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Is it possible to make tabs in Chrome more compact? Particularly the pinned tabs.

This is what Chrome vs. Firefox looks like on my machine: enter image description here

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afaik, the only option is to alter Chrome's sources & compile them – Sathya Aug 2 '12 at 12:09
That seems like a design issue, you probably need to talk to the Chrome devs about that one. – jmreicha Aug 2 '12 at 15:58
Look, this is getting out of hand. I would advise you, Let_Me_Be, to explain a little more in your question rather than letting users guess. Make sure everything we need to know is in the question. It wouldn't hurt, would it? Obviously, the lack of explanation caused confusion for others, and there's no need to be rude against those asking for clarification. @kenorb, the thing is: The OP wants to make tabs more compact than they already are when pinned in Chrome. But I guess we know that now. Both of you, please try and be a little more civil in comments, thanks! – slhck Aug 9 '12 at 10:01
@Let_Me_Be: Pinned tabs "more compact" also could mean different things for me, i.e. that you need some Chrome extension which display them in vertical bar or in two rows (then you can see more tabs), or by adding search functionality, or by having higher resolution, or storing them as a separate session and switch between them, or literally make them compact in width size. Before you spend some time answering, it's good to ask if you really mean this or that or something else, or at least which OS are you using, it's important, otherwise one sentence could mean hundreds of other things. – kenorb Aug 9 '12 at 11:35
Secondary, saying "decrease width of pinned tabs", "make them shorter (in width)", "shrink them", "to use less space" could mean more sense than make it "more compact". My English is not my mother tongue, I assume your too, so even something is obvious for you, doesn't mean for others, so my advise is to clarify your questions next time what exactly you're trying to achieve including also your environment and versions. – kenorb Aug 9 '12 at 11:39
up vote 14 down vote accepted

The width of pinned tab is hard-coded in Chromium sources to 61 pixels (in 2011 it was set to 53 pixels).

So you have two options:

  1. Customize the width in Chromium sources and recompile it (line 74 in below file).

    File (See line: 74):

    + (CGFloat)miniTabWidth { return 61; }

    Depending on your system, here you have instructions how to build it on Linux, Mac and on Windows.

  2. Install the older version of Chromium (before September 2011 [16.0.902.0]), it has 53 pixels instead of 69.

    See the committed changes:

    and also related ticket of this change: Issue 96011: Increase width of pinned tabs by 16px

    Some people already asking to undo these changes, so you can try as well, or create a new support ticket.

    Or you could simply download the older version (e.g. 14.0.836.0 from Oct 2011] from here, before this change was applied.

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You'd have gotten +1 from me simply for answering despite the OP's snarky comments... but it's a very informative (much more so than a silly question deserves, bounty or no) answer as well, so I'd up-vote twice if I could. – Amos M. Carpenter Aug 9 '12 at 9:46
....thank you:) – kenorb Aug 9 '12 at 10:02
If you would provide this without the initial nonsense it would be perfect. Now you deserve both the bounty and a kick in the butt. But thank you for the information. – Let_Me_Be Aug 9 '12 at 10:22
Removed nonsense about theme change, if this is what you meant, thanks. I'm starting to be good in mind reading:) – kenorb Aug 9 '12 at 11:43

AFAIK, the tabs shape is the main reason for the space they occupy. Since the ones used by Google Chrome have a trapezoid shape, and the ones from Firefox are rectangular, Firefox saves more space with the same amount of tabs.

This subject has been covered, if we look at this problem from another perspective, at this superuser question, and respective answer.

As one can see from the source code, constants for inset and control points for tab shape are defined in the file and can't latter on be changed neither by extension or browser settings.

at least until the present date.

The solution could be changing the values and compiling the Google Chrome every time a new release comes out. But I don't see any gain at this.

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I use a thing called tab mix plus on firefox, for a larger multi-row tab area. You could try one of the similar extensions for chrome:

You could also try a tabbed, tiling window manager, if you can find one. That is the right way to do it™. I'm not sure if any such program exists for windows. On Linux there are several to choose from including Ion. Ion does not quite replicate the functionality of browser tabs, but it could be modified to do so; and as I said, this is the right way to do it™; a tabbed tiling window manager gives consistent tab functionality across all your windowed programs.

The only tiling window manager I've tried under MS Windows is dwm-win32. It might not give you any joy, but could be used to get a column of tabs down the right side of the screen. In some ways, that would be a better place to put them.

And, not so seriously, you could buy a monitor with high resolution, or perhaps one of the new macs with 'retina display' (you can run Linux and Windows on it too). That is not the cheapest solution!

edit: I removed a few useless suggestions and rearranged this answer.

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Buying a new screen is hardly a solution to this. You cannot alter the dimensions of the browser chrome with themes, so that isn’t an option either, and making a custom build might work, but it would be impractical since you would have to rebuild it every time a new version comes out (unless you provide the patch). The font size has no effect because the tab widths are dynamic and independent of the font. A tab-management extension may work, but they don’t affect the size of the tabs. :-( – Synetech Aug 6 '12 at 16:47
Perhaps if you put the 'buy new monitor' at the latest position you wouldn't have minuses. Al teast own theme worth to try if you have time, imho. – Putnik Jan 19 '15 at 11:52
@Putnik I shall take your advice! – Sam Watkins Jan 20 '15 at 13:17

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