Cure multi-page articles with Repagination and Adblock Plus

I don’t know about you, but when I see what should be a one page article spread across 6 pages in tiny chunks, it drives me nuts! Call me crazy, but I don’t want to wade through ad-saturated page after ad-saturated page just to read a simple article!

A few examples of this are:

  • computerworld.com
  • environmentalgraffiti.com
  • ew.com
  • gamesradar.com
  • instructables.com
  • itwirecom
  • maximumpc.com
  • rd.com

While Adblock Plus usually makes short work of the ads, there are also self-promoting ads on every page as well. I may be interested in these on the first page, but by the second, third and fourth pages they’re nothing but the visual equivalent of static noise.

Repagination (a Firefox add-on) stitches all of the pages together, much like taking a report and taping the pages end to end to create a large ribbon.

Add in Adblock Plus’ side kick “Element Hiding Helper” to zap the noise, and you can actually do what you set out to do – read the article!

How-to:

Requirements:

The first thing you’ll need to do is stitch the pages together:

  1. Right-click on the Next link
  2. Choose Re-pagination
  3. Choose All
  4. Wait as it loads (you should see your scroll bar shrinking and jumping up)

Then I’d recommend scrolling down to the second page, or even just the last page.

before-part-of-page-1-some-of-page-.png image by AmandaKerik

Once you’re there, you’ll want to use Adblock Plus’ Element Hiding Helper to target the areas that are not related to the article (header, footer, “you might be interested in” links, etc.)

The way I target each annoyance is:

  1. Right-click on the Adblock Plus icon and choose “Select Element to Hide”
  2. Move your mouse over the offender
    starting-selection.png image by AmandaKerik
  3. Hit W (wider) on the keyboard until it outlines an area that affects the content
    go-one-step-too-far.png image by AmandaKerik
  4. Hit N (narrow) to go back down a level
    final-target.png image by AmandaKerik
  5. Hit B (blink) to see what removing that selection would affect.
    after-first-selection-applied.png image by AmandaKerik
  6. Hit S (select) to choose that area
  7. Go into the advanced editor
    selection.png image by AmandaKerik

Here’s the tricky part… I, personally, don’t like the first page affected by the slimming process.

In the advanced editor,

  1. scroll up the tree until you’re just under the body area,
  2. choose the one that’s the ancestor of your target
    direct-ancestor.png image by AmandaKerik
  3. then find the ancestor with the SAME name on the same level.
    selection3.png image by AmandaKerik

Troubleshooting:

Every once in a while Repagination inserts a frame for the next page, which foils adblock’s selection.

The easiest solution to this is to go into Adblock Plus’ Preferences, finding the rules for the site, and replacing (as an example):

instructables.com##*#container + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + *#container > DIV#sidebar

with

instructables.com##*#container ~ *#container > DIV#sidebar
after-tilde.png image by AmandaKerik

The tilde (~) means “any sibling after”, and so this would target all of the “container”s after a “container” that are on the same level. It’s usuall shift + `, which is called a “back tick” and is in the very top left of most keyboards.

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