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How to use Spaces in Arc browser for a much-improved tab experience

There's a new web browser on the scene and it's pretty exciting to see a company shift the landscape that has been stuck in some fairly thick mud. Arc has done just that and it has a feature for tab management that you'll love.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer

Once you start using Spaces, you'll have trouble going back to your default browser's tab management options.

Cavan Images/Getty Images

Some time ago, I shifted away from my favorite web browser, Firefox, to Opera because of one issue. 

Tab management.

I would inevitably find myself with 30+ tabs open and struggling to make sense of it all. When those tabs shrink enough to allow room for their brothers and sisters, they become almost impossible to discern.

Also: Best secure browsers to protect your privacy online

Fortunately, Opera offered Workspaces, which was (and still is) tab management perfection. The switch made sense and helped rid my daily grind of a lot of confusion.

And then Arc Browser comes along. At first, I shrugged it off as just another gimmicky browser that was little more than a pretty facade over the usual crop of features that would inevitably evolve into bloat.

I was wrong. Very wrong. 

In fact, Arc Browser has more than piqued my interest. So much so, that if the company behind the browser were to release a Linux port, it would most likely become my go-to browser. Unfortunately, that's not the case, so I'm having to use it sporadically on my MacBook Pro. Even so, what I'm seeing in Arc Browser could put Opera (and most other browsers) to shame.

One area where Arc Browser really shines is tab management. Very much in the vein of Opera, Arc Browser has a feature called Spaces, which allows you to categorize tabs into different spaces. For example, you could create spaces for Social Media, Work, Shopping, and News (or whatever categories you need). Much to my surprise, I find Arc Browser Spaces to be even more effective than Opera's Workspaces.

Also: This might be my new favorite cross-platform web browser

Let me show you how this feature works.

How to create a new Space in Arc Browser

What you'll need: The only thing you'll need is Arc Browser installed on your desktop or laptop. As of now, Arc Browser is only available for MacOS and Windows (although the Windows version still requires you to be on a waiting list). 

1. Open Arc Browser

The first thing to do (after installing Arc Browser) is to open the app. Once opened, Arc will default to a single Space which lives in the left sidebar.

The Arc Browser on MacOS.

By default, Arc will have a single space but you can add as many as you need.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

2. Create a new Space

Near the bottom right corner of the left sidebar, you'll see a + button. Click that button to reveal a popup menu. From that menu, click New Space.

The Arc Browser New popup menu.

The Arc Browser New popup menu allows you to create Spaces, folders, easels, notes, and tabs.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

3. Name your new space

The new space will appear and will default to a name like Space 2. The first thing you should do is rename it. To do that, hover your cursor over Space 2, click the Edit button, and then click Rename Space from the popup menu. In the resulting popup, type a new name for the Space and click Rename.

Keep adding all of the Spaces you need in the same way. Once you've created the necessary Spaces to help you better manage your tabs, you're ready to go.

The Arc Browser Space rename popup.

Renaming a new Space in Arc Browser.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Also: No browser is perfect. What's a user to do?

Here is a handy tip for your new Spaces: Make sure to give each space a unique icon, as that will help distinguish among them for easier switching. To change the icon, open the Edit popup menu, select Change Icon, and find an icon that is fitting for the category.

4. Switching between spaces

There are four ways to switch between spaces:

  • Click on the Space's unique icon at the bottom of the Sidebar.
  • Use a two-finger swipe, either to the left or right, in the Sidebar.
  • Use the Control+[number] (ex. 1, 2, etc) key combination.
  • Use Command-T to open the Arc Brower search and type the Space name.

On my MacBook Pro, I use the swiping method, because I find it to be the most efficient.

5. Move a tab to a different space

At some point, you're going to open a website in a tab in the wrong space. When that happens, you can easily move it to the proper space by right-clicking (or two-finger tapping) the tab and selecting Move To > SPACE (Where SPACE is the name of the destination space).

The Arc Browser Move To popup menu.

You can also pin a tab to a specific Space from this same menu.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

And that's all there is to using Arc Browser's Spaces feature. This method of tab management should put all other browsers on high alert that there's a better way available. Once you start using Spaces, you'll have trouble going back to your default browser's tab management options.

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