PageZipper: consolidate articles or listings spanning multiple browser pages into one

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PageZipper is a free Firefox extension and IE Bookmarklet that can merge articles or listings spanning multiple pages into a single browser page.

It is useful in situations where you are interested in grabbing a web-clipping or exporting the entire article or listing to another application in one fell swoop, or simply if you would prefer not to have to keep pressing the “next” button to get through the article.

I’ve known about this browser extension for a while, but I am writing about it now after using it recently and finding it to be an invaluable tool.

Check out the following video to see PageZipper in action:

I recently needed to download some 450 or so entries into Excel from a browser-based workflow and ticketing system that we use at work . There is no “export” function and I simply intended to copy and paste the rows of text into my spreadsheet. The only problem was that there were 40 listings per each displayed page in the browser, and that number was not customizible. I would have had to manually browse through a dozen or so pages and copy and paste a whole bunch of times in order to complete what I thought should have been a fairly straightforward process. This is when I remembered the PageZipper bookmarklet on my browsers; a single click loaded all listings pages instantly into the same browser page, and a single copy/paste transferred all the data into my spreadsheet all at once.

Here are more notes on this program:

  • It works well: in articles or listings that employ “next” links to move to the next page, including most search-style results.
  • It does not work well: in articles or pages that do not use “next” links or use a custom navigation scheme such as javascript (it does not work well with this site).
  • Headers and footers: from all pages are loaded into your consolidated page. This means that if you want to grab the information on the page and are concerned about esthetics you will have to go in later on and clean up your web clipping manually.
  • Be careful how you use: using PageZipper on search results that may span dozens or hundreds of pages means that your browser will be downloading and appending pages forever, and you will have to abort.
  • How to install: for Firefox you simply install a plugin. For IE you will need to place a Javascript bookmarklet on your favorites toolbar (or in your favorites folder). Instructions on how to do this are on the PageZipper site.

Wish list (or how this program can be even better)

  • The option to specify a specific number of “next” links to load. For example, if I am looking at a set of results that span 100 pages I might want to, say, consolidate and clip the first 5 pages only. It would be great if I could specify this, although I realize that it may be tough to embed too much interactive functionality into a javascript bookmarklet.

The verdict: a brilliant and original idea. This little service will be extremely valuable to anyone who does a lot of research on the internet (and/or a lot of clipping of web content). It will also be very valuable to anyone who might work with browser-based reporting systems where they might want to grab/clip or quickly copy information that spans many pages wholesale into the clipboard.

Compatibility: Requires Internet Explorer or Firefox browser.

Go to the PageZipper page to get the latest version.