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I want to paginate a long list of words by alphabet in multiple levels (by first letter, then by second letter, and so on). What are possible ways to do this?

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closed as not a real question by JohnGB, Charles Wesley, ChrisF, Matt Obee, JonW Mar 31 '13 at 15:41

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Do you mean filter by multiple levels? IE: You want to display all items starting with A, or all items starting with AL...etc? –  Axel Mar 29 '13 at 21:11
    
I want to display as well as paginate, showing only items that start with AL, for example. –  sawa Mar 29 '13 at 23:54
    
What is the particular reason that you want to do this for? What type of search results are you expecting? This does not seem to be a very good thing to do as pagination simply because not all combinations might exist, and the user does not exactly know what the pagination sequence will be. –  Michael Lai Mar 30 '13 at 15:27

1 Answer 1

One possible way is to display the various levels of pagination as rows of alphabets:

rows of alphabets

The first example is the top-level page for L. The user can jump to any of the other top-level pages or filter down by next letter. Note that, for example, there is no "LQ" available because there are no words that start with LQ in the data (in this example). On the other hand, while there are no words that start with X or Z (in this example), X and Z are present and simply greyed out. The difference is that people probably expect all letters to be visible at the top level, while filling out all 26 combination on a lower level is a waste of space and doesn't have the same connotation of "I expect there to be an LQ".

The second example shows page EL, distinguised in the rows as bold and black. Users can add a letter, change the last letter, back up a step, or jump to a new branch altogether. The main disadvantage would be that you need one row for every letter in a word, though one would hope that by the time you get to four letters you don't need to paginate further.

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You are right. I need some mechanism to cut off pagination when the number of items in the relevant page becomes less than a certain number. –  sawa Mar 31 '13 at 3:26

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