Most modern web browsers let you use tabs to open multiple web pages without opening multiple windows. A number of other apps use tabs in a similar way. But later this year Microsoft will bring support for a new type of tab to Windows 10.
The new feature is called Sets, and it doesn’t just let you open multiple pages or locations in a single app. It lets you group together content from multiple apps all in the same window.
For example you could open two or three folders in Windows Explorer, a Word document, a web page, and a command prompt and group them all as a single Set, allowing you to flip from one to the next the same way you would with browser tabs.
Microsoft first unveiled Sets late last year, and now it’s available for members of the Windows Insider program who install Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17618 for Skip Ahead.
After briefly testing Sets with a subset of users, Microsoft removed the feature from Windows Preview builds earlier this year since it wasn’t expected to be ready in time for the Windows 10 Redstone 4 release.
Now Sets is on track to ship with Windows 10 Redstone 5 later this year.
Some of the apps that support Sets including Microsoft applications including Windows Explorer, Edge, Calendar, Mail, MSN News, NotePad, OneNote, and PowerShell.
If you don’t see the point in grouping multiple apps together in a single window, there’s at least one other reason to be excited about the feature: for the first time it’ll let use tabs within File Explorer. So if all you want to do is open multiple locations without opening multiple windows, Sets can do that.
Sets also supports keyboard shortcuts for quickly switching between tabs:
- Ctrl + Win + Tab – switch to next tab
- Ctrl + Win + Shift + Tab – switch to previous tab
- Ctrl + Win + T – open new tab
- Ctrl + Win + W – close current tab
Some of the new features Microsoft has added to Sets since ending its initial public test run include the ability to launch apps from a new tab page by typing an app name in the search box, support for Win32 apps (including Explorer, Command Prompt, and Notepad), and a prompt to restore related apps and web sites when restoring a project.
Sets is still a work in progress and doesn’t currently support re-ordering tabs by dragging and dropping, but it should by the time it’s ready for release later this year.