Tabs in web browsers are useful, but Microsoft Edge browser has a new trick: You can open two websites on one tab with both of them visible. Split the tab to see two web pages side by side.
Tabs made a huge difference to web browsing when they were introduced long ago and they enable you to open multiple web pages at the same time. It is possible to have 10, 20, 30 or more tabs open at the same time and you can switch from one website or web page to another with the click of a mouse.
This is very useful most of the time, but it is awkward to switch between two tabs, like the 4th and 13th for example. Web Browser Tabs can be clicked and dragged so that two you constantly use are next to each other, but it is not ideal and sometimes you need to see two web pages or websites side by side.
Microsoft Edge now lets you view two web pages or sites site by side in a view that is vertically split down the middle. Screens are wider than they are tall and if the browser window is wide enough, then both web pages can easily fit side by side.
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Edge calls it Split Screen in some places, but split window in others. I think split tab is better because a tab is split into two halves. Multiple tabs can be split, so you could have eight websites on four tabs, for example.
Here are some of the benefits of using Edge split screen:
- Increased productivity: Work on two tasks at the same time without having to switch between tabs. This can save you time and hassle.
- Reduced clutter: One tab can show two web pages or sites and helps to keep the number of tabs to a minimum. This can be helpful for users who have a lot of tabs open and only half as many are needed.
- Improved organization: Keeping two related web pages on the same tab in split screen helps you to keep related browing activities together.
- Increased flexibility: Like tabs, split screen gives you the flexibility to open and close web pages as you need them. This can be helpful for users who are working on a complex project or who are researching a topic.
Microsoft Edge is available for Windows PC and Apple Mac. Use either platform.
Enable Edge split screen
- Enter edge://flags into the address box.
- Enter split into the search box.
- Change the status of Microsoft Edge Split Screen to Enabled.
- Click the Restart button at the bottom of the page.
Right now, this is an experiment, but it is likely to become a standard feature. When it does, you will be able to skip this step.
Use the Split Screen button
When Edge restarts, a new Split Screen button can be seen in the browser toolbar. It looks like a rectangle with a vertical line through it. Go to a website and then click the new Edge Split Screen button.
Edge Split Screen tab
The browser window looks like this when the Split Screen button is clicked. It is split down the middle with the original page on the left and space on the right for a new site or page.
This is a larger version so you can see the controls better. Click the + New tab link and it is like creating a new tab, but it appears only in the right half of the window and no extra tab is added to the tab bar.
As it says, you can drag a link from the web page in the left side and drop it on the right side to open it in the right split.
Here are two websites on the same tab. Notice that there are now two URLs in the address box, one for the left side and one for the right side of the split.
You can click one and edit it or type a new URL to change either the left or right web page.
Open links in a split window
Right click a link on a web page and there is an option to open it in a new tab. With Split Screen enabled, there is an extra option to open the link in a split window.
Split window controls
The split does not have to be exactly down the middle of the window. Move the mouse over the divider and when it changes to a double-headed arrow, click and drag the split to resize the pages.
This is useful for certain sites, like news sites for example, and you can browse the news and drag links to the right side to read them without losing your place on the news page.
Move the mouse over the left or right side and there are three buttons. The cross is a close button that closes whichever side you click and the other side becomes a normal tab.
The first button is an interesting one and there are two options:
- Open link in the current tab: Click a link in the left tab and the linked page opens in the left tab.
- Open link from left to right tab: Click a link on the left side and it is opened on the right side. This is a great way to check out linked content without leaving the current web page.
Click the three dots button and a menu is displayed with two options:
- Open screen in a new tab: This opens a new tab and either the left or right side, whichever you click, is opened in a new tab on its own, without the split.
- View split screen pages in two tabs: The split is removed and the two sides appear in two regular tabs on their own.
For an experimental feature, which may be a regular feature by the time you read this, it is working well. Edge Split Screen is not useful with every website, but there are so many uses it is bound to become a favorite and probably used just as much as tabs.
It is especially useful when browsing a page with links and you want to check out the linked content without losing your place. It saves time because you don’t need to go there then click the back button, and you don’t need to switch tabs.
Now, how do I bookmark a split tab so I can re-open it exactly as it was with two web pages side by side?