Online services, bookmarklets and extensions that have the aim to increase a website's readability usually alter the way the website is displayed in the web browser.
This ranges from removing elements that are unnecessary for reading text, to font and color changes to improve the readability of the text in this way as well.
Readability Redux is a Google Chrome extension that can modify how website content is displayed to you. The extension adds a button to the Chrome address bar which you can click on to trigger its functionality.
It works in this regard similarly to other extensions and scripts that we have talked about in the past.
A click on the button will turn the active web page into an optimized improved version. You will notice that the readability of that page has been improved in a number of ways. This includes the removal of nearly any element on the screen except for the main content.
But even the text is not left unchanged, leaving only the title of the article and main text body, while other textual contents are removed automatically by the browser extension.
Take a look at these before and after screenshots:
The extension will remove all elements but the title and main body test from the page by default including images, graphics and flash contents. The text is centered and the font size increased to improve the readability of the text itself. Controls to print or email the page are also provided by the extension.
A right-click on the extension's button in the address bar of the Google browser will display a context menu with options to change some of the preferences of the add-on.
It is possible to change the overall style of the layout from the default newspaper style to novel, book or terminal styles. The only other options that are provided define the font size of the text and the margin on the page.
Update: Newer versions include options to convert links to footnotes, a keyboard shortcut to invoke the extension's functionality, and an experimental feature to apply Readability only to selected fragment.
Readability Redux is a straightforward extension for the Google Chrome browser that works fine on most websites. Several other options exist to increase the readability including bookmarklets like Readability which seems to have been the inspiration for this extension.
The extension can be downloaded from the official Google Chrome extension gallery.
Update: The extension has not been updated since 2011 but it works just fine in recent versions of the Chrome web browser (as of February 2016).