How many times each day do you click on the “next” button on a website? Maybe it’s for a search page, news, or image sharing sites? With the help of some scripts or extensions you’ll be able to rid yourself of the manual navigation burden!
We’ve already written about scripts that invoke a technique commonly referred to as auto pager or pagerization, but that was earlier this year and since then there have been a lot of advancements in how it works. In particular the auto pager scripts can run on dozens and dozens of different sites, with little configuration on your behalf.
Auto pager is a simple idea in that it just concatenates results onto the current page that you’re viewing. We put together a very quick video demonstration (13 seconds long) of how auto pager works in Google search results:
You’ll notice that when I scroll through a little more than halfway down the page more results are retrieved, and then they’re automatically added onto the bottom. It’s almost as if I had clicked on the next button, but the auto pager did all of the work for me. And you’ll know when it’s hard at work because there is a loading indicator in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
Now we’ll take a look at how you can setup your browser to take advantage of an auto pager.
What I used in the video wasn’t actually a Greasemonkey script, but it is instead a full blown extension that is jam packed with amazing features. It’s intuitively called AutoPager, and it works for dozens (maybe even hundreds) of sites instead of just working for Google like most of the scripts available. Once you download it you can dive into the settings where it lists all of the sites that it currently supports:
Tip: Try this extension out on image sites such as Flickr and Google Images. It will save you an incredible amount of time when you’re trying to find a certain picture!
Amazingly this extension also checks for configuration updates for the sites that it supports. That’s significant because if a website, such as Google or Yahoo!, change their layout it’s likely that someone will update the AutoPager code so that you won’t even notice an issue. By default AutoPagerchecks for updates each time you start Firefox, but that interval can be customized.
Since AutoPager works for so many sites it is likely, for one reason or another, that a user may not want to have a certain site pagerized. For each site you visit you’ll need to enable AutoPager via the little window that pops up in the bottom-right corner:
The “E” stands for enable (one-time use), “D” is disable (one-time use), “AE” is always enable, and “AD” is always disable. Just select the appropriate option for the website that you’re viewing, and AutoPager will be sure to remember it later on.
Note: This is even compatible with pre-release versions of Firefox 3, whereas many of the Greasemonkey scripts are not!
There are all kinds of Greasemonkey scripts available for doing the same thing as that extension, but the one that stands ahead of the pact is Pagerization with over 40,000 downloads. Much like the extension it works with dozens of various websites, but it’s obviously not as configurable.
One of the issues that I found with nearly all of the scripts was that they use Greasemonkey-specific features that prevent them from working in Opera. I dug through over 20 auto pager scripts before I came across a one called GoogleAutoPager that did happen to work in Opera. Unfortunately it only the script is only setup to work with Google Search, but I’m guessing that is the primary site people will want to use the script with anyway.
Be sure to let us know how you have pagerized your browser in the comments below. I’m interested to hear what useful sites you use this on!