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Saturday, December 26, 2009

How to make any Website a reader-friendly page

If you spend a great deal of your time online reading from different websites, then you will surely find this piece of code very useful.

Make any page reader-friendly with TidyRead

Tidy Read is a multi-browser add-on that removes all the unnecessary elements of a web page – side bars, menu bars, advertisements on the side etc -  leaving only the actual text content along with relevant pictures, properly formatted for reading. It also allows you to change the appearance of the Tidy-ied page on the fly – changing the text width/alignment, font size/type/color, background color to suit your reading requirement – lot more customization options available than what you can get in the printer-friendly version of any page.

If required you can assign TidyRead to automatically open the reader-friendly [Tidy-fied] version of a page when you open  pages in a particular site. Once a page has been rendered using TidyRead it will also try to fetch the subsequent pages and render it using TidyRead – very useful if an article has got multiple pages to read. However, this subsequent page fetching does not always work with all websites – small gripe.

Yet another complain I have is the inability to print pages rendered using TidyRead – it prints out the first page properly & all the other pages are printed out with only a date, time & URL stamp on the top & bottom of each page – major downer. It is a known issue & the developers have promised to work on it- lets see.

If you don’t want to install the add-on on the browser you can also use their bookmarklet for rendering the pages. They even allow you to visit their site and enter in the URL of the page which you wish to turn in to reader-friendly [with limits on each page size]. An iPhone version too is available.

Do give it a try – brings about a welcome change to online reading experience.

You may also contact them on Twitter  - @tidyread.