<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/pagination.jpg” />Pagination is one tricky thing in a website design — hardly any website can do without it but it clearly accounts for lots of usability issues.
Clicking from page to page is tedious and distracting. Not every website is like Google and allows you to set the number of results per page (and even if they do have such an option, we are either unaware of it or don’t have time to configure it for every site).
Luckily, browser (in this case, FireFox) navigation addons and plugins are here to help. Here are three FireFox addons that let you navigate from page to page almost painlessly.
NextPlease! is a cool addon, the most useful feature of which is providing you with a way to jump between pages using configurable shortcuts.
NextPlease! doesn’t just work on search result pages: it analyzes the web page and tries to determine the links which will take you to the next/previous or first/last page. The way it analyzes the page is described. Basically, it looks like it detects common words for pagination, for example “next link”, “next page” etc.
The default shortcuts for NextPlease! are listed below:
|Next page||Ctrl + Shift + Right Arrow|
|Previous page||Ctrl + Shift + Left Arrow|
|First page||Ctrl + Shift + Up Arrow|
|Last page||Ctrl + Shift + Down Arrow|
You can change the default shortcuts by selecting Tools->Extensions and going to the NextPlease! Options page:
AutoPager is a featured addon that automatically loads the subsequent page when you reach the end of a page.
AutoPager needs rules to make it work. AutoPager will not work on a site if there are no rules for it yet. You can see the pre-built rules here.
Immediately after installation, you will be prompted if you would like to use the default directory of rules:
By default, AutoPager works with plenty of sites, including Lifehacker, the New York Times, Google, etc. You can easily create your own rules to tell AutoPager how to load your pages. Here are some detailed tutorials on creating new rules.
The page break is enhanced with some great navigation aiding tools including “Page up/down”, quick jump to the window bottom, etc:
Other features that can be accessed through the toolbar button include:
- The ability to pause or enable/disable the AutoPager;
- Site wizard that lets you easily create rules for new sites;
- The ability to immediately load 3/5/10 pages:
PageZipper has got a bunch of MakeUseOf love some time ago but it is said to have been improved since then. It is best to be used for image galleries because it has a couple of options that make viewing images easier and more fun.
- As you scroll down a page, PageZipper automatically adds the next page to the bottom of the page you’re on.
- On image galleries, clicking the arrow in the toolbar will skip you directly to the next image in the gallery.
- PageZipper automatically resizes images in photo galleries to fit your browser window.
Another thing that makes it different from the previously mentioned tool in this overview is that it is enabled manually — every time you want to use it, click the button in the toolbar. So it is pretty much the matter of the personal taste; many people prefer the addon to be enabled manually, others prefer automatic triggering.
Note: if you can’t seem to find the button after you install it (like I did), go to View -> Toolbars -> Customize. Drag the zipper icon into your toolbar. FireFox will hide all new buttons like this by default, so no surprise here.
Do you think any of these navigation addons and tools are worth a try? Would they make you faster and more productive?
Post image by @sahxic
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