You can do this by right-clicking on your current tab and selecting "New Tab" but I prefer keystrokes to mouse actions.
You can also do this with the Tab to the next right extension (a deservedly popular extension), but it also controls which tab will be selected when you close one and I prefer to use Chrome's own selection method. Also, sometimes I DO want the tab to open at the far right. :)
- Go to Chrome's Options / Preferences screen (click the wrench icon on the browser toolbar then select Options or Preferences -- whichever appears on your system).
- You'll find yourself in the "Basics" preference page, which should have a "Search" section. Click on the Manage Search Engines... button.
- You'll see a list of your custom-built search engines for various sites (if curious, read about Chrome's search engine configuration). At the bottom of the screen, find the set of empty fields for adding a new search engine.
- In the first field (labelled "Add a new search engine"), enter Open new tab or something similar. The words you choose are not important -- make them meaningful to you so they'll trigger your memory if you go back into this screen any time in the future.
- In the second field (labelled "Keyword"), enter a single word or single letter or a sequence of letters (no spaces nor punctuation). You'll be typing this every time you want to open a new tab to the immediate right, so short and memorable is good. I use tt
- In the third field (labelled "URL with %s in place of query"), enter exactly this text including the semi-colon at the end:
- Click anywhere outside the fields to "save" your entry.
- Move the keyboard focus to the address bar (Ctrl-L or Cmd-L).
- The entire current address should be highlighted, but if not, highlight it all (Ctrl-A or Cmd-A).
- Type the keyword you chose in step 5 above -- e.g., tt -- and hit Enter or Return.
The new tab will open immediately to the right of your current tab. Your current tab will not be affected except that the URL might have disappeared from the address bar; if you want to see the URL again, just reload the page. If you ever want to open a new tab at the far right of the address bar, use Chrome's default new tab keystroke (Ctrl-T or Cmd-T).
If you know of a better method for opening a new tab next to your current tab, please tell me by comment or email!