Sunday, August 24, 2008

Display Google results in multiple columns

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If you have a wide screen monitor, you can make use of the wasted spaces by displaying Google's search results in two or more columns instead of one by using a Greasmonkey script called GoogleMonkeyR. This script breaks down the search results to create a second or third (or even fourth) column on the search page. This requires lesser amount of scrolling to read the page while making the most out of your screen's real estate.

2column-google

GoogleMonkeyR also has a number of enhancement which are all configurable via a 'GoogleMonkeyR' link that appears at the top-right of the search page (just next to sign-in). Click on the link and you will find a number of different features.

  • Adjust number of columns from 1 to 4
  • Remove 'Sponsored links' from the search page
  • Number the results
  • Select the background color for the search results
  • Make Google links open in a new tab
  • Disable Google tracking of your search results

There is another option of auto-loading the next page whenever you scroll to the bottom of the page, but it's not working for me.

google-monkey

If you are located outside the U.S and Firefox automatically redirects you to the local search, for example I get redirected to www.google.co.in, then you need to install version 1.0.6.3 beta (given on the same page), otherwise this script won't work. The auto-load feature could be broken for the same reason and might actually be working fine with www.google.com. But I have no way of finding that out.

If you are only interested in displaying two columns and don't intend to use the rest of the features in GoogleMonkeyR, then you can use another Greasemonkey script called Two column Google. This script wraps the lower half of every Google search result page onto a second column on the right-hand side of the screen. No configuration is required; just install and use. However, there is a small difference between the two scripts. The order of displaying the results in GoogleMonkeyR is horizontal whereas in Two column Google it's vertical, just like a newspaper layout.

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