Pagination is the process of dividing information (content) into discrete pages, either electronic pages or printed pages. Today the latter are usually simply instances of the former that have been outputted to a printing device, such as a desktop printer or a modern printing press. For example, printed books and magazines are created first as electronic files (for example, PDF or QXD files) and then printed. Pagination encompasses rules and algorithms for deciding where page breaks will fall, which depends on semantic or cultural senses of which content belongs on the same page with related content and thus should not fall to another (e.g., widows and orphans). Pagination is sometimes a part of page layout, and other times is merely a process of arbitrary fragmentation. The difference is in the degree of intelligence that is required to produce an output that the users deem acceptable or desirable. Before the rise of information technology (IT), pagination was a manual process, and print output was its sole purpose. Every instance of a pagination decision was made by a human. Today, most instances are made by machines, although humans often override particular decisions. As years go by, software developers continually refine the programs to increase the quality of the machine-made decisions (make them "smarter") so that the need for manual overrides becomes ever rarer.

In reference to books made in the pre-IT era, in a strict sense of the word, pagination can mean the consecutive numbering to indicate the proper order of the pages, which was rarely found in documents pre-dating 1500, and only became common practice circa 1550, when it replaced foliation, which numbered only the front sides of folios.


Pagination in word processing, desktop publishing, digital typesetting

Word processing, desktop publishing, and digital typesetting are technologies built on the idea of print as the intended final output medium, although nowadays it is understood that plenty of the content produced through these pathways will be viewed onscreen by most users rather than being printed on paper.

All of these software tools are capable of flowing the content through algorithms to decide the pagination. For example, they all include automated word wrapping (to make line-ending decisions), machine-readable paragraphing (to make paragraph-ending decisions), and automated pagination (to make page-breaking decisions). All of those automated capabilities can be manually overridden by the human user, via manual line breaks (that is, forced soft returns), hard returns, and manual page breaks.

Pagination in Web content (HTML, ASP, PHP, and others)

On the Internet, pagination is used for such things as displaying a limited number of results on search engine results pages, or showing a limited number of posts when viewing a forum thread. Pagination is used in some form in almost every web application to divide returned data and display it on multiple pages. Pagination also includes the logic of preparing and displaying the links to the various pages.

Pagination can be handled client-side or server-side. Server-side pagination is more common. Client-side pagination can be used when there are very few records to be accessed, in which case all records can be returned, and the client can use JavaScript to view the separate pages. By using AJAX, hybrid server/client-side pagination can be used, in which Javascript is used to request the subsequent page which is loaded and inserted into the Document Object Model via AJAX.[1]

Server-side pagination is appropriate for large data sets providing faster initial page load, accessibility for those not running Javascript, and complex view business logic

Correctly implementing pagination can be difficult.[2] There are many different usability questions such as should "previous" and "next" links be included, how many links to pages should be displayed, and should there be a link to the first and last pages.[3] Also ability to define the number of records displayed in a single page is useful.[4]

Separation of presentation and content and its effect on how we classify presentation media

Today, all content, no matter which output medium is planned, predicted, or not predicted, can be produced with technologies that allow downstream transformations into any presentation desired, although such best-practice preparation is still far from universal. This usually involves a markup language (such as XML, HTML, or SGML) that tags the content semantically and machine-readably, which allows downstream technologies (such as XSLT, XSL, or CSS) to output them into whatever presentation is desired. This concept is known as the separation of presentation and content. In this paradigm, which is now the conventional one in most commercial publishing, it is no longer possible to make a hierarchical distinction between pagination in the print medium and pagination in the electronic medium, because print is merely an instance of presentation of the same underlying content.

See also


  1. ^ Mikheev, Oleg (2007-08-28). "Ajax programming with Struts 2". Network World, Inc.. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  2. ^ Baptiste, Lyndon (November 30, 2007). "Perfect PHP Pagination". SitePoint. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  3. ^ Gervasio, Alejandro (2005-05-10). "Previous or Next? Paginating Records with PHP - Part 3". Developer Shed. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  4. ^ Innovative, Php (2011-02-03). "PHP Pagination from Scratch". InnovativePhp.. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • pagination — [ paʒinasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1801; du lat. pagina ♦ Action de mettre un numéro sur chacune des pages d un livre; résultat de cette action. Erreur de pagination. ● pagination nom féminin Action de paginer. Série des numéros des pages d un livre.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • pagination — (n.) 1841, action of marking page numbers, probably from Fr. pagination (1835), from L. pagina (see PAGE (Cf. page) (1)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Pagination — Pag i*na tion (p[a^]j [i^]*n[=a] sh[u^]n), n. The act or process of paging a book; also, the characters used in numbering the pages; page number. Lowndes. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pagination — [paj΄ə nā′shən] n. [< L pagina,PAGE1 + TION] 1. the act of numbering the pages of book, etc. 2. the marks of figures with which pages are numbered in sequence 3. the arrangement and number of pages as noted in a catalog …   English World dictionary

  • Pagination — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sur les autres projets Wikimedia : « Pagination », sur le Wiktionnaire (dictionnaire universel) D une manière générale, le mot pagination… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • PAGINATION — n. f. T. d’Imprimerie et de Librairie Action de paginer. établir la pagination d’un volume. Faute de pagination. La pagination de ce livre commence au titre. Il se dit aussi de la Manière dont est paginé un livre. La pagination de la préface est… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • PAGINATION — s. f. T. d Impr. et de Librairie. Série des numéros des pages d un livre. La pagination de ce livre commence au titre. Il y a ici une faute de pagination, la page porte 24 au lieu de 26 …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • pagination — (pa ji na sion ; en vers, de cinq syllabes) s. f. Série des numéros des pages d un livre. La pagination ne se suit pas ; il y a une faute. ÉTYMOLOGIE    Paginer …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • pagination — paginate ► NOUN ▪ assign numbers to the pages of a book, journal, etc. DERIVATIVES pagination noun …   English terms dictionary

  • Pagination (informatique) — Mémoire virtuelle En informatique, le mécanisme de mémoire virtuelle a été mis au point dans les années 1960. Il est basé sur l utilisation d une mémoire de masse (type disque dur ou anciennement un tambour), pour le but, entre autres, de… …   Wikipédia en Français

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