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Why do navigation buttons not show up on some websites?


Navigation boxes do not show up on some websites. When I go to Amazon to
download a Kindle book, I now have 283 books, I have to move the mouse pointer
around so that I can locate the command “send to Bubba’s Kindle.” When I go to
Jet Blue and other sites, the Continue or Submit boxes are not visible. I now
know where the Kindle download command button is, but on the other infrequently
used sites, I roam the page and still do not find the command box to click on
to move to the next page. Both Jet Blue and Amazon say it’s my PC and not their
website that’s at fault.

In this excerpt from
Answercast #52
, I look at a situation where full web pages do not seem to be
displaying correctly on a monitor.

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Missing website buttons

Yea, I’m actually with Jet Blue and Amazon on this.

What this sounds like is simply that your screen resolution is set to
something smaller than the minimum required for those web pages to work. For
example, if your screen resolution is set to 800 x 600, then many, many things
will simply not work because they assume that you have a screen that is larger
than that resolution, the 800 x 600.

Most require a minimum of 1024 x 768 and in fact, many require even larger
than that. 1280 x 720 would be something else I would call out as being a
pretty reasonable place to make sure you’re working.

Web page too big for screen

In many cases, when you have a web page that is too large for your screen,
there should be scroll bars. If there are not, then that is also often
something that is a problem introduced by website design.

But again, it’s trying to compensate for a screen that is simply too small
for the website to be displayed on.

Window off screen

Finally, something else that could be happening is that part of your browser
window might be off screen.

In other words, your browser window might be large enough to actually
accommodate the site, but perhaps the right-most part of the browser window
isn’t actually on your screen.

Maximize your browser

A very quick way to test this is to maximize your browser.

Now. Normally, one would maximize the browser by clicking on the
Maximize button on the upper right-hand corner of the browser window.

But if that’s off the screen of course, that’s not going to work for

The other way to quickly maximize a window is to double-click on its title bar. The title bar is the topmost line of the browser window that says something like: Internet
Explorer, or Google Chrome, or maybe it has the page title.

It’s the very topmost line in the actual window – part of the frame at the
top of the window. Double-click on that. What that will do is
that will maximize the window.

Maximize fills the screen

Now what’s interesting about maximizing the windows is that could be larger
and partially off screen.

Maximizing does two things:

  • It makes the window take up the entire screen;
  • But it also resizes the window so that it only takes up
    the entire screen.

In other words, it doesn’t try to go off-screen. My guess is that you may
very well suddenly find you now have scroll bars at the right and at the bottom
where you didn’t before. Now you should be able to scroll around some of those
pages, even if they are too big for your screen in order to locate the buttons
that you currently can’t find.

End of Answercast #52 Back to –
Audio Segment

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5 comments on “Why do navigation buttons not show up on some websites?”

  1. Note that, although unlikely, the title bar of the window that’s larger than the screen may not be visible. In that case, you can press Alt+Space to bring up the window’s system menu, even if the title bar is off-screen. From there, you can select “Maximize”, and proceed as you recommend.

  2. I have had the same problem in the past, using Firefox combined with AdBlock. Sometimes deactivating AdBlock will cure the problem–or you could use an other browser to browse the website giving the problem.

  3. I may be wrong, but it sounds to me like the original questioner is describing a situation where he is clicking a visible area of the screen where he knows a button should be located, but is not displayed. The other websites he visits he does not know well enough to estimate the button location.

    If this is the case I do not know what what would cause it. Can the original requester clarify?

  4. I have a little gem of a similar problem with Firefox. I clicked on a stock symbol in Yahoo – it took me to page showing graphical performance of the stock plus more links with news about said company.

    I now clicked on the link that took me to the latest dividend announcement. That page was complete except for the dividend amount. After messing about forever I gave up and opened the same page in Chrome – there’s the dividend, right in the middle of the text where I expected it. (I.e. nothing to do with the size of the page.)

    Why? ‘Cos it’s a computer, that’s why. Leo has a very secure job. Many thanks to him.

  5. I think it’s very poor design to design websites at a resolution higher than 800 x 600. Many people do not have a screen larger than 17″ or 19.” If you are a senior or someone with a visual impairment, often they will run at 800 x 600. I’ve had visitors use my computer and complain about the 1024 x 768 resolution on my 19″ monitor.

    I also find it to be poor website design not to test your website on several different browsers. Since browsers are free, there should be no problem of a major company like JetBlue to test their website on the major browsers (IE, Firefox, and Chrome).

    It sounds to me like it’s a problem with the browser not showing something that shows up in a different browser, hence IT’s comment that it’s not their website. When in fact, it probably is their website because it doesn’t work in all browsers.

    What about pressing Tab on the keyboard to navigate through the page? It might show where the button is supposed to be. Once the “button” is highlighted, pressing Enter will activate the button.


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