Blog Post

Emulate Safari's Reader Mode in Other Browsers With Readability

One of the neat features of the new Safari 5 is its “Reader” mode, which makes it easier to read articles online by removing adverts and other visual distractions, and placing multipage articles in one continuous window. However, if you don’t want to switch to Safari, you can achieve much the same effect in most other browsers using arc90’s Readability bookmarklet (in fact, it seems that parts of Safari’s Reader mode are actually based on Readability).

It’s simple to install and works on most modern browsers, including Firefox and Chrome (s goog). Just head over to the Readability website, check off your preferred settings for text size, margin and style, then drag the badge to your bookmarks toolbar. Once it’s installed, any time you’re on an article page, you can hit the Readability bookmark for an easy-to-read, uncluttered view.

Note that Readability doesn’t consolidate multipage articles like Safari’s Reader mode. However, most websites have a “Print” button, which will output multipage articles as a single page. Hit that, and then the Readability bookmark, and you’ll get a result that’s very close to Safari’s Reader mode — perhaps it’s not quite as elegant as it’s not a built-in feature and requires that a couple of button be pressed, but it’s available in most browsers.

Share your favorite bookmarklets in the comments.

8 Responses to “Emulate Safari's Reader Mode in Other Browsers With Readability”

  1. The styling used in Reader by default does not suit modern tastes. So I have modified this and made it available for others to download at http://www.munjeet.com/comment/apple-safari-reader/

    Installing this custom style mod for Safari 5’s Reader feature will give a far more readable plain white background, cool grey Helvetica or sans-serif font with basic styling to support headlines tables and a clean scrollbar amongst others. Instructions on how to install and screenshots can be found at http://www.munjeet.com/comment/apple-safari-reader/

    Feedback welcome.

  2. Have a look at the iReader extension for Chrome. It’s an excellent alternative to Readability in Chrome. It allows configuration inside the extension, instead of regenerating the bookmarklet, among other things.