Ever since its inception, Reddit has been a steaming cauldron of controversy, rife with scandals like Gamergate, Ellen Pao-gate, and the misidentification of the Boston Bombing suspects back in 2014. But, even though it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, for those who do enjoy scrolling through their favorite subs, the Reddit Enhancement Suite is a must have add-on that creates a whole new experience for the daily redditor.
Whatever your opinion on the site may be, it’s still one of the most popular destinations on the web today, ranking in the top 20 websites for nearly every country around the globe. Reddit Enhancement Suite is a simple tool that can make anyone fall in love with the news portal once they give it a chance, so check out our guide to learn how RES can help you get all the karma and upvotes you need.
Installing Reddit Enhancement Suite
The first step to getting Reddit Enhancement Suite running, is to install it as an extension for your preferred browser.
RES is currently available on Opera, Safari, Chrome and Firefox, and you can find the download that matches your software by visiting the company’s home page here. The download bar should automatically detect the browser you’re using as soon as you click through to the setup, and you’ll know if it was successful when the add-on takes you to the latest list of RES patch notes.
Make it Yours
One RES is installed and running properly, it’s time to start fancying up the place.
It’s no secret that for years, the number one barrier of entry that kept Reddit free from outsiders was its confusing, often visually grating layout theme. Filled with seemingly random blobs of text parsed out in no real particular order, just finding the stories you want to read can be hard enough for someone who’s unfamiliar with the site’s style, let alone figuring out where their comment ends up after they hit enter.
RES simplifies this operation, giving you the opportunity to tightly control exactly how comments are displayed, which stories rank over each other, and what your frontpage looks like each time it reloads. All configuration settings that control RES can be found by clicking on the gear icon in the top-right corner, and selecting the “RES Settings Console”.
Although it could take ten articles to fully cover all the different options RES hands out to help you customize Reddit’s appearance, for the sake of brevity we’re just going to list a few of our favorite tweaks that can make the most difference the next time you sign on.
First up, there’s Night Mode. Personally, I like to use Night Mode whenever possible, as the standard white-on-blue theme can be pretty tiring on your eyes if you find yourself reading on the site for extended periods of time. Night mode softens everything up, throwing light gray text on a darker gray background to reduce visual strain and prevent your screen from lighting up your room like the Ark of the Covenant every time you click into a new page.
When in Night Mode, be aware that some smaller subreddits may not have the proper coding to handle the color swap, and will have difficulty displaying links, images, or comments in a readable fashion. If you find yourself unable to decipher what a headline says or how another user responded, simply click on the gear icon in the top-right hand corner, and toggle Night Mode to “off”.
If your browsing habits are all about efficiency though, opting for images to automatically display beside their headline each time you load the front page or a new sub will send your scrolling experience into overdrive. This setting makes it so that instead of having to click each link individually to see the goodies contained within, you can simply load the page you want, and scroll through each image accordingly.
This works both for static images and animated .gif files, which will begin to play immediately as soon as you load the page. Depending on the subreddits you’re subscribed to (or if you prefer to just hang around r/all), this turns reddit into a more feed-like, Twitter-esque endless scroll site than one that constantly requires you to be clicking in or out of new windows.
By taking a drab layout and customizing it to your exact specifications, you can make any subreddit sing the praises of your favorite presidential candidate, while leaving behind the annoying choir of commenters who think you and everyone you know is wrong about everything all the time.
“You can put lipstick on a pig, but that pig is still Reddit.”
On the whole, the Reddit community can actually be pretty good about censoring itself and making sure that only the best content makes it to the top of any comment chain. However, like any online forum with so many people participating in a public debate at once, sometimes the noise still finds a way to slip through the cracks.
Enter Filters. The RES Filter system allows you to set up a custom set of keywords, usernames, and identifiers that if found in a comment chain, headline, or inbox message, will automatically prevent the content from showing up after the page finishes loading. Overall this makes for a much more pleasant Redditing experience, one not clogged up by the caps-locked opinions of internet trolls or armchair experts the site is so infamously known for.
To create a filter, you’ll need to start by entering the RES Settings Console, found in the gear drop-down menu. From here you’ll need to select the the “Filters” tab, where you can add, remove, or control the level of restriction that each of your filters are set to.
Of all the bonus features that RES offers, the ability to subscribe to specific threads probably takes the cake as the most useful throughout.
Ever find yourself showing up to a thread early, only to discover two or three sparse comments with no upvotes between them? If it’s a topic you’re especially interested in, you can click the “Subscribe” button under the main headline to get a series of notifications whenever someone new contributes another comment or response.
Now every time an additional comment is added to the chain, RES will send out a notification that appears in the same corner as the configuration settings menu.
Widgets are handy both for Reddit noobies and the gristled power user. Widgets allow you to combine any part of your reddit account or separate subs into one page, creating a series of small peeks into the top ranking stories from each subreddit, the latest messages in your inbox, or the most recent replies to any of your comments.
Depending on how they’re set up, widgets can enable you to do everything from staying up to date on the latest breaking world news to constantly updating a feed based on your specific search terms.
To create a widget, start by navigating to the “My dashboard” section from the RES menu. Once here, you’ll see a bar of green buttons, each with a different type of widget you can install.
Choose the type of widget you want to activate (subreddit, user, comment chain, etc.) from the search bar that pops up, and type in the content you wan to pin to the page. You can enter multiple identifiers into this at once so all related widgets load at the same time.
Reddit Enhancement Suite is a deep, just about endlessly customizable set of tools that any respectable Redditor should have installed as a part of their browser. RES helps to tone down the noise of the site’s chaotic community, all while giving you control over the visual flair and keyword filters you need to make the site feel like it’s really yours.
Download the Reddit Enhancement Suite from the company’s homepage today.
Image Credits: Reddit.com