The Vivaldi Browser’s Workspaces Tame Your Tab Jungle


In my case, within my work profile I have a series of tabs related to Linux laptops, plus several tabs about sleeping pads, hard drives, solar panels, and other topics I research and write about. Then there are the core tabs I need for day-to-day work, like my email inboxes and all the publishing tools we use at WIRED.

Prior to Workspaces I would group all these tabs by topic in tab stacks. This works, but I have found that once a tab stack gets over about four tabs, it’s tough to navigate. Now, with Vivaldi 6, I group these topic-related tabs into Workspaces. I set a keyboard shortcut so that I can cycle through them and easily jump between topics. When my editor asks me something about an upcoming guide, I can quickly jump to the workspace with that topic and find the answer. This workflow feels clearer and cleaner than it did before Workspaces, when I had to spend time hunting for tiny tabs within a stack.

Workspaces also make it easier to reduce the memory footprint of all those open tabs. Just as you would with an individual tab, or a tab stack, you can right-click and hibernate a whole Workspace. When you reopen your browser only the tabs in the current workspace load, which helps to keep memory usage down.

The power of Workspaces goes beyond how I use them, especially if you start creating custom Command Chains (which arrived in Vivaldi 4.1). For example, you could combine the command to switch workspaces with the command to switch themes and give all your workspaces a custom visual cue that signals which workspace you’re in. The Vivaldi blog details how to do that and how to add custom icons to your toolbar to switch to specific workspaces.

As powerful as Workspace are, there are a couple of things I think would improve them. I’d like a way to make pinned tabs exist across all Workspaces. Keeping with the example above, I’d like to see my work email tab in every Workspace, which would be possible if you could somehow pin tabs to be outside Workspaces. It would also be great to have some kind of visual workspace switcher accessible via keyboard shortcuts, something like the tab switcher, so I could jump between workspaces. (It’s possible to cycle through Workspaces with the keyboard, but when you have quite a few this can be a little slow.)

Rereading this I realize it sounds perhaps a little insane, but then I think Vivaldi is made for those of use who browse the web a bit more, um, thoroughly than normal people.

Even if you aren’t quite at this level of nonsense, Workspaces can help add a little separation to your browser. Vivaldi’s example includes separating work, shopping, and school. They’re also good for keeping a web-based game hidden when the boss walks by (though if that’s an issue, I might suggest new job is a better long-term bet). You could even use them something like Profiles for different family members if you didn’t need to keep account logins separate.

Whatever organizational scheme you concoct, just know that it will be limited to the desktop; Workspaces are not available on the mobile version of the browser.

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