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Anchor jump helper

This page describes a concept for more convenient use of fragment anchors on Web pages. This concept is currently implemented in the iCab Web browser for Macintosh.

Original concept design

Have you ever come across an anchor on a page, whose destination is a fragment named anchor …

… clicked it, and had no idea where on the page it just took you? Usually, the target fragment anchor is scrolled to the top of the window, but if it’s too close to the bottom of the page then the browser can’t scroll any further upwards and the fragment anchor is stranded part-way down the window. You end up feeling dizzy. And annoyed. Now what?! Where is it? You have to scan the page looking for what you thought you may have jumped to.

Cue the anchor jump helper:

A little triangle that pops up above the target fragment anchor, which shows you where you want to be and then fades out. Because it pops up, you’ll react to it and look at what just changed, and then it quickly fades away to leave you undisturbed.

Sander Tekelenburg suggested using a real anchor:

All that needs now is to fade in an out twice with a cheesy woow-woow sound effect and it would be a great laugh. Anyhow.

Implemented version, in iCab

The iCab Web browser for Macintosh implements this idea, but the developer felt that he needed to choose alternative visuals:

I would presume that this is because he feels that there is too little understanding on the part of the browser of where on the page the fragment anchor is meant to direct the viewer, so he has iCab highlight the entire width of the page. Either that or he’s being contrary :) It works well enough, although on a multi-column page the page-width-highlight doesn’t clarify which column contains the fragment anchor.