any help GREATLY appreciated.