11 June 2012

Research Strategy: Tabbed Browsing

     When I'm doing genealogy research online, I often find that when I come across unexpected finds, I'm easily distracted from what I set out to do. Sometimes when I follow the new research I can loose track of where I originally meant to go.  To help me get back on track I utilize tabbed browsing in my research.

     What do I mean by tabbed browsing? It is having multiple web pages open in one browser window. It means that almost every time I click on a link on a genealogy site, I open that page in a new tab in my browser window. Here's a screenshot of this morning's research:

     You can see that I have two different browser windows open, each of them with multiple tabs. Each tab is a different step in this morning's research.

  • I started off looking at Agriculture census records for my ancestor, James Shiflet. Two tabs: the Agriculture search results and 1860 Agricultural census page.
  • I realized that I had not saved a copy of his 1950 and 1960 census records to my computer. Three new tabs: the Population Census search results and 1950 and 1960 census page.
  • The Ancestry.com Georgia Census images for 1950 are terrible. I opened a new browser window and went to FamilySearch.org. Two tabs: a General Search for James Shiflet and the 1950 census page.
  • I got distracted by another results from the general search and opened one additional tab: James' daughter's death certificate.
     At this point I have all of my research laid out in front of me. I never have to use my back button. I never have to re-key my search forms. I never have to re-load images. I never forget what I was originally searching for.

     To open my new tabs I simply hold down the command key (⌘) and click on the link.  On a windows computer this would be the control key or you can right click on the link and select "new tab" from the menu.

1 comment:

Carol said...

I currently have at least 11 web pages open, all on one line, I have had 20 or more.

I know I am in trouble when I have 3 tabs with Facebook and 2 with Google Plus PLUS Ancestry, FamilySearch, gmail, yahoo mail, Blogger (sometimes 2, 3 or 4 of Blogger), Picasa, Statcounter, and any number of independent web sites all open at the same time.

I know it is time to start closing down a couple when I can no longer read the tabs! LOL Or they scroll off the side of the page.


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