"Open in new tab" as default from Identify


I’m not sure I can pinpoint why, but I really don’t like the pop-up window that shows up when I click on an observation from Identify. Every time it appears, my brain says, “I don’t know what is going on here or what I’m supposed to do, make it go away.” So, my default operation for the entire time I’ve been using iNaturalist is to right-click on an observation and select ‘open in new tab’ from the resulting drop-down menu. Ah, now I’m looking at something where I know what I’m doing. After 18,000 IDs or so, I’m getting tired of the right-clicks and the drop-down menu. Do other folks like the pop-up, or is it just me? Is there any way to make ‘open in new tab’ the default?


The whole point of Identify was to provide an interface where you don’t have to open new windows, so clearly that’s not the tool for you. However, you can use Explore to do replicate the filters of Identify and cmd/ctrl-clicking on the observations will open new tabs: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=any&quality_grade=needs_id&reviewed=false&subview=grid

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It took me quite a while before I even discovered the pop-up identify modal. But once I did, and learned the keyboard shortcuts to navigate and use it, it definitely improved my ID efficiency, and I wouldn’t go back to the right-click method.

That said, I will sometimes right-click on “View” within the modal, and open the observation page in a separate tab, for the specific reason of seeming to be able to zoom in farther on the higher-resolution photos than I can within the modal. @kueda is this difference real, or am I just imagining it?

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I think you’re imagining it, but maybe I’m imagining that you’re imagining it.

I should also note that clicking on the taxon name in the Identify grid view opens the observation detail page in a new tab if you really, really want to use Identify without all the parts that make it different from obs search.


nah, you not imagining it… i do that too!

view - image info - original - right click and open in new tab, then ctrl +/- to zoom in and out…

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Yeah, you can definitely zoom in more, but I think this also depends on your specific browser behavior as well.

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I have to say that, yes, I do like the identify dialog and I’m glad I don’t have to open a new tab for each observation. The workflow seems quite natural to me, and it’s hard to see why anyone would strongly dislike it. The fact that you can’t say exactly why suggests that you just need to give it another chance. At the very least, this should allow you to pinpoint the specific features that you find lacking or difficult to use. And with that in hand, you would then be able to provide feedback to the inat devs that could be used to improve things for everyone.


If you are using a PC with a mouse, middle clicking on the observation should open it as a new tab. “Middle click” is when you press in the scroll wheel…

I agree, sometimes I much prefer to open the observation I want to ID as a new window, very spacious feeling and not constricted.

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kueda: “I should also note that clicking on the taxon name in the Identify grid view opens the observation detail page in a new tab if you really, really want to use Identify without all the parts that make it different from obs search.”

Thank you! That is exactly what I was looking for and I had never noticed it before. There are a lot of these little easter eggs hiding in iNaturalist.

Also, yes, I really, really want to use Identify without all the parts that make it different from obs search. I am totally willing to admit that this may be the result of me not understanding how those aspects of Identify are beneficial… but the gist is, I have been using Identify a lot and I don’t understand what is beneficial about that pop-up. I open it accidentally on occasion, I find it counter-intuitive and unhelpful, I close it.

before it, if you wanted to look at say, 100 white pine observations to verify, or 400 vermont observations or whatever… you’d have to open 400 tabs. This is way easier. If i just want to look at one or two things i do just open the observation.

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I prefer the 400 tabs. I’m not claiming that my dislike of that pop-up has any rational basis, just that every time it comes up I find it confusing and want to get out of it as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, I’m finding that clicking on the name under the observation doesn’t really do what I want, either. I don’t want to shift focus to the new tab, I just want to open the new tab and stay where I am. Click the name --> click on the original tab to get back is actually worse than right-click --> select open in new tab. I guess part of where I’m coming from with this is that slow page loading has been a consistent enough problem that if I open about ten tabs at a time, I’ve got a good chance that the first one has actually loaded by the time I start going through them. Anything that involves loading one observation and having to wait for that observation to load before I can do anything else is just a crapshoot… maybe it’s a second or two, maybe it’s 10-20 seconds, who knows! Some days it’s been a minute or more. Opening a bazillion tabs is kind of a bad workflow, but the per-observation wait time doesn’t have to be very high for it to become the more efficient workflow.

Add in difficulty in finding a set of “interesting” observations and it just gets worse… you click that little right arrow and… wait for it to become something you want to skip past. Ugh.

To open full size photos in a new tab from Identify:

  • Click on the ob in Identify to open the modal.

  • At the top right of every image is a box with an arrow in it - click on that and the pic opens full size in a new tab.

  • To zoom to 100%, click on the pic in the new tab.

  • To zoom above 100%, press Ctrl++.

  • To move around the pic up and down use mousewheel, and side to side you have to use the slider at the bottom.

  • Ta dah :-)

@aspidoscelis in order to reduce the number of obs you don’t want to see, perhaps use more filters in the URL. For a list of useful filters see the forum topic https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/how-to-use-inaturalists-search-urls-wiki/63

you might be better off with an explore query, and then ctrl-click to open in new tab, which will keep the focus on the query result.


That seems to work, thanks! Never would have occurred to me.