Sublime Forum

How to get projects tabs on top of file tabs?


Yesterday I suddenly had two projects in the same sublime window and I have no idea how I did that. But it´s pretty helpful for me to switch between projects and not to have 5 sublime windows open at a time. I tried and read a lot already bit cannot figure out how I did it.

What I mean is:
Normaly you have two projects opened in two different sublime windows. Each project has its folders on the left side and its tabs of opened files on the top. What I suddenly had is one window which additionaly had a horizontal line of tabs above the files tabs where I could easily switch between each projects.

Would be really cool if somebody could tell me how I did this =) !

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Combine Windows?

Unfortunately it is impossible to have more than one project open in a single window at any given time. Every window has a single project associated with it, which is a temporary project that’s not saved anywhere if you just happen to have opened a new window somehow (opening a new file or a folder, etc).

You can use Project > Open Project to create a new window and load a project into it, or one of Project > Switch Project... and Project > Quick Switch Project... to change what project is loaded in the current window (the second of these shows you a panel of known projects while the first opens a file browser for you).

What you actually had was a split in the window, which is just a layout thing that allows you to have multiple rows and/or columns of tabs open, allowing you to see multiple open files at the same time, etc. Although you’re not allowed to have more than one project per window, any project (including a temporary, unsaved project) can have more than one folder open, which depending on what you’re trying to do is more or less the same thing.

The items you probably picked were in the menu under View > Layout, where there are several default layouts available to you to chose from. Besides those, you can also use the menu items in View > Groups to create extra groups of tabs as needed.

The Origami package extends this built in functionality by allowing you to create and destroy “panes” in a variety of ways, and also includes the ability to save and restore window layouts.



Thanks OdatNurd for your detailed answer.

First of all I have to explain that I am not new to Sublime Text. Although I am for sure taking only advantage of some percent of what sublime has to offer and this is my first post in this forum. I am aware about different ways of opening, quick opening, split layouts ect. and I use them during my daily work.

The thing is, I had exactly that what - if I understood you right - you said does not exist. Two projects in a row of two tabs above the opened-file-tabs of the selected project. Which normaly only apears to be in two different windows. I could perfectly switch between those two projects and could work on them independently. What it did was just to group two different editor windows into one and offer those tabs on the very top of my (single) editor window. Unfortunately I have no idea if I might have pressed any keyboard shortcut or what I did. I also don´t have Origami installed. I just stumbled over it while searching for an answer to my question. So there has to be a way or it was just a weird malfunction of sublime. Which I doubt.



Sublime seems to pretty definitively support only a single project per window based on the documentation available, although I could be wrong.

However it seems more likely that if you saw a window with project tabs at the top that it was something your OS was doing for you to meld the multiple windows together into a tabbed interface, which would mean that whatever it was is outside of Sublime’s control.

For example I think MacOS does something like that in more recent versions although I’m pretty sure in that case people have been complaining that it doesn’t seem to work properly because Sublime doesn’t cooperate with it. Presumably window manages for Linux or newer versions of Windows could do something similar.

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Sure you could be right that this is part of my OS. I am on a MAC 10.12.2. Meanwhile I found out how it is activated and it seems to work pretty nice. shift+alt+cmd+N does the trick. One Window with as much projects as “main”-tabs in it as you want.



I’ve just started to experience this same thing – it is, I believe, because of the Finder preference “Open folders in tabs instead of new windows.” I have only recently turned this on, at which point all of my projects started to collapse (upon ST3 restart) into a single window with multiple project tabs.

I don’t like it, primarily because I can’t keyboard-switch anymore. With projects in separate windows I can Command-tilde to switch, but I don’t know the keystroke to switch Finder windows within ST3. (In Finder it’s Command-Shift-Arrow, but this is already in use in ST3).

Do you know of a project-tab keystroke in ST? I may just revert my Finder preference to avoid having to drag the tabs into their own windows every time.



it is, I believe, because of the Finder preference “Open folders in tabs instead of new windows.”

This appears to be wrong… I unset this preference in Finder, but ST3 still opens with all projects tabbed in a single-window.



Same here. I seemingly activated project tabs by using ST3 in Full Screen Mode, but now cannot recreate this behaviour anymore. I actually miss it, so does anyone know how to get back? :slightly_smiling:



Really glad you posted this tip. I don’t know how it happened but I wanted it back too. If you have separate project windows you can use the command to open a blank project in each then drag the tab of one of your actual projects to the other window’s tab row to merge, then close the other window and other blank project tab. Probably more work than reopening in the blank tab but it’s an option :slight_smile:



Could anyone experiencing this create and upload a video of this? It’s hard to visualize something that is very likely not possible. A screenshot could help, too.

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can confirm that shift+alt+cmd+N creates the tabs. Perhaps it is a feature that isn’t fleshed out yet? I found it by working in osx full screen and just hitting shift+cmd+N and got the tabs. I love this feature and hope it stays in there.



@cityzen You are seeing the macOS Sierra window tabs, that Sierra makes available unless an application explicitly opts-out. You can use these as long as you don’t use the Adaptive theme, since that utilizes a full-window content area, and that isn’t compatible with macOS window tabs.



Ahh, ok, that makes sense. The first time I ever saw it was in full screen and immediately figured it was an OSX thing until I could do it in a standalone window with shift+alt+cmd N. What is that shortcut meant to do anyhow?



I believe that is a system-wide shortcut, but I am not 100% certain.



I was a big user of the system tabs above the project tabs as well. As far as I can tell it was a feature of OSX for finder tabs and the “bug” was removed as of Sublime Text 3 Build 3143 (Present in Build 3126).

I could reliably get the tabs to appear with the following method in Build 3126:

  • close sublime text completely
  • open a project from the terminal using sublime .
  • add the window that sublime opened as a split screen, full screen app.
  • open additional projects using sublime .

Here is a video of the tabs we are all referring to.

Please Sublime, make this an option to enable or disable. I can see why some people don’t like it, but there are a lot of us that have made it part of our daily workflow.



Build 3143 definitely still allows you to use macOS tabs. However, Apple doesn’t let you use macOS tabs with full-height content views, so you are out-of-luck if you want the Adaptive theme and macOS tabs.

If you are using the Default theme, press cmd+alt+shift+n to add a new macOS tab.


Project Tabs on OSX

Just upgraded to build 3143 and definitely noticed this feature is gone. :confounded: I have a few projects I work on per day that I switch to frequently. Having them in different tabs that are easily accessible is so important for my workflow.

Hope this gets added back on, in the meantime, going to try to downgrade to 3126.



There is

Project Manager

with which you can switch fast between projects. I also made a plugin some times ago that allows you to save layouts with files on several slots and reload them at will.


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I stumbled upon this thread looking at how to always use “window” tabs that macos makes available in full screen mode. I later found there is a system wide setting to do this for all apps (System Preferences -> Dock -> Prefer tabs when opening documents: Always).



Can confirm what @fleeting reported - ST3 seems to read that Dock preference to determine this behaviour (which is an annoyingly obscure way to handle it, but I digress). Thankfully switching this to “Prefer tabs when opening documents: Manually” turned it off.