I spent some time this weekend looking into a past feature request and minor annoyance that has to do with Chrome. I modified a phpBB installation to keep track and indicate unread posts. I further modified it to be able to open all of those unread threads in a single click. In Firefox and Internet Explorer, the feature works great as it opens a new tab for each thread and everything works as expected. Google Chrome, on the other hand, opens each popup in its own window. It’s a very minor issue but I hadn’t looked into it for a while to see if there was some sort of solution out there.
Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a solution that works in Chrome for all cases. However, I found a number of others that also agreed that it was a feature they would like to see introduced and some even listed it as a reason for why they would go back to using Firefox as their primary browser.
In Chromium’s bug tracking, I found Issue 10511 and Issue 5348 each requesting this ability to have popups open as tabs many years ago. I can certainly agree that this should be a feature request and not a bug report. The majority of those threads come from people “me too”-ing that they are also experiencing the issue and would like a setting to make it work as they desire. While my use case is one of convenience and casual usage, others provide examples of applications at work that don’t work optimally because of the setting.
Unfortunately, the developers have consistently responded with assigning a WontFix status. One of their complaints is that there is not a good UI solution to the fix. I don’t quite understand it because Firefox seems to have figured out a solution with a simple checkbox.
Another option might be to include it in the settings that already exist within Chrome. In Advanced Settings and under Content Settings, you can control pop-up behavior. Instead of just choosing to allow by hostname, perhaps you could have the choice between: Block, Allow (in new windows), Allow (in new tab).
Some people list Chrome extensions as the solution but I have not been able to find one which will work for my use. Your mileage may vary, so here is the list of extensions to check out:
Other solutions suggested include a set of manual tasks:
- Right-click on the menu bar of the pop-up window.
- Select ‘Show as tab’.
- Drag the tab to merge with the window where you want it to appear.
window.open(url); will open a new tab in Firefox while window.open(url, ‘_blank’); opens a new window. The same holds true in Chrome but because it handles user-initiated calls differently than systematic calls, both approaches result in new windows.