TidyRead vs Readability

Posted: March 15, 2009 in science & technology
Tags: , ,

tidyread1I recently said 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. I also mentioned that there’s some help on hand, like arc90 lab’s javascript based Readability. But that bookmarklet has too many problems identifying core content, displaying images and video, and it doesn’t seem to work with blogs or other websites that have different posts on the same main page … which is where TidyRead comes in.

I have to say that I have not done any comprehensive testing on TidyRead, but so far I can say that it does seem to parse blog content much better than Readability, including showing all articles on a page, displaying what seems all images and keeping videos intact. Apart from that it offers pretty much the same configuration options (style, font size and margins) but it presents them in a toolbar at the top of the page, allowing you to change your settings on the fly – which is a much more intelligent option than having to go to Readability’s web page and pre-configuring that bookmarklet before installing its button on the toolbar.

If you are using Firefox or Safari on your Mac, PC or Linux machine, drag this link TidyRead to your browser’s bookmark toolbar (make sure you’ve got javascript enabled in your browser and in NoScript for TidyRead); for an Internet Explorer installation go to the TidyRead home page for instructions. To install the bookmarklet directly on an iPhone or iPod Touch, follow these instructions. Once installed, simply click the TidyRead button on your bookmark toolbar when visiting a web page worth reading.

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  1. Eternity says:

    Interesting, I will check it out right now. Thank you for the link.

  2. Umbrae says:

    If there’s one thing that annoys me about TidyRead, it’s the blatant rip-off of readability.

    While true that readability is open source, when it’s reused without attribution or thanks, that’s what really bothers me. A link and a ‘thank you’ is not so much to ask.

  3. Peter says:

    Check out the CleanPage software by Readonweb. http://www.readonweb.com. This is by far the best toolbar for easy reading on the Web.

    • Perry says:

      Thank you very much for posting CleanPage. This is absolutely the best software for web readability. I wish I could have discovered it years ago.

  4. Vinay says:

    Thanks Peter! I tried all the three. Like CleanPage the best.

  5. Joe says:

    CleanPage only runs on Windoz. That’s a deal-breaker for me.

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