The situation is this: I’m using jQuery for loading of all sub-pages of my main web page, and I want to maintain the browser history so that a user can simply click the “Back” button to navigate to the previous link. I found a jQuery history plug-in that implements all of the history caching with a few lines of JavaScript, and an included .js file. It seems to work really well, but I had one issue: The browser’s scroll position would auto-scroll to the link’s position. It turns out this was developer error, but it took me a couple hours to finally figure out where the problem was, so I decided I should blog about it in case anyone was having the same problem and found this in the Google search results.

In order to make the jQuery history plug-in work,  one needs to format one’s links like so:

<pre>&lt;a href=&quot;#1&quot; rel=&quot;history&quot;&gt;load 1&lt;/a&gt;</pre>

And add the following bit of javascript to the top of the page for processing:

<script type="text/javascript">
        var timeoutValue;
        // PageLoad function
        // This function is called when:
        // 1. after calling $.historyInit();
        // 2. after calling $.historyLoad();
        // 3. after pushing "Go Back" button of a browser
        function pageload(hash) {
            // hash doesn't contain the first # character.
            if (hash) {
                // restore ajax loaded state
                if ($.browser.msie) {
                    // jquery's $.load() function does't work when hash include special characters like aao.
                    hash = encodeURIComponent(hash);
                //timeoutValue = setTimeout("IsLoading(true);", 200);
                $("#pagecontent").load(hash + ".html");
            } else {
                // start page
                hash = "menuItem1";
        function ColorActiveMenu(menuName) {
            var items = $("#mainMenu > *");
            items.attr("class", "");
            menuName = "#" + menuName;
            $(menuName).attr("class", "current");

        $(document).ready(function() {
            //alert("Document ready");
            // Initialize history plugin.
            // The callback is called at once by present location.hash. 
            $.historyInit(pageload, "menuItem1.html");

            // set onlick event for buttons
            $("a[rel='history']").click(function() {
                var hash = this.href;
                hash = hash.replace(/^.*#/, '');
                // moves to a new page. 
                // pageload is called at once. 
                // hash don't contain "#", "?"
                return false;
            if (location.hash == "") {

In the $(document).ready event, the last line we add to the onClick event of each of our links we're adding to the history cache, we use 'return false;' which I thought would counteract any effect of auto-scrolling that would occur due to using the pound (#) mark in the href of the link. It turns out this was incorrect. (at least in the context of IE and Firefox) Consider the following piece of code from a "menu" that I created for a page I developed recently:

<ul id="mainMenu" class="menu">
        <li id="menuItem1" class="current"><a href="#menuItem1" rel="history">
            Menu Item 1</a>
        <li id="menuItem2"><a href="#menuItem2" rel="history">
            Menu Item 2</a>
        <li id="menuItem3"><a href="#menuItem3" rel="history">
            Menu Item 3</a>

Note, I also changed the javascript a little to automatically load the first item. My goal was to have a menu that would make certain CSS changes based upon which page was currently loaded. To do this, I added the ID attribute to each of the <li> tags, in order to identify them when I was ready to mark each item as active. Here is a live demo of what I was trying to accomplish as well as the bug I encountered / created by using these specific ID names.

The issue seems to be that since I set the ID value to the exact same value as the hash value (e.g. id=”menuItem1” and href=”#menuItem1”) that the browser detected the <li> tag menuItem1 in this case as the position in the page that I wanted to scroll to when this link was clicked.

To work around this behavior, I merely changed the names of the ID attributes I assigned to each <li> tag, like so:

<ul id="mainMenu" class="menu">
	<li id="limenuItem1" class="current"><a rel="history" href="#menuItem1" >
		Menu Item 1</a></li>
	<li id="limenuItem2"><a rel="history" href="#menuItem2" >
		Menu Item 2</a></li>
	<li id="limenuItem3"><a rel="history" href="#menuItem3" >
		Menu Item 3</a></li>

Note, that I also had to make one minor change to the pageload javascript function to add the “li” prefix to each ID attribute:

ColorActiveMenu("li" + hash);

Here is the full working page. 

Hope this helps.