Readability – A More Enjoyable Online Reading Experience

For those of us who spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen, sometimes reading large chunks of text, not all of which is in a font or size suitable for extended reading, I thought I’d post about this new browser add-on that allows you to make whatever you may be reading a little bit easier on the eyes.

Readability allows you to select how you would like web pages to be rendered to make them more readable to you. You may:

  • Change the style (options include: newspaper, novel, e-Book, and inverse (which creates white text on a dark background))
  • Size of the text (ranging from extra-small to extra-large)
  • Margins

Readability does not play very nicely with front pages, though. It is intended to work on articles with a sizable chunk of text that you’d like to read comfortably. If you’re using Readability on a landing page (like for example), please click into an article first before using Readability. Also, it does not appear to work with Westlaw (even in full-screen mode) or with LexisNexis (even when documents are displayed in the printer-friendly mode).

However, with general Internet research, random web sites I tested rendered well. It also appears you can download multiple add-ons from Readability that will render differently (such as one add-on that will render inverse with wide margins and large font as well as a second add-on that will render pages like a newspaper with wider margins and a smaller font).

This would make a great addition to the Internet browsers on computers in your library that are accessible to the public.

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