Today, I discovered a feature in Google Chrome that had somehow eluded me to this date. If you right-click any tab, several contextual options will be listed. Most of these are fairly standard; however, one stands out from the rest. The “pin tab” option, once selected, will transform the current tab so that only the favicon is visible, not the text. This reduces the size of the tab, but also results in it being moved to the left-most side of the bar, as seen below:
When you close Chrome, and re-open it, tabs who have been pinned will load automatically. While you could achieve a similar result by adding numerous websites to your home page list, the tab pinning approach seems better, to me. I feel it truly reflects the minimalistic nature of Google Chrome, a trait that has been a big influence in its adoption. By simply showing a favicon, they are helping support the idea that an icon should be enough to represent an application a person uses often. Windows 7, for example, took a huge step in that direction with the task bar re-design. I’m happy to see that Google is doing similar, as it optimizes how the space is used within a window, and helps organize information.
If you find that your pinned tabs are becoming too numerous, consider moving some of them to the bookmark bar. It is possible to have the bookmarks appear with only a favicons as well. To do this, simply edit an existing bookmark, and delete the name. Chrome will still allow you to use the bookmark without a name, as it still has an icon to represent it.