Improve Online Reading With Readability Bookmarklet

Online reading is not the same as reading a newspaper, book or magazine. The main reason why it is not the same are the many options that webmasters have to display text and other elements on their websites. They can select different fonts, font sizes, font weight, colors and other aspects. Newspaper and books on the other hand use more or less the same kind of fonts, text sizes and margins.

Readability is a bookmarklet that aids the Internet user in improving the online reading experience. We have discussed other options before like the Tidyread add-on for the Firefox web browser or Washer which turns colors into grayscale for better readability.

online reading

Readability is a little bit different as it offers some choices during the creation of the bookmarklet. You can select an individual style (newspaper, ebook, novel and terminal), size (small, medium, large and extra-large) and margin (narrow, medium, wide and extra-wide) to improve online reading. The bookmarklet will use the selected parameters that you specify during creation.

But Readability will not only change the text that is displayed on the website; It will also remove all the clutter - and by all we mean everything from advertisement, sidebars and comments - from the page so that only the title, images and text remains. Below is a screenshot of the original article HP Photosmart Premium All in one of and the same article after having used the Readability bookmarklet with the ebook, medium, medium settings.

hp photosmart

hp photosmart printer

You can configure and bookmark the Readability bookmarklet (via Shellcity) to improve online reading at the developer's website.

Update: Readability has been released for many different platforms since our first review of the service. You can now install it as a browser add-on or on mobile devices such as iPad, iPhone or Android devices. The functionality itself has not changed though.

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Responses to Improve Online Reading With Readability Bookmarklet

  1. Rarst July 9, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    Nice one. I did large post on bookmarklets for better reading (can't-believe-you-missed-that ;) and this one I deemed best for desktop use.

    Only downside it sometimes loses part or all of images in post when reformating.

  2. Rick July 9, 2009 at 9:39 pm #

    Opera users have a similar feature built-in called "User Mode". It's in the View menu IIRC, and can be a button on the toolbar.

    This could complement it nicely by allowing you to have multiple modes, just create a bookmarklet for each mode you want.

  3. Jeff March 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    It seems to as if this only works when deactivating the "noscript" addon.

    Can anyone confirm. If yes its alittle uncomfortable when u have to temporarily allow the website u one visits.

    But other then that a great addon. Thx

    • Martin March 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

      Jeff, yes as I said in the review, you need to enable scripts for the root domain of the webpage you want to use Readability on, e.g. for if you want to use it here on this page.

      • Jeff March 11, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

        Sorry Martin, must have overlooked that detail in ur article. Tidyread seems to work differently then i guess. At least for me it works fien with noscript.

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