I have a table consisting more than thousands of data. I am willing to export all these data to excel. But, I have a pagination in my table. Hence, in order to export my data, I will have to check on select all and click on export button for at least 20 times considering currently showing items are 50.

This is very time consuming, annoying and repetitive. How can have users perform this action without having them annoyed?

  • 1
    Maybe the answer to this question will help : ux.stackexchange.com/questions/43937/… Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 6:41
  • "Select range: rows [47] to [223]" selects the entries and then the user can print, export, or anything else they want to do. Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 8:19
  • Why do you think your users will get annoyed? Did you ask them?
    – SteveD
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 9:21
  • @SteveD surely we can take it for granted that having to repeat several actions 20 times to accomplish a simple task will annoy the user! There are some things that don't need research.
    – user31143
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 11:06
  • @anjali shakya If the person knows they want 20 out of over a thousand they will expect to do something 20 times to select them. What may annoy them will not be the act of selecting - it will be the act of finding the 20 they are interested in, e.g. you have a thousand or more records and those 20 could be distributed anywhere within that huge data set.
    – SteveD
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 11:11

2 Answers 2


You might want to first know what most of your users are likely to do here.

Pagination is for solving one problem wherein you avoid loading/ viewing all the data at once. Your user does need all the data still - assume no pagination existed.

Now, investigating the usecase 'I am willing to export all these data to excel'... If you have users who at all times will want to export all the data - which is basically a dump of the table, you should simply give that to them without even requiring them to make a 'select all'. If you have users who may not want all the data always, then you could think of the Gmail selection approach.

Always try to do what is best for your users based on what they want. Decide the best over the better :)


I guess this all depends on the other features you have provided with the table.

For example, you have a table with more data than any human can assimilate effectively just using pagination.

I have a table consisting more than thousands of data.

So your table should have additional features to help the human find the records they are interested in. Features like:

  • Basic Search
  • Advanced search
  • Filters
  • Ability to change the number of records per page ( plus Show All)

You should be considering the different patterns that exist to help the human find what they are looking for. Patterns like faceted search (aka guided search).

So while you have framed the problem as how to make it easier to select lots of records without it being annoying, this is actually the end of the story - the story starts when the human decides to work with some records, so you need to provide features that change thousands into something a lot smaller.

I recommend reading Search Patterns by Peter Morville & Jeffery Callender.

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