Making unread tabs obvious in Firefox

In: Mozilla

20 Dec 2004

Update: as requested: Unread Tabs extension

Saw this tip over at the MozillaZine Knowledge Base:
Change the style of tab markers.

Adding those CSS rules to your userChrome.css file will italicize the titles of tabs that you haven’t read.

Screenshot of unread tab being italicized in Firefox

Very useful for keeping track of what you’ve read and what you haven’t (also helps prevent you from accidentally closing an unread tab).

16 Responses to Making unread tabs obvious in Firefox


Jacob Riis

December 20th, 2004 at 12am

It’s agreat idea. But if we could get an extension for this it would be even better. I don’t want to mess around config files to get things done. I would imagine the average user feels the same way.


Neil's Smaller World

December 20th, 2004 at 1am

Making unread tabs obvious in Firefox
Make unread tabs in Firefox appear in italics. Pretty cool for heavy users of tabbed browsing.



December 20th, 2004 at 1am

Firefox Rules (Again)
Those who have read this blog before will know that I am a dedicated supporter of Firefox as an alternative to Internet Explorer, and it’s not just because I want to appear leet in front of my friends. I don’t think I need to list the most important …



December 20th, 2004 at 3am

Sounds like a good idea. This seems nice & simple. Is there a possiblity of having this as default behavior?


Nathan Wong

December 20th, 2004 at 5am

Is that valid CSS? Or is it that valid CSS that IE doesn’t support so nobody’s seen it before?

#content tab[selected=”true”]




December 20th, 2004 at 5am

It’s valid. See CSS selectors.


Neil Jenkins

December 20th, 2004 at 6am

Thanks for the tip! Personally, I prefer to make the text a different colour rather than make it italic – I use a dark red (#7F352C).




Bart N.

December 20th, 2004 at 7am

Nice tip, thanks Chu Yeow !

(btw is the anti-spam letter allways “R” ? :))


John Blackbourn

December 20th, 2004 at 7am

How cool would it be to have an extension which implemented this, which also had a feature where upon right-clicking the tab, you would be presented with a menu option “Mark Tab as Unread” …?



December 20th, 2004 at 9am

I get italics for my unread tabs, I guess it comes with the theme I use: Noia 2.0 (eXtreme)



December 20th, 2004 at 12pm

More concise version:

#content tab:not([selected]) {font-style: italic !important;}



December 23rd, 2004 at 10am

Thanks for posting this handy tip. I switched to Firefox from Opera just recently, and this was something I missed from Opera. Instead of italics, I made the whole tab a different color until selected. It looks great!



January 25th, 2005 at 10am


I installed the Unread Tabs Extension, restart Firefox like it said. I then opened multiple to see it works or not but it didn’t. There were no italicized tab. What went wrong? Please help.

Thank you



July 10th, 2005 at 11pm


gambling All the choir of heaven and furniture of earth – in a word, all those bodies which compose the mighty frame of the world – have n


redemption in a blog - Unread tabs Firefox extension (otherwise known as the simplest extension ever)

January 23rd, 2006 at 10am

[…] I claim no credit for the extension: CSS comes from the Change the style of tab markers entry in the MozillaZine Knowledge Base. Thanks to an anonymous commentor, the CSS is just a single rule (rather than the 3 in the Knowledge Base entry linked to above): #content tab:not([selected]) { font-style: italic !important; } […]


Aditya Mukherjee

February 15th, 2006 at 3pm

hi! this is a really good thing (showed up #1 on google! :)

but i wanted to know if there is anyway to color a read, but updated tab when its not selected. For example, if i have Gmail open in a tab (and we all know how Gmail automatically updates itself), it’ll change the tab color if there is any change in the content, or to just show that its finished reloading?