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Show HN: Increase your readability and productivity with this simple extension (readermode.io)
65 points by ryzalyusoff on Dec 16, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 66 comments



This functionality has been baked in Firefox for a long time and I use it quite often. Not only makes the ads and other clutter disappear, but it also removes most of the "disable your adblock" unclosable popups.

It is definitely one of the super-nice things to have baked in straight in the browser, and probably one of the major differences I see between Chrome and Firefox in day-to-day usage. I just wish that somehow it was persistent for certain rules, but I can see how that is a slippery slope.


Not only the readability mode of Firefox is awesome, but they've also opensourced it separately, in case you feel you can submit a PR for a persistence of some kind or create your own extension that makes use of it.

https://github.com/mozilla/readability

I use it profusely along with Puppeteer in Node and it's an awesome building block for web scraping!


Chrome has had a builtin DOM distiller for a while (not sure if still guarded by an experimental flag, on my phone now so can’t check), but it’s primitive and worst of all reloads the page on exit.


I can confirm that it's still loaded by an experimental flag. As a word of warning to anyone who wants to try it: the design isn't suited for reading at length (120 character line width, set in Courier). It's really not that great.

Firefox and Safari have decent reading modes, though.


> 120 character line width, set in Courier

Um, it’s not? Chrome 78 on macOS here, text is rendered in 14px Roboto, content box width is 75% (on 2560px viewport). I find it fairly pleasant to read, my only problem is page reloading on exit as I already mentioned.

Edit: The mode is gone after updating to 79, seems to be gated by a command line switch now. What the hell.


Ah, I stand corrected. The content box width is indeed based on the viewport size. My text, however, is still rendered in 14px Courier on macOS (and even given a .monospace class), so I'm not sure what's going on there.

I just updated to Chrome 79 and now the distilled mode is gone. For anyone who's looking on how to re-enable it, here's a thread: https://support.google.com/chrome/thread/22576539


I don't see this feature in firefox. If the Firfox team put effort into the ui and feature discoverability it would make it much simpler for a chrome user to switch.


It's visible only in article-like pages and it looks like a document icon in the navbar.

In Firefox for Android is the only non-essential icon in the navbar (besides the tabs and more settings) for articles. On desktop it shows at the right on the search/url box.


It's also a lifesaver for viewing pages that are not mobile friendly. It's my most-loved feature of Firefox.


https://ibb.co/XC8h2gq There is some manipulation going on here. This was posted in other places as well.


What tweeting out that your product is on HN isn't exactly "manipulation"


Asking for upvotes is against the rules:

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html

Soliciting booster comments is even more against the rules.


Safari has this feature built in as well. It is particularly useful on mobile devices. It will even follow Next Page type links to condense a multi-page article into a single scrolling page.

I find it somewhat ironic that Reader Mode's own site is filled with large images, tiny pop-out boxes, and a tweet carousel. But it certainly isn't the worst product website I have seen.


The font is not called "OpenDyslexics", it's "OpenDyslexic". Also, it's kind of odd to say you support multiple dyslexic-friendly fonts when it's really just one font in bold/italics/mono. Perhaps some people would consider mono to be its own font (though I've never known anyone who preferred OD Mono, and I work in the accessibility world). But for sure bold and italic are not considered to be separate fonts by lay people.


Thanks for pointing that out! Will make changes asap! :)


Is there an option to justified-align the declutterred text?

If not, can you add one?

(Sorry, i don't have chrome to try it out. Justified alignment is what I miss in Firefox Reader mode.)


Meanwhile, i finally got off my lazy ass and figured out how to add justified-alignment to the Firefox Reader View.

NOTE: Involves restarting Firefox.

1. Locate the Firefox profile directory on your system.

On Windows, this is typically a directory like :

  C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile-directory>
The definitive method to locate the profile directory would be to visit the about:support page in Firefox, and check the value of the property Profile Folder.

2. Within the above identified profile directory, open the sub-directory chrome. If a chrome sub-directory does NOT exist within the profile directory, create it.

3. In the above chrome directory, create an empty file userContent.css.

4. Open the above userContent.css and add the following lines to it :

  .moz-reader-content {
      text-align: justify;
  }
5. Force custom stylesheets

Visit the about:config page in Firefox, search for the property toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets, and ensure it is toggled to True.

6. Restart Firefox.

7. Open a page, switch to reader mode, and enjoy the justified text!! \(^.^)/


Ah not at the moment. But yes, will add it in the next release :)


Really neat. Thank you for taking care of accessibility issues as well.

I don't have Dyslexia but when having migraines I can't read online properly anymore so that will help.

I just wonder whether it's worth the fuss as I have Reader View in Firefox already.


No worries at all! Ah I see, let me know if there's any any specific features that you want. IMO, you should give it a try as it is more than just a Reader View like the one in firefox as it has many more features, especially the Dyslexia features that you just mention :)


do you plan to port the extension to FF ? I like their baked in feature but yours take it to another level.


Yes, Firefox and Safari version will be coming soon! :)


Seems nice.

1. When I click on "not interested", the page jumps to the top

2. Vimium does not work on pages altered by the extension. Sadly, that's a dealbreaker for me.

3. Maybe the icon is too similar to outline.com.


Thanks for the feedback! Will get it sorted asap! :)


With just one single click, you can remove clutter, ads and distractions from any articles, thus improving your readability and productivity. Here’s the highlight of what this extension can do/offers:

It comes with dyslexia support, text annotating and highlighting, text-to-speech and many other customization tools.

Here’s the quick highlights of what it has and can do:

- Distraction-free and ad-free "Reader Mode"

- Theme customization

- Custom CSS

- Print pages

- Fullscreen mode

- Auto-run ability

- Deletion of unwanted elements

- Save edited pages

- Share To Twitter

- Dyslexia Fonts

- Dyslexia Ruler

- Text To Speech

- Outlines

- Text annotating and highlighting

- Note List

- Auto-scroll functionality

- Dark Panel Mode

- Google Search

- Google Translate

You can use "hackernews20" code at checkout to get 20% discount :)


Sounds good. Do you plan to support Firefox as well?

I don't use Google spyware - only for testing things.


Yes Firefox and Safari version will be coming soon! :)


Nice. I purchased the extension, and then stopped using chrome.


Firefox does have a built-in reader mode, although it doesn't have this many features. Have you tried it?


I use it all the time. It also allows me to bypass cookies/GPDR modals for sites I plan on dipping into for a single article.


Yes, see my other comment thread below.


This example from homepage which shows techcrunch article side by side with plugin's output doesn't look good to me. To be honest I'm finding TC article formatting and font size much better to read (ads are not visible with ublock), in addition publication date and author is displayed.


Ah i see. Ok, will consider changing the example soon. But if you are using the plugin, you could cuztomize everything (fonts/background/width/colors etc.), and also you could turn the date, author and original url on/off.


I’ve been using this extension for a couple weeks and it does everything I want it to. My favorite/most-used feature is the customizable font and background colors. I’m glad you give your users granular control.

Btw, you’re on the front page of HN :)


Have you really only been on HN for 25 days? The number of young accounts which don't appear as green in this thread is staggering.


Yes, that's correct. The author is fairly active in the indie maker community, so maybe he pulled on his network?


Think he 100% did but nothing wrong with that.


Glad to hear that! More features will come soon! :)


Hey, loved it!

Just a nitpick: when trying to test it with a Medium article, I was already a few paragraphs down when I clicked on "Not interested" (for now) in the popup. This scrolled the page back to the top.


Thank you! And oh, i missed that that's for letting me know will fix it asap :)


I like this extension, nice work.

One thing I couldn't find was activation keyboard shortcuts, and the ability to dismiss it by hitting esc. It'd be nice if it had that.


Thanks! You can edit the shortcut by going to chrome://extensions/shortcuts . But oh yeah, will add esc feature asap thanks for letting me know! :)


Seems great, trying it now. A good few of these comments and upvotes seem to be from ops friends. (Based off a quick twitter search). Nothing wrong with that


Yes, there's something with getting friends to upvote and (especially) to post comments in threads. We want people to upvote and comment because they ran across something that they personally found intellectually interesting, not because a friend has something to promote. Promotional use of HN undermines the intended use of the site, which is why these behaviors are against the rules:

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html


I already know about this extension and it's worth to buy. I'm using it when I love to read stories. Awesome.


Thanks man!


how did you come to this pricing model? I'm confused about why you chose to make the pro a $20 one-time payment, but the education is $99/month


Hi the PRO version is $20(or $15 now), as it is a one time fee for a limited license, eg. 1/5/10. Meanwhile the education is $99/month as it gives you Unlimited Licence.


…for Chrome only.


... because Firefox includes something very similar already.


Firefox and Safari version will be coming soon :)


is this for real? an ad for a paid extension is #1 on hn? also with tons of comments missing articles? Come on..


All these unsubstantial “I love it” comments are indeed very suspicious. Not to mention many browsers have this feature built in.

(I know this post is treading the line on insinuations about shilling. Sorry dang.)


For posterity, here's what it looks like right now,

this post: http://archive.is/c3Mpu

front page: http://archive.ph/HKaBA (#4 now, it was #1 a few minutes ago)


To be fair, mine was honest ;)

I have been missing something like this on Chrome but never went looking for it, until it appeared here on HN.

It is sad though that the product owner has asked people from outside to upvote and even comment this post.


Yeah, seems to be his twitter friends and/or groups


It's against HN's rules to ask friends to upvote and (especially) to post comments in threads. We want people to upvote and comment because they ran across something that they personally found intellectually interesting, not because a friend has something to promote. Promotional use of HN voting and commenting is opposed to the spirit of the site, and the community is adamantly against it, as you can see from the comments making objections to the earlier pattern in the thread.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html


Thank you for drawing this line clearly. Frequently elsewhere I see mods decrying self-promotion, yet there should be nothing wrong with posting your own material (otherwise, what is the internet for, only consumption?). The problem comes when you beg people from outside the community to give you recognition through forced comments/votes.


There's a free and paid version of the extension. You don't have to pay for the free version


Capitalism, fuck yeah! :-)


Please don't take HN threads into generic ideological flamewar. That's definitely not what this site is for.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


How is capitalism responsible for lousy actors? Plenty of propaganda came from communism as I recall.


Hacker news strictly adheres to the Reddit mantra that USA/Capitalism === bad, EU/Socialism === good.


Whenever something about social systems in the EU comes up it's just the other way around. Strange...


Lone it. The ad-free/ distraction free experience for reading articles that I have been waiting for!!


Thanks man!




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