navigational aids

Soon after I upgraded to Opera 7.1, a toolbar began appearing for certain sites. Intrigued, I viewed the source of one of the sites and saw <link> tags that correlated with the buttons on the toolbar. I proceeded to add the tags to my site and shazam, the toolbar appeared. I then added <link> tags to my photos pages to make them easier to navigate. All it took was adding the following two lines:

<link rel=”prev” href=”the_prev_page.html” />
<link rel=”next” href=”the_next_page.html” />

I had no idea that the tag could be used for anything other than style sheets, but I discovered that the link element has many uses. The W3C has a complete list of available types.

Mark talked about them in day 9 of 30 days to accessibility and even included instructions for adding them to Movable Type templates but I wasn’t paying attention that day. I have since added them to my individual and monthly archive templates.

Here are instructions to enable the navigation bar for a few different browsers.

Opera 7 (Windows or Linux): It’s called the “Navigation bar” and on the menu you go to View -> Navigation bar -> Auto. Opera 7’s fast forward feature also takes advantage of relationship links.

Mozilla 1.x (Windows or Linux): It’s called the “Site Navigation Bar” and on the menu you go to View -> Show/Hide -> Site Navigation Toolbar -> Show Only As Needed.

Internet Explorer 6.0: I didn’t find any mention of a navigation bar but I would imagine it will be added eventually.


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  1. I really like the navigation bar in both Galeon/Mozilla and Opera. Since Galeon has moved to 1.3 they’ve screwed up alot of the features that I really liked. For some reason they’ve also taken out alot of the configuration options that were in the previous release. For that reason, I’ve been jumping back and forth with all three. In fact, it’s not uncommon for me to have one of each browser open on my desktop throughout the day. I wish I could find one good browser for all of my needs. Am I just getting picky and naggy in my old age?

    Comment by jason on May 13, 2003 @ 7:13 am
  2. What a cool feature.

    Comment by Chad on May 13, 2003 @ 10:42 am
  3. I agree. These links can do wonders for increasing usability and if they catch on, users will have the exact same interface to navigate the major sections of a web site.

    Comment by dan on May 13, 2003 @ 10:58 am

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