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Firefox 'scroll anchoring' will stop content jumping around on-screen as ads load

You know the feeling – you're reading something online over a connection that's not lightning-fast, and just as you're getting absorbed an image loads at the top of the page and the paragraph jumps down, breaking your concentration. Thankfully, a forthcoming Firefox update will put an end to that problem.

As ZDNet reports, the feature (called 'scroll anchoring') is part of a web standard that's currently being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

"Scroll anchoring aims to minimize surprising content shifts," explains W3C's documentation. "It does this by adjusting the scroll position to compensate for the changes outside the viewport."

It's particularly useful on mobile devices, where the smaller screen means content is more likely to be pushed off the screen as things load higher up.

About time

Although the standard is still a work in progress, Firefox is a little late to the game here, with Google being the first to implement scroll anchoring in Chrome back in 2017.

Opera and Baidu soon followed suit, but Microsoft and Apple hung back, with no support for the standard in Internet Explorer, Edge or Safari.

The feature is enabled in the current Firefox nightly build, and is expected to be added to the stable release of Firefox 66 in March.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the fitness and wellbeing editor at TechRadar. She's been a technology journalist for 11 years, and cut her teeth on magazines including PC Plus and PC Format before joining TechRadar. She's a trained run leader, and enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the pavement. If you have a story about fitness trackers, treadmills, running shoes, e-bikes, or any other fitness tech, drop her a line.