Forget Bookmarking! Save Pages to Read Later Offline With Read Later Fast [Chrome]

Saikat Basu 22-10-2012

The traditional way of bookmarking is going the way of dodos. Tools like Instapaper, Pocket, Delicious, and a few more (like the ones my friend Yaara mentions when she talks about lightweight tools that help you save pages to read offline How to Download a Complete Webpage for Offline Reading Use these methods to save webpages for offline reading and keep your favorite webpages at hand for when you need them most. Read More ), are turning conventional bookmarks into relics. You will notice that she was also about to recommend a fourth member of the tribe when she found that it had disappeared.


Read Later Fast came riding back into the frame and I am happy to say that its second innings is going just as well as its first. Nearly 300,000 satisfied users and not a bad word between them is always a clue that this extension is worth a tryout in your Chrome browser. Read Later Fast has also been recommended by our readers and so is featured on our Best Chrome Extensions The Best Chrome Extensions A list of only the best extensions for Google Chrome, including suggestions from our readers. Read More page.

The 3 Qualities of Read Later Fast

Let me advertise the three attributes right upfront so you know why you should install this Chrome extension. There’s also a Firefox add-on too.

  • You can save your pages and read them later.
  • You don’t have to keep too many tabs open as you can save the pages for later.
  • You can also read them offline.

Did I Mention That You Can Save Read Worthy Web Pages On The Cloud Too?

You can open a fresh account with or use a Google account to store a certain number of bookmarks and cached pages online. Though it is not explicitly mentioned, and I am not that far out with my saved webpages yet, I believe you can store unlimited bookmarks; apply 1000 highlights a year; and keep cached versions of 30 pages according to the constraints of the free account. Buying the Basic or Premium plans will of course open up more.

The plus is that Diigo has an entire bundle of tools and mobile apps which enable you to access and sync your pages across multiple devices.

Read (ing) Later Fast!

The beauty of a good app lies in its simplicity. The Read Later Fast extension installs in the right-click context menu of the Chrome browser. When you are reading any webpage, you simply have to right-click and save the page to the app. You can also use the keyboard shortcut [CTRL+SHIFT+L] which can be customized via Options.


save pages to read offline

A successful save is indicated by a neat icon that pops up for a second on top. The icon pops only when the page has completely loaded, though it is bookmarked even when it is loading. Here’s a screenshot of some pages that I have bookmarked and kept for reading later in my leisure.

save pages to read later

You can come back to your saved list and start reading them with a click. You can navigate across your articles like a slideshow.


save pages to read later

What’s really nice about the reading pane is that it gives you a choice of two views – the original as on the web, and a plain text view (but the article graphics are retained) that’s clear and uncluttered. So, you really don’t need to install a separate readability extension here. The arrows help you navigate to the next article in the queue or the one before that.

save pages to read later

Notice the little round icon on top next to the Archive, Delete, and Open in new tab? That icon links you to the Similar Sites search engine which brings up similar sites to the one your article is published on. That’s a nice touch.


save pages for later

You can Archive all your read items and remove them from the main view. Don’t delete them just yet because you might need to come back to them later. Of course, you can “unread” them any time and move them back to the previous queue.

Often, on my vagabond trips far away from a web connection, I have found Read Later Fast to be useful for some casual reading because it also allows me to read articles in the offline mode. The graphics don’t get displayed in some cases, but the text is all there in its original glory and CSS style. And if you find the empty image placeholders annoying, just switch over to the text view.

Read Later Fast also has a similar product search which gives you price comparisons and related product information. But I have chosen to disable it. You can go back into Options and enable (or disable) it.


save pages to read offline

Stop Reading

I would have liked it to have an annotation and highlight feature. Sometimes, you don’t want to save the entire page but only a section of it. Also, a place to save a note would have been helpful, just to bring a sense of recall to why I had saved the webpage in the first place. Organizationally, an app like Annotary Bookmark, Highlight, And Share Your Favourite Pages On The Internet With Annotary There is certainly no shortage of online bookmarking sites but if you're still on the hunt for that perfect way to bookmark your favourite posts and sites, Annotary is the perfect marriage of a social... Read More is better.

With Diigo at the backend and its device specific tools, I have less to worry about synchronization between my gizmos and computer. The limitation of the free account could be a speed breaker if the limit is reached but I couldn’t test it to that point. Pocket and Instapaper are slightly ahead in my opinion in this regard.

As a pure page saving app and bookmarking for local use, I would give Read Later Fast a high rating. It is very simple to use and I can use it even without an internet connection. And yes, I can do away with multiple tabs. Try Read Later Fast. Put it in a face-off contest with your favorite ‘read it later’ app and give us your first and final impressions. We will read it instantly!

Related topics: Google Chrome, Online Bookmarks, Reading.

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  1. Onyedika
    July 24, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    please where is the download button here

  2. Lynn
    December 17, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    I've downloaded the extension and I'm excited to use it. I just can't figure out how to open it! I realize that I just need to right-click to save an article, but how do I later go to RLF and read the articles? I'm sure it must be some easy answer and I'm just being dense. Thanks very much for any help you can give me!

    January 26, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    I have been using this extension for a while. One of the best and useful extension. But it is not loading images in offline mode. It is a main drawback because most of the webpages have images in it.

    • Saikat Basu
      January 27, 2013 at 5:38 am

      Yes, have mentioned it as a limitation.

  4. Vinay Singh
    December 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    very useful... thnx

  5. Martin Richardson
    December 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Sorry, to write so many comments. Using History is OK, however there is always the danger of it being inadvertently cleared before I need the info.

  6. Martin Richardson
    December 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I have worked out one way. By going to History and opening a link with gobbledook next to the RFL symbol it opened up the list. Hardly intuitive though, is it? Isn't there a more obvious way of getting there?

    • Saikat Basu
      December 23, 2012 at 5:34 am

      Strange, it should open up just fine. Mountain routes? Do remember that in the offline mode, the graphics don’t get displayed in some cases so you may have problems with maps.

  7. Martin Richardson
    December 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Offline mode? What or where is that?
    How do you read the saved articles offline. Chrome wont open the 'read later fast' tab if you are not connected online. Or, have I missed something obvious?

    I want to be able to collect pages about mountain routes and access them in places, like nearby valleys, where more often than not there is no signal or handy coffee bars with wi-fi.

  8. Nikhil Chandak
    October 29, 2012 at 6:20 am

    I downloaded it from the webstore of chrome
    it was good

  9. Boni Oloff
    October 23, 2012 at 7:09 am

    I already using this for a long time, but now i am using save as mht because it is transferable, so i can read the article later in other computer too.

    • Saikat Basu
      October 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      Why don't you save articles as PDF or use this extension in the other computer too? MHT is a bit inconvenient for this thing don't you think?

      • Boni Oloff
        October 24, 2012 at 4:25 am

        Yap, but there is different between pdf and MHT. With MHT format you can get the same view as you see in the real browser, and why i am not prefer to save as HTML because sometimes the view will be seem different from the real one, it can change the view. And one big point about MHT is, it can be viewed in all windows computer, because MHT can be viewed in IE. I don't have to install the plugin too. :D

        • Saikat Basu
          October 24, 2012 at 5:49 am

          OK...I see your use for it :)

  10. Ashwin Ramesh
    October 23, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Really useful tool! Thanks!

  11. Siddhant Chaurasia
    October 23, 2012 at 12:37 am

    I use pocket it is something similar to read it later

  12. Javier Vega
    October 22, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Nice, i'll give it a try to some of this tools, i'm used to have a lot of Bookmarks, but some are just a "one time read page" that isn't worth marking permanently...the combination of this tools could help me manage better all my pending to read pages.

  13. Stefano Bossi
    October 22, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Will check right away, awesome!

  14. James Keehan
    October 22, 2012 at 8:28 pm
  15. Anonymous
    October 22, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Here's some irony for you: I'm in a hurry right now so I'm bookmarking this page to read it later.

  16. Suvrojit Mondal
    October 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I sometimes use save web pages or use an extension like save to jpg or to pdf...

  17. Anonymous
    October 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    very good, I was looking for something like this!

  18. Vincent Tang
    October 22, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    I've been using this extension for a while now and I've gotten into a groove of using it with Google Reader. The great thing about it is that everything can be done in chrome. I can scour the web for articles and save them to actually read or look over later.
    For the ones I want to keep for future reference, I save it to diigo and take if off read later fast so it doesn't get cluttered. Just some insight into my net consumption..
    Great article!

    • Saikat Basu
      October 23, 2012 at 4:48 am

      Thanks Vincent for your insight.

  19. Dino Pearsons
    October 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I don't like it that this extension installs "Price Comparison While You Shop" as well. It's a feature I don't want or need, and it kinda smells of spam a bit, doesn't it?

    • Saikat Basu
      October 23, 2012 at 4:46 am

      You have the option to use it. I don't. It is not forced.

  20. Ahmed Khalil
    October 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    very good addition, it is useful for me thanks for sharing