Sometimes you just want to read an article. The information is important or interesting to you but, if like me at the end of the day you are tired, it can be a chore to reading something that has been cluttered up with advertisements and widgets. It is distracting and annoying that there is increasingly more clutter on web pages, especially as commercial interests compete more and more with the actual core content of a page, and the reason you are on the page becomes peripheral to the useless stuff. I understand the reasons for the commercial stuff but I’m not interested at the end of the day.
So I have been trying out some solutions that intend to make the web more enjoyable again by stripping sites of all the clutter and formatting the text for easy reading.
The first one is arc90 lab’s ‘Readability‘ browser bookmarklet. It is easy to install and easy to use. When you are on the webpage you simply click the ‘Readability’ button stored on your bookmarks toolbar. The web page is transformed with all the clutter of ads gone and you are left with the core content. I use Diigo to write notes and highlight some of the digital documents I read and this can still occur on the “new” pages.
It does have some problems as it can sometimes removes relevant images from the core content and it does not seem to allow videos. It also doesn’t work on some webpages (it doesn’t convert) nor work well on blogs which may have several articles on their main page. When this happens it picks one article only.
You can also customise ‘Readability’ as you have some choice of the style, font size and margins you prefer to read from.