Disable Tabs Altogether

Disable

Use case or problem

I find tabs annoying and distracting in Obsidian and would prefer to turn them off completely.

Proposed solution

Current workaround (optional)

None that I’m aware of. The Hider plugin hides tabs but doesn’t disable them. Stacking tabs makes them less annoying aesthetically, but doesn’t change anything functionally.

Related feature requests (optional)

12 Likes

I agree Tabs should be a core plugin, but in the meantime…is there actually a difference between hidden and disabled?

Yes — when they’re hidden, new notes still open up in a tab in the same pane. So the tabs themselves are hidden, but the tabbing behavior stays the same.

4 Likes

I will say, using stacked panes and the hotkeys to tab between notes is causing me to warm up to this setup. I wonder how others feel?

Hider doesn’t help. Since it hides other useful buttons that are currently on the tab bar that aren’t related to tabs.

1 Like

I am sorry you about you bad experience. This is unlikely to happen as core feature. If somebody wants to write a plugin to cover this, they are free to do it.

I’m writing to add my vote for an option / plugin to disable the tabs. I have already read some of the threads on the forum. I’m one more user who doesn’t like them and need them.

4 Likes

The option / plugin should be to enable tabs, which would be disabled (as it was before 1.0) by default.
It’s annoying how every project keeps adding ‘features’ endlessly, breaking previous behaviors and introducing more bloat than real gain

4 Likes

Agree.
Tabs currently disrupt me work process greatly.
It tabs cannot be disabled, could it be tuned at least to open new note in current tab instead of the new one?

1 Like

Use case or problem

I upgraded to V1.0 and was presented with the tabbed UI/UX. I had tried this by using a community plugin in the past and hated it. I uninstalled the plugin and was happy with the (then) standard Pane UI/UX

Proposed solution

Give the users a way of turning off tabs so that we can work the way we want - tabbed UI/UX or Pane UI/UX

Current workaround (optional)

Work with one file only at a time. - So very not ideal.

Related feature requests (optional)

4 Likes

Video footage of the anti-tab movement.

I won’t go so far as to say “I hate it” yet, but I certainly find myself getting messy with tabs already. I find that tabs aren’t terribly necessary when every file is available by simply pressing ⌘+O, so all the tab adds is visual clutter.

I turn on Focus Mode or use Hider to toggle the tab bar. It seems a bit silly, though, to use CSS to hide the tab bar that is actually there, instead of just not having tabs.

Given how easy it is to open a file with the launcher, I’m curious whether people are finding tabs really useful

1 Like

+1 for the option to have a more ‘pane based’ rather than ‘tab based’ ui. Something like an option for default ‘open/new note’ behavior - same tab, new tab, new pane left/right, new pane up/down etc.

The ability to have notes open side by side is the big draw of Obsidian for me, and since 1.0 that’s become harder. Maybe I just haven’t figured it out yet, but I also find tabs leading to clutter, and I just find it harder to navigate and keep track of what I’m doing.

I can see how tabs can be useful, but, for me, writing is not like browsing and tabs just don’t really fit how I would like my workspace set up. Where tabs shine, I think, is on mobile, it’s made working on more than one file on mobile so much better, for me at least!

2 Likes

Adding our voice of assent. So many other things that are—to me—core functionality of Obsidian are disablable as core plugins. The file viewer, format converter, page preview, all are possible to disable in the core plugins screen.

I understand that to the developers who worked hard on this feature, hearing that people want to disable it must be heartbreaking. But the fluidity of Obsidian, along with how it focused my workflow… an extra step has been added to every time I want to open files side-by-side, and when I swap files I need to strictly clamp down on Obsidian creating the beginning of a “tabsplosion” and ruining my focus.

If tabs are too core to Obsidian as it is, their implementation too tangled to disable as a core plugin, I plead for a way to modify the default file opening behaviour (think of it as the left click behaviour) and a further way to modify the middle mouse/command+click behaviour.

With both of those people will be able to return to prior functionality, and sticklers for aesthetics can use Hider from there to get rid of the tab bar if they wish.

These words on the website, or perhaps something like them, was what drew me to Obsidian to begin with:

I implore the developers to not betray that.

3 Likes

+1 for this sentiment.

\begin{rant}
What is frustrating about this change is that it feels imposed rather than offered. The great thing about the modular design of obsidian is that if you don’t want to use a feature you can just turn it off or ignore it. That choice is not available for tabs!

Take the shortcuts for new tabs/tab groups. It would have made more sense, to my mind, to give the new feature the new shortcut (ctrl/cmd+alt+Enter/Click etc), rather than making everyone change what they are doing. It is not like the people who want to use the new feature have to change what they are doing, since the feature wasn’t there before.

Just to be clear I don’t have anything against tabs themselves, and I can see myself using them under some circumstances (tabs for different workspaces would be great!!). I just don’t want to be told I have to use them when it doesn’t make sense for me to.
\end{rant} :slight_smile:

2 Likes

One helpful command to appease us tab-averse folks would be a command to close a pane. If I want to close a pane, I think I now have to ⌘W repeatedly until I’ve closed all the tabs I’ve happened to open in a page. This is needless friction, and could be solved by simply allowing me to close all tabs in a pane at once.

I believe this is the only place that tabs now bother me, as I use Hider to hide the tab bar. The only time I see tabs are when I’m closing a tab, and the one underneath appears.

It might be productive to delineate what precisely is bothersome about tabs, so that we can identify solutions beyond simply turning tabs off. (If we could simply turn tabs off, I’d probably just do that. But! if that doesn’t seem like a likely direction, and we are all going to be living with tabs, maybe it will be possible to iterate to a version where even us tab-haters feel like we arrived at a useful, improved product

2 Likes

To add to the discussion: it’s now harder, because of tabbing behavior, to place panes side by side. When you move a pane, it wants to join a tab group. So it’s actually much harder to work using what used to be the default way of doing things. It really can be quite frustrating when I want to view two things side by side, but can’t.

1 Like

In the new world: pane = tab group.
Perhaps you mean “when you move a tab, it wants to join a tab group”.

I don’t think that this specific aspect (dragging tabs) is that much different.

you can try to use “close all other tabs” followed if you want by “close current tab”". Maybe we can add “close all tabs” (in the current tab group) in a future release.

This is an anti-multitasking movement, not just anti tabs (which I agree with). If this is the case, you shouldn’t be using neither tabs nor panes (tab groups).

The mouse actions where changed to align with the keyboard shortcuts and to act in similar way to what most users are used to in web browsers. This was an intentional hard change done before 1.0 release. For making mouse actions customizable, please follow this FR:

I’d missed “close all other tabs”, so that does make things a bit easier and probably removes most of the hassle of tabs for me.

This is an anti-multitasking movement, not just anti tabs (which I agree with). If this is the case, you shouldn’t be using neither tabs nor panes (tab groups).

Not terribly important to argue this distinction, but I actually disagree – and I want to share because it’s actually one of my favorite aspects of Obsidian. Looking at multiple panes at once can be incredibly helpful for a single task. Multiple panes mean that you can reference one file while writing in another. Sometimes, I’ll even open the same file in two separate panes so I can see what I’ve already written elsewhere. Having these files open as tabs would make a new activity out of looking at each file, but by having them side by side, it is one activity to write in one file, based on the source material of another.

that’s fine, panes (tab groups) are still available.

Agree entirely, Please give disable tabs option.

Until now my obsidian space has been clean: just what I am thinking of right now, with the possibility of opening additional panes if I want.
This is distinctly different to (say) web browsers where it is so easy to just open another pane, and now I have so many open panes that their presence is a distraction. It’s really a ‘must look at later’ list.
Now Obsidian has done the same thing.
When I launched obsidian this morning I find 6 unrelated tabs open, all the results of previous searches and what flowed from that.
It clutters my thinking, which Obsidian was helping me overcome

The more you force people to work the way you would like to work, the less user friendly a product becomes.

I get it that some people love tabs. But please allow this to be at user discretion.

2 Likes