Alan Freedman -- The Computer Language Company - Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Longest-Running Tech Reference on the Planet

A CDE Definition

You'll love The Computer Desktop Encyclopedia (CDE) for Tech Term of the Day (TTOD)


tabbed browsing

A function in a Web browser that hides the current Web page behind a tab and presents a new blank window for continued browsing. All browsers keep track of pages visited, and clicking Back and Forward moves through them. However, after a long period of Web surfing, the pages of most interest are often interspersed between others. Tabbed browsing creates multiple browsing sessions within the same browser window.

Multiple Browser Windows
Opening multiple browser windows has always been and still is an alternative to tabbed browsing. Users with large monitors or dual monitors often prefer two or more full pages on screen at the same time (see desktop).

Tabbed Browsing in Firefox
The arrows point to the tabs that were created by pressing Ctrl-T (Windows) or Command-T (Mac) or by clicking the plus sign on the rightmost tab.


(1) Synonymous with desktop computer. For example, the phrase "the IT department supports 150 desktops" means it is responsible for maintaining 150 user computers. In such cases, laptop computers may be counted as desktop computers.

(2) A prefix attached to the name of many early personal computer categories that performed functions previously available only on larger computers; for example, "desktop publishing" and "desktop mapping." With the advent of smartphones and tablets, "mobile" replaced desktop as the prefix in vogue.

(3) The layout of a graphical user interface (GUI), which simulates a physical desktop by allowing objects to be placed anywhere on its surface. The desktop also includes menus and icons for launching applications and managing the computer. Initially, desktop backgrounds were covered with "wallpaper," which made no sense until you realized that the screen is a vertical wall.

The One-Foot Desktop
For centuries, people spread out paper documents side-by-side on their desk surfaces for comparison. However, since the advent of personal computers, people have squashed their working space into approximately one and a half square feet. Increasingly, multiple monitors with larger screens begin to emulate a real desktop.

A True Desktop
Having multiple windows on screen at the same time offers the convenience of a real desk. These two 21" flat panels allow four Web pages or four text documents to be viewed at the same time.

Personal Use Only

Before/After Your Search Term
tabtable lookup
tab-based browsertable top virtual assistant
tab-based browsingtable view
tab charactertablet
tab delimitedtablet communications
tab keytablet computer
tab stoptablet convertible
tabbed browsertablet cursor

Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.
Computer Words You Gotta KnowSystem design
Job categoriesUnix/Linux
Interesting stuffPersonal computers
InternetIndustrial Automation/Process Control
Communications & networkingAssociations/Standards organizations
HistoryDesktop publishing
ProgrammingHealthcare IT
System design