Fed up with web pages that have disabled their horizontal scrollbar?

If, like me, you find 1024 * 768 resolution produces text that is so small you need a magnifying glass to read it, you might have had get round it by lowering your screen resolution to 800 * 600, even on a 19" monitor.  However, many web designers see fit to make their web pages 1024 pixels wide and then have the temerity to disable the horizontal scrollbar!  This means you can't see the right hand side of the page when in 800 * 600 resolution.

No longer a problem: click here to launch my utility, which will give you back your horizontal scrollbar.

You just enter the pesky URL into the box, and a part of the page will be displayed at your chosen screen resolution, from which you can move to other parts using both scrollbars.
It effectively turns your browser into a magnifier that you can move around within a web page.

Since it is a PHP file, you can pass a favourite URL to it as an argument; eg. to display
http://www.pagetoowide.com   automatically using the utility,
include the following URL as a bookmark / favourite:

You can also use this to see how a page would look in 1024-wide mode without changing your screen resolution - I do this to see how my other web pages would appear to users of 1024 * 768.  Of course, this will only show how a layout might have changed - not how pathetically small the text would become!

Limitations and additional features:

  1. Some web pages start some way down, which means you might have to scroll down to see the beginning.
  2. An IFRAME is used.  If your browser doesn't support them (unlikely), you'll get an error message.
    Also, some quirky websites (notably Flickr and parts of Google) refuse to display within an IFRAME.
  3. If the target web page is itself a PHP, ASP or some other dynamically refreshed page, it might not refresh properly since it's in an IFRAME.  This is a fault of IFRAMEs that I cannot fix.
  4. If you click on a link on the 'modified' page that opens a new window in your browser, it will open as standard.  If you want to see it using this utility:
    Highlight its URL and Copy (CNTL-C); Close the window and click your browser's 'Back' button until you get the startup screen, and then paste (CNTL-V) into the URL box.
  5. If the page is very short (ie. it wouldn't normally need a vertical scrollbar), the default vertical size will be too big - so using the enforced vertical scrollbar might jump too far down too quickly.
    If this is a problem, you can provide a smaller value to override the default.
    This may be done in one of two ways:
    • If you see the form asking you to specify a URL, you may enter a different page length here.
    • If entering a bookmark, the page length, which must be a plain number, is entered as variable 'vert'.  The syntax is:-
      If 'vert' is not specified, the default page length is 3000 (pixels).
  6. If the page is very long, the default vertical size might be too small, in which case a second vertical scrollbar will appear, but only visible if scrolled (horizontally) to the right.
    Likewise, a higher value for 'vert' could be specified to overcome that problem, but it's best not to exceed 20000 otherwise there might be a lot of the target website's background at the bottom of the page.
    Best set this (if bookmarking) by trial and error.
  7. Different page widths may also be specified, either in the form or as part of a bookmark (see above).  The syntax is:-
    If 'hor' is not specified, the default page width is 1024 (pixels).
    Although any width may be specified, it is best to stick to standard ones, which are 1024, 1152, 1280, 1600, 1728, 1920 and 2048.  You could specify widths that are lower than your own screen resolution (eg. 640 for VGA) to see how a web page would look in low-res.  In this case, you won't get a horizontal scrollbar, but be warned - if the target site is too wide (and has enabled its own horizontal scrollbar), that bar will be at the bottom of the page (ie. probably out of view).
    You can see exactly how a page would appear in VGA using the following example:-
    You might have to set your browser to full screen to view the whole 640 * 480 window with just one set of scrollbars.

Steve Glennie-Smith