Scrollbar of Contents Adds Navigational Markers To Websites

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 30, 2012
Updated • May 21, 2014
Google Chrome, Google Chrome extensions

If you ever had to look-up something on a very large Wikipedia page, you know that it can be kinda frustrating to find what you are looking for on that page.

While you have a table of contents in the articles, it is often the case that the contents are not displayed at the top of the article, so that scrolling is inevitable before you can make use of the table.

The same can happen on other sites, blogs for instance. If you ever had to read through a long-winded post on the Building Windows 8 blog, you may have liked an option to skip the less interesting parts right away.

Enter Scrollbar of Contents, a Google Chrome extension that is similar in design to Firefox's Scrollbar Search Highlighter add-on. The Firefox add-on displays on-page search term indicators on the scrollbar, while the Chrome extension chapters or headlines on the page.

scrollbar of contents

The Google Chrome extension adds an icon to Chrome's address bar on installation. When you click on that icon the table of contents are displayed proportionally on the scrollbar of the browser. The contents are displayed with the title of the subheading at the exact scrolling position of the page. A left-click jumps right to the heading on the page. This way you can jump right to the interesting parts, and skip the ones that you are not interested in. The links on the scrollbar are always visible, regardless of the actual position on the page. This ensures that you can access them directly whenever you need to.

You can change the default behavior of Scrollbar of Contents in the extension's options. Here you can show full or minimized markers on page load on the scrollbar instead of hiding the markers.

It is furthermore possible to change the full page title indicators on the scrollbar so that only the first three words or the first ten characters of a title are shown there. This may be helpful on websites that use long titles as subheadings.

scrollbar navigation

The default level of headings can be modified as well. The level determines which headings are displayed on the scrollbar, and which are ignored. This may take some testing to find the most appropriate setting. The scrollbar indicators are automatically adjusted when you change the level. A level of 2 seems to work better on Wikipedia and other sites with a lot of headings, while it did not work at all on other websites.

If you are more the keyboard user, you can use Shift-Alt-M to minimize and maximize markers, and Shift-Alt-N to show or hide the markers on the scrollbar.


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  1. Dewan said on March 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    this is a very interesting feature added by chrome may let it go even defeat IE in browser market

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