I use PHPStorm all day every day with 30-50 open files. The editor tab management features really need to be improved to handle this kind of situation. If you don't force a single row of tabs, then the tabs jump all over the place when you select a new tab to be active, which makes it impossible to find the tab you want to select. If you do use a single row of tabs, then the drop down list in the upper right doesn't have the option to be sorted alphabetically, which again makes it very hard to find the file you wish to open.
I would love to see two small features:
1) When using multiple rows of tabs, DON'T always re-order the rows of tabs so that the active tab is in the first row, but just leave the tabs in the same order.
2) An option when using a single row of tabs to alphabetically sort the drop down list of files.
Alternatively, is there a better way to manage this many open files?
This is actually really interesting. I've never coded like that myself, so I see what you mean when I open a bunch of files and switch between rows; it can be a little jarring. I tend to only have a few tabs open at once, Ctrl+Clicking to what I need or Ctrl+N/Ctrl+Shift+N to go directly to new files.
Do not keep so many files opened -- I doubt that you really need *that* many of them in a single point of time.
1) You can always use Ctrl+E (View | Recent Files) or alike ("View | Recently Changed Files" and "View | Recent Changes") to navigate between recent files. In case if file is already removed from this list -- if will offer to open "Navigate | Class" dialog with your already entered text.
Or use "Navigate | File / Class" straight away -- you just need to get used such workflow (which can be problematic at first, no doubts here).
2) "Tools | Tasks & Contexts | Save/Load/Clear Context" to manage (open/close) few tabs at once (usefull when working on different tasks to switch between them quickly)
I really hope that telling someone what they need isn't a standard response around here... I came here to ask the same question as I have maybe 10-15 files open at a time and run into the same problem. The tabs jump all over and it's highly annoying. The filenames used in the project are a bit long, but that isn't anything I can change. There are alternatives as you mentioned, but if that's the case, why even bother having the tabs in the first place? The reason is, that's how almost every editor works and people are used to it and like it. So please don't discount what is a legitimate request to make something better and more useful, just because you don't do it that way or think the original poster should work differently.
In our daily work I have never seen, that I or one off my team member have opened less than 20 files! We all have raised the number of recent files and the tab limit
That is not an abnormal situation for an developer in enterprise software projects. We handle code in projects with often more than 700 files.
BTW because phpstorm is able to manage so many files without slowing down intolerable like other IDE, we switch to phpstorm.
So I fully agree with the TO that the behaviour of the tabs is a little bit strange and there is some space for improvements.
You are welcome to submit your improvement thoughts in form of *concrete ideas* to the Issue Tracker at http://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issues/IDEA (IDEA is the home for IDE-wide/platform functionality) -- I'm pretty sure devs would like to make their software even better than it is now:
IF you have wide screens -- have you tried to put tab list on left/right side? This way you can see more tabs at the same time.
On related note (not really about tabs, but still): http://blog.jetbrains.com/webide/2013/02/navigating-between-files-in-the-ide-best-practices/