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SimplyRead Strips Web Pages to Their Most Basic Form

Chrome/Firefox: If you thought other reading tools like Readability stripped away the fluff on a website, you haven’t seen anything yet. SimplyRead rips away everything but the title and body text for an ultra-minimalist approach to article presentation.

Install the extension and a small “SR” icon is placed on your browser address bar. Pull up a news article or similarly formatted blog post and click that icon. Everything is stripped away to display just the most basic components of the article and none of the peripheral navigation panels. What does the article above look like when we turn SimplyRead off? Like this:

Hit up the link below to grab a copy for Firefox, Chrome, or a stand-alone JavaScript program that can be integrated with other browsers with a little bit of elbow grease.

SimplyRead [via One Thing Well]

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/13/11

Comments (6)

  1. crab

    About time! Except for one thing… why on earth did they use a serif font for screen reading?

  2. Johnathan

    @crab, I was wondering the same thing so I quickly looked through their code. It just seems to remove the CSS stylesheets. Your browser probably defaults to that font.

    In Chrome, you can go Options > Under the Hood > Web Content > Customize Fonts. Change the standard font.

    I don’t have IE/FF on this machine so I can’t say, but I’m certain there is a similar procedure for those browsers.

  3. crab

    I had a look inside and the font is specified in chrome/content/simplyread.js – I unzipped the xpi, changed “font-family:serif” to “font-family:sans-serif” (on line 77), and zipped it up again and reinstalled. Now it works great!

  4. Tom C.

    iReader (for me!) is a better choice: it removes for example any traces of inbound video links …

  5. Adrian Kentleton

    This is another of those annoying recent Firefox extensions where the icon will only appear in the ‘Add-on’ bar, and can’t be moved into the Menu Bar, meaning you can’t access it unless you to waste screen real estate with a largely empty Add-on bar.

  6. Murk

    Anything out there like this for the android platform? just what I need! :)

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