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make links posted by users open in a new window

When I follow a link in a question on any question/answer on S[OUF] it doesn't open in a new tab. I think it should. I'm not a big fan of having to use the back button and wait for a page to load all over again.

Why don't all links open in a new tab anyway?

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    Because generally when people click on links, they don't want to open a new page, they want to move to a new location. – Tyler Carter Jan 14 '10 at 23:01
  • What about links that are on the same site vs. an outside site? – Jon Seigel Jan 14 '10 at 23:02
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    Learn how to use a browser. I suggest SuperUser for your question. – Ladybug Killer Jan 14 '10 at 23:05
  • similar question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2275/… – Jason Jan 15 '10 at 0:33
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    Ask a 3 button mouse for your birthday ;-) – fretje Jan 15 '10 at 10:38
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    In the very least this should be considered as a user option somewhere, methinks. I'd like it. Clearly some other people want this functionality too, and it is seen on many other sites. I think these days (as the internet and browsers have evolved with tabs etc) that an external link usually opens a new tab. – noelicus Nov 30 '11 at 12:10
  • This feature makes way too much sense to be popular here. For those that want it and use chrome, install the tampermonkey extension and this script: pastebin.com/0rAKbHZu – Jonah Apr 23 '13 at 12:44
  • I wrote my own script to open links in new tab and have putted it on stackapps. you could get it here – almaceleste Mar 7 '18 at 18:52

Have all links open in a new tab?


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  • Came here to try to figure out the argument against having all [external] links open in new tab. I was "taught" years ago that it was a "best practice". I have since read many arguments against it, primarily, "let the user decide". After reading the answer posted by @timothy-carter it makes more sense and I'm ready to make the shift. A simple "No" doesn't contribute to the discussion so I down-voted it and was then informed by a pop-up that I ought to add a comment as to why. So, here I am. Anyway, the question was closed 10 years ago so I'm surprised I even could down vote it. – harperville Apr 2 at 16:33

While I typically open question in a new tab, I believe making this the default behavior would be unconventional, and remove the user's option to open things as they desire. Additionally, modern browsers/operating systems typically provide you with many mechanisms to achieve this goal. Personally, I'm a fan of the center/wheel click to open things in a new tab.

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  • Thanks, didn't know about that trick. – Lance Roberts Jan 14 '10 at 23:08

You could right-click and use the context menu to open the link in a new tab.

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    Or middle-click. I think that works in most browsers (but not on most laptops). – mmyers Jan 14 '10 at 23:02
  • @mmyers, on my laptop if I click both buttons at the same time it behaves the same as a middle click. – Timothy Carter Jan 14 '10 at 23:07
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    I'm a ctrl+click kinda guy, but each to their own. – Marc Gravell Jan 14 '10 at 23:10
  • Really? I don't think I've tried clicking both at once. I operate the touchpad with my forefinger while resting my thumb on the button, so clicking both at once is somewhat awkward. – mmyers Jan 14 '10 at 23:11

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo... If you do this, it means that people who just want to browse around the site in one window can't do it.

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Even when you forget to use some modifier key or middle-click to open a link in a new tab or window: most browsers allow you to click the back button using the same modifier key. That will then open the previous page in a new tab or window.

(Like in Safari and Firefox on OS X: Command-click a link to open that link in a new tab, or Command-click the Back button to open the previous page in a new tab. This also works for pages further down in the history, like the list shown in Safari when keeping the back button pressed for a second. In Safari and Firefox the new tab will not have any history though; one cannot go back any further from that new tab.)

(Hence: no, please do not open all links in a new tab...)

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