Enable Multi-Column Google Searches with a User Script

What do you see when you search for something in Google? Obviously, you will see the first search result page with a vertical list of the most relevant links or URLs.

At the same time, you also notice that there’s a lot of space left on the right side. Further, for viewing the entire list, you have to scroll down continuously, which means that the results are displayed in a typical single-column view. Now, I am purposely making you recollect these observations, as they are actually the limitations of Google search result pages and that you can actually get rid of them.

google search in multiple columns

So, are you looking for something that can improve the view of your search results? Do you wish to see the list of URLs in one go without any scrolling so that the webpage space is utilized properly? Well, these wishes come true when you take the advantage of a small user script that can make the search results fit in multiple Google columns. We shall now see how to add this script to your favorite browser so that you can enjoy the multi-column view of a search result page.

Adding The User Script For Multi-Column View Of Search Results

Do not be carried away with the term user script, as it is quite easy to add it. In fact, it is as easy as adding an extension to Chrome. Although you can add this script to browsers such as Firefox and Opera, in this article, let us assume Chrome as the browser.

The user script is available at http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/10299 from where you can see its source and reviews as well before installing. To add the user script, click the Install button in green.

multi column view of google search results

The moment you do so, the installation process will start and a small message will appear in the lower left corner of Chrome asking you to continue or discard.

installing multi-colomn view of google search results

So, just click Continue for going towards the next step wherein you have to click the Install button. At this point, you will find that the installation process is the same as that of the Google Chrome extensions.

Finally, if the installation is successfully done, you will see a small message on the toolbar near the Address bar. Now, just confirm that the script has been added to Chrome by visiting the URL, chrome://extensions. This will open the Extensions page where the script entry looks like a standard extension.

multi column view of google search results extension

Putting the User Script Into Action

Restart Chrome and try to search for something in Google. You will now see that the search results are displayed in the multi-column view. By default, the results are displayed in two columns. Isn’t this a much better look?

multi column view of google search results

However, the magic of this script does not end here. You can go ahead and display the search results in multiple Google columns. Yes, you heard it right; multiple Google columns! This means that you can split the results into three columns as well by using the shortcut, Alt + 3. Similarly, if you now press Alt + 2, you go back the default view (two-column view), while Alt + 1 will retain the single-column view.

Warning: The user script might not function if you have installed the AutoPager extension.