Tranquility Improves The Readability Of Websites In Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 16, 2012
Updated • Jul 16, 2012
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Tranquility is definitely not the first add-on or bookmarklet that is improving the readability of websites in the Firefox web browser. We have covered quite a few apps that can do that for you, from Readable over Tidyread to the recently released Evernote Cleary extension. All tools work considerably well in the browser. They have in common that they turn a common web page into a compressed page that is displaying the article or post on the page, and barely any other page element. This improves the readability of the article, as you cannot be distracted anymore by ads, banners or sidebar elements, and because you often get better typography as well.

Tranquility for Firefox is a new add-on for the browser that improves the readability of web pages in a similar fashion as the apps mentioned in the first paragraph. Firefox users who install the extension have several options to trigger the functionality. They can click on the add-on's navigation-bar icon, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Alt-T, right-click on links and choose the Tranquility option, or enable a Pause/Break button that acts as a single key shortcut.

Here is a before and after image of the latest Ghacks article: ClipGrab Lets You Download Videos From The Internet

As you can see, there is a big difference between the two screenshots. There is also a more links button on the right side of the screen that can display additional links found on a particular page. This can be useful if the site display related links in the sidebar for instance.

You can open the preferences of the extension to change fonts and font sizes, turn off the background image, and select individual background and font colors.


Here it is furthermore possible to change the reading width, useful if you are on a widescreen monitor or small resolution monitor.

So called Tranquil Browsing Mode is enabled by default, which means that any link opened in Tranquility view will also be opened in that view mode. The developer states that Tranquility works fine with the NoScript extension, which other add-ons that offer a similar functionality are not.

Extensions like Tranquility are not only useful if you prefer to read on the web without noise around the text, but also in case you want to print an article on your printer.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Roman ShaRP said on March 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Arun Kunchithapatham,
    thanks for effort, Tranquility looks pretty good and works fast (because of local processing, it seems).

    It would be good, tough, to make somewhat more support for printing. I like to ‘print’ pages to PDF files often, and the old version of Readability (1.9 local processing) performs on printing this Ghacks page with PDFCreator better, than Tranquility (with Tranquility images aren’t resized).

    I don’t want to look “over-demanding”. Freeware is AS IS, I remember. Just a comment about test result from a tester.

    1. Arun Kunchithapatham said on March 19, 2012 at 11:07 pm


      Thanks for the feedback. I agree with you that images should be re-sized in proportion to the reading area width. I have make this available in the next version.


  2. Bob Johnson said on March 17, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Thanks Martin, my old eyes really appreciate “Tranquility” for Firefox.

  3. Arun Kunchithapatham said on March 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    This is the author of Tranquility. Thanks for the review.

    The add-on is 100% local processing; there is no communication with another website (similar to what the latest version of Readability does). No registration, no information collected or sent. The code is open sourced under GPLv3.

    Thanks and Regards

    1. Anon said on March 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      Thank you very much for clarifying. I was looking for something that was 100% local, I will definitely try this now!

  4. Anon said on March 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Is this a local process or, like some of the bookmarklets,redirects your sites to a proxy?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      Seems local, but cannot say 100%.

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