Hide editor tabs without disabling them

Why? you can search it with the search buttom (tab).

One of the common pieces of feedback we got in the developer survey last year was for there to be better management of the tabs in the editor - especially for users with lots of tabs.

We added the search box in 0.20 (maybe... or was it 1.0...) to help with the navigation but there's more to do. Before we added that search box, the idea of closing regular flow tabs was never going to happen.

With the search box, then maybe it isn't a completely off-limits idea. But it does need some careful consideration. I'm not sure the search box alone is sufficient for a user to know instinctively what they have got available to them.

There are some other ideas kicking around to help the general navigation of the workspace and to increase visibility of what is there. As those ideas progress, then maybe the idea of closing editor tabs can be revisited.

I would hope this is a per edit session thing rather than in the flow. I would hate to be sent a flow that looked innocent but had hidden tabs executing who knows what - with no way for me to find them as I don't happen to know the name...


I like (perhaps accept is a better word) what the browsers do with tabs - shrink them as the number of tabs grow.

Failing that, then perhaps an option to show an fa icon only?

Another option might be, a drop-down list when the tabs start to overflow?

@dceejay good point on importing.

Sorry I can't help with any actual coding (I'm not great with presentation / CSS) but hope there is some food for thought as you guys explore this.

@dceejay Good one. But if you import a flow with 20 tab, and one do a "abnormal" executing it will do as you see the tab or no. Maybe a number with the hidden tabs near the menu can help with a import.

@Steve-Mcl shrink tabs like browser do, finish with a pixel tab if you open more tabs. Drop-down list with a option of pin tab maybe could be good one.

We do shrink the tabs, but as tabs don't have individual icons then we need to keep some of the label visible.. which limits the minimum they can be. We could add the option to give tabs custom icons.. don't think that has been considered before.

Some browsers don't force all tabs to be visible at once. Firefox (iirc) scrolls them in the same way we do.

We used to force them all on screen and they got pixel small. Users complained it was unusable in that state - and they were right. Hence the current implementation.

Already got that.

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Oh. Of course the search box tab list.

@ElGranLoky - if I import a flow via cut/paste then I can visually inspect the flow before hitting deploy... (ie not running) - but only if I can see all the tabs... One of the main features of Node-RED is this ability as it allows folk here on the forum to help others by inspecting their flows quickly without running them. I'd hate for us to lose that.

As someone who has a ridiculous number of tabs in my Win10 instance (I just test flows out and never delete them) - maybe just set a max limit of 10 and charge ££££ for Node-REDPro if users want more :slight_smile:


@dceejay Yes, I also think that helping others is an important part of nodered, and that it has to be something simple to do. But I don't think it's incompatible with hiding tabs in the editor. For example:

1.- When importing enable an option to disable all hidden tabs and make them visible, or keep importing hidden tabs.
2.- Show the number of hidden tabs next to the drop-down menu once imported, or always.

When I have more than 10 tabs open it is a nuisance to move between them, especially when 3 or 4 I almost never touch them for having them finished.

I think when importing they should always be shown. If you then chose to hide them that is up to you.. So as I said, it should be held in the editor/browser state and not in the flow file.

Icons and perhaps colors :+1: “a picture can sometimes say more than 1000 words” And most of us are so bad in naming things - especially I am.

And a second line if you open subflows would be great too.

Only some suggestions.

In terms of scalability with many flow tabs, I would like to revisit the idea of a vertical flow list in the sidebar. :slightly_smiling_face:

Some related discussions about this topic:

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Thank you for linking to all the previous conversations. As I said in my reply right at the start of this topic, there are a number of ideas being kicked around already in this area. And as I said, we can consider the ability to close tabs once some of those ideas are more fully formed and we are able to address the various usability concerns this would introduce.

here's a quick suggestion.
google sheets allows the user to hide tabs.
All hidden tabs are listed in an option under the show menu (show -> hidden tabs)
You don't need to know the name of hidden tabs for when you need to re-open them.

Glad I'm not the only one!

Though that recent oops moment put an end to that.

On a follow up to the "vertical tab listing" part.

I know there is a tab list option.

And I appreciate the trick used to allow it.
Alas I think functionality was lost for ease of applying.
(No offence)

Where that button is:
Click it and get a text only list of tabs.
Normal line spacing.
This is a poor example. I am not a graphics person.
The box would be sized to fix the list of tab names.
I also don't have a good imagination for tab names.

And a scroll bar is it is too long.

WRT the tabs visible along the top:
How about limiting it to a nominal number, but......
The visible ones are the ones most recently used.

The idea is this:
Sure you have a lot of tabs.
You are working on 3 of them.

As always they are at very different points in the list.
So you finish editing one and have to scroll yonks to get to the next one.
Then when done with that tab, you have to scroll yonks to get to the next one.
Then you remember you goofed on the previous one and so have to scroll back yonks to get back to the other tab.

As you do this the last n tabs are visible.
That way the 3 tabs on which you were working are there. Easy to find.

Just a thought.

Any news on this?

@knolleary ,
I was interested in Flow Security. I believe a better approach may be more simple, and this dovetails into the concept of Hiding editor tabs by filtering them.


  1. clean up tabs on the top of systems with huge flow numbers.
  2. organize flows by name and have immediate access to the key flows you need.
  3. steer certain users/admins to key areas of concern easily to avoid hunting around for flows.
  4. better documentation use and organization of flow content if using naming conventions in flow names.
  5. browser URL with flow filter string on open.
  6. Simply Clear the filter to SHOW all TABS again.

Suggestion for editor.
The tabs on the right called "List Flows", or "Ctrl-f" you already have a means to view if you put in the text properly. "type:tab Flow". Will list only flows that start with "Flow" in the dialog only.

Provide yet another small tab with a filter symbol of some type to insert text that will reamain static and show on the editor a current filter is "Working" and the text shows the tabs along the top in the same manner when executed. Clearing the filter SHOWS all tabs and shows the user the filter is clear. [ ]

User a and user B can't see each other's tasks, otherwise they have no privacy