The Four Google Chrome Extensions For Easier Online Reading

readinglasses2   The Four Google Chrome Extensions For Easier Online ReadingWhile the Internet is a great source of information, the information sometimes isn’t displayed in the best fashion. Web content is usually supported by advertising, and that’s fine – except ads can sometimes be distracting. Font and style choices can also be a problem. A poor combination of background and text can make it impossible to read a website.

It would be great if web designers stopped making poor design choices, but that’s unlikely to happen. Not everyone is an experienced designer. However, there are a number of Chrome web reading extensions that can be used to combat hard-to-read websites and banish all hints of eye strain.

Reading Glasses

Many website distracts are placed outside of the site’s main text. These distractions – typically advertisements or introductions to other parts of the site – are fine by themselves, but they can become very annoying if they prevent you from concentrating on a long or complex article.

readingglasses   The Four Google Chrome Extensions For Easier Online Reading

The Reading Glasses extension makes it possible to side-step this problem by fading out everything on a website except for the selection that you want to read with a single click. The rest of the website is still there, and you can still interact with it, but you’ll no longer be so distracted.

Reading Glasses is also smart enough to display an entire selection of text even if you select only a small part of it.

ChromeVis

The ChromeVis extension, which is actually made by Google, is a quick-and-easy way to make obscure text readable. Once you’ve installed ChromeVis you can activate it at any time by pressing the “0″ (as in zero) key. Any text that you have selected will be displayed at the top of the browser in a high-contrast format. You can  select between different color schemes by pressing number keys 1 through 6.

chromevis   The Four Google Chrome Extensions For Easier Online Reading

ChromeVis also offers numerous keyboard control functions that make it easy to navigate through text. For example, pressing Shift+S will move the text forward by one sentence.

A full listening of available hotkeys can be found by right-clicking on the ChromeVis icon in the upper right of Chrome and clicking Options.

Zoomy

Web designers usually have to cater to the lowest common denominator. This means that webpages are usually no wider than 800 or 1024 pixels. Obviously, such a web page is going to look rather silly if you have the page maximized on your 1080 px monitor. Webpages can be hard to read on monitors with a high resolution as well.

zoomy   The Four Google Chrome Extensions For Easier Online Reading

Zoomy tackles this problem by automatically adjusting Chrome’s level of zoom when you have a web page maximized. If the page’s standard size is much smaller than your monitor the browser automatically zooms in until the page takes up the entire width of your display.

This isn’t for everyone – it may be annoying for experienced web users – but it is excellent for people with vision difficulties.

Plain Clothes

Today’s Internet looks a lot better than the Internet of a decade ago, but it isn’t necessarily easier to read. That’s because many of the style decisions made on today’s websites are optimized to grab visitors quickly with a slick, modern design.

Some functions of the Internet are obscured, as well. Hyperlinks, for example, can be difficult to detect become some designs do not make a clear distinction between normal text and text containing a link.

plainclothes   The Four Google Chrome Extensions For Easier Online Reading

Plain Clothes solves this by “unstyling” the web. All of the fancy CSS work is torn away, leaving behind only the basics. The resulting bare-bones site isn’t pretty, but it is sometimes easier to read and navigate. I’ve also noticed that some websites seem to load more quickly with Plain Clothes on, although this could be my imagination (the extension’s authors makes no claim that the extension will improve load times).

Conclusion

It is very easy to dismiss a website or blog because it is hard to read even if the information on it is worthwhile. I’ve found that I don’t have to use these Chrome extensions constantly, but having them loaded can be extremely handy from time to time. Begone, headaches and eye strain! These goggles actually do something.

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12 Comments -

0 votes

sachxn

i am using reading glasses…others are new..thanks for sharing

0 votes

Dimitris Tzouris

You forgot to mention Readability Redux, similar to Reading Glasses.

0 votes

M.S. Smith

That’s a good one I missed. Definitely worth checking out.

0 votes

CGA

Zoomy is indispensable if you’re running high resolutions.

0 votes

Amaan 1996

Misleading title. I thought, like reading eBooks online. :@

0 votes

Mark O’Neill

No, it isn’t misleading, you just misunderstood. There’s a difference :-)

0 votes

Elvin

i`m using iReader. I love reading blogs with that. You should try it some time. :)

0 votes

jmitch

I just found iReader today very nice extension. Looks better than any of the ones list here, but pretty much the same as Eye Glasses

0 votes

Saikat Basu

Nice post Matt. Though I use Firefox for my browsing mostly, after your post I am thinking of converting Google Chrome into a dedicated web reader with the help of these cool add-ons. They will help when one has to read lengthy text.

0 votes

Gaming PC

There’s some ace SEO plugins now for Chrome as well worth checking out.

0 votes
0 votes

Ghost

Use, It works very well
https://chrome.google.com/exte