27 August 2012

Banish (some) multipage articles with Page One

If you browse a lot of news sites on the web, you are bound to come across a large number or articles that are not written on a single page, but split into multiple pages – be it for legitimate reasons, like their length, or just to get more page views and ad impressions for the site. Most offer a single-page – or print – version as well, but switching to it takes some time to locate the right link and an additional page load. So last week I decided to spare myself this annoyance and find a way to load the full version of articles by default. With a browser extension it shouldn’t be that hard, right?

Page One Chrome extensionI tried my query first on (where I didn’t get any answer) and later on Quora (where someone suggested the Instapaper bookmarklet, which isn’t a good solution, since it doesn’t do the job automatically), so finally I turned to good, old search. After a couple of tries, I found just what I was looking for: the extension Page One. There is no extra button or context menu, the extension just works behind the scenes, redirecting multipage articles to the single page version (if available) while loading. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have a global effect on any site – because there are several methods to get the single page version – instead it uses a list of big publishers and the extension needs to be updated to support another site. You can suggest other sites you would like to see included on the main web page of the extension. Scientific American would be on the top of my list, since they tend to split relatively small articles into two pages, the second one containing one or two paragraphs at most… – not nice!

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