It’s true that there’s increasingly more clutter on web pages, especially as commercial interests compete more and more with the actual core content of a page. And while some of that clutter can be quite useful, it’s becoming harder too to distinguish between its and all the useless, annoying crap that pushes the interesting bits and core content to the margins.
There’s some help on the way, like arc90 lab’s ‘Readability‘. Readability is a browser bookmarklet (sort of like a bookmark on steroids). It’s easy to install (especially when you have Firefox or Safari) and easy to use: just click the ‘Readability’ button on your bookmarks toolbar and your web page is transformed from clutter into core content. And to enhance your reading experience, ‘Readability’ allows customisation by giving you control over style, font size and margins. Check the short video below for details.
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There are some ‘BUTs’ though to using ‘Readability’: it sometimes removes images from your core content and certainly does not seem to present videos. It also doesn’t work at all on some webpages (it doesn’t convert) and it doesn’t work well on blogs which have several articles on their main page (it just picks one article only, thus preventing scrolling).
While these few insights are based on very limited testing, it’s already clear that ‘Readability’ has restricted usefulness. Nevertheless, it’s great if you wanna read a page that only contains one article and you are mainly interested in the text portion of its content – in this case ‘Readability’ certainly makes reading so much easier. But if you want a much better readability bookmarklet, check out my post on TidyRead.
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- Removing the Clutter: Readability Bookmarklet Makes Online Reading Easier (readwriteweb.com)
- Readability: Web reading that’s easier for you, less profitable for publishers (news.cnet.com)
- How to Improve the Readability of a Web Page for Free (chris.pirillo.com)
- Readability Bookmarklet Quick-Formats Pages For Smoother Text (lifehacker.com.au)