Change request: open links that point to destinations outside of the Forum in new browser tabs

right now, if i’m reading a post and i see a link to, say, an iNaturalist observation, and if i click on that link, the browser navigates away from the Forum and to iNaturalist in the same browser tab. i would prefer that links to outside destinations open in a new browser tab by default. can a change like this be made to the Forum? (i know that i can right-click and specifically choose an option to open the link in a new tab, but that requires more clicking.)

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I too am not fond of the right-click, left-click process. I use browser shortcuts to avoid this, usually Ctrl-left click or ctrl-shift-left-click depending on the result desired (in Chrome). On a Mac substitute the Command key for the Ctrl key.

Action Shortcut
Open a link in a current tab (mouse only) Drag a link to a tab
Open a link in new background tab Ctrl + Click a link
Open a link, and jump to it Ctrl + Shift + Click a link



This is controllable at the user preferences level, go to Interface on your account’s settings:


ok. great. i set it, and it seems to work for items in posts. is it also possible to apply that setting to the links (to, etc.) that appear in the footer?

is it possible that there was an attempt to implement the request in the original post? i ask because i’m noticing some strange behavior in some cases when i click on links.

it seems like under default settings (open all external links in a new tab = no), clicking on some links will open them in a new browser tab, but others will open in the existing tab. for example, in this post (, the first link opens in the same window, but the second link opens in a new window, using default settings.

but if i change settings to open all external links in a new tab = yes, then both links above will open in new tabs.

I was able to replicate that. But no, no one has tried to implement the original request so I’m not sure what’s happening.

I’ve been bothered by the seemingly random decisions the forum makes about where to open links. I already looked through my profile settings and selected “Open all external links in a new tab” but it didn’t change anything. Is there anything else I can do (besides manually opening them in a new tab)?

I’ve noticed some inconsistencies as well but haven’t kept track of them. Are there external links that consistently don’t open in a new tab?

Not really. Most of them are iNat observations, and like I said - it seems random. One will open in a new tab, but five minutes later a different one hijacks my current tab. If it would help, I can try to keep track of which ones open where from now on.

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Thanks, I’ll try to do that as well.

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Well, I’ve opened 5 forum links in the past few hours. The first three opened in my current tab, the last two in a new tab. They were all iNat observations except for one link to Discourse.

Opened in a new tab: from from

Opened in my current tab: from from from

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Is this enough information @tiwane? It still seems random, but here is all my forum-link activity over the past week or so:

Opened in a new tab: from from from from from from from from from from from from from from

Opened in my current tab: from from from from,1232469&place_id=any&verifiable=any from from from from from from from from from from from from from from from

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Wow, very exhaustive! I tried many of these and couldn’t replicate, however. :/

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just a quick test:

are you sure you have this setting selected and that you’re logged in? i only see the (semi-)randomness when i have the setting turned off or when i’m not logged in.

I was about to say “yes, of course!” but when I went to check the setting had mysteriously unclicked itself. I was sure I’d hit “Save Changes”… Anyway, I’ll see if it sticks this time.

This setting has (as far as I can tell) been working correctly for several weeks now. I still don’t know what the problem is, but at least it resolved itself!


i realized that middle-clicking a link will open it in a new tab.

using my 2-button mouse, i can accomplish a middle-click by pressing the scroll wheel between the 2 buttons. on my touchpad, i’ve mapped 3-finger presses to trigger a middle button press. there’s not a good way to mimic a middle-click on a touchscreen or 2-button pen, but i guess i can live with that as being one of the tradeoffs of using a touchscreen / pen.

7 posts were split to a new topic: How to open links in external tabs?

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