The New Readability Addon Converts Pages To Read-Friendly Format

Jeffry Thurana 23-03-2011

<firstimage=”//”>new readabilityThe Internet might be a great source of information, but it’s not always a great place to read that information. Some web owners try too hard to monetize their site that all of the advertisements prevent visitors from having a nice reading experience. Then there are also the other factors that make the situation worse, such as bad page layouts and poor combinations of fonts and background colors. That’s why web reading tools like Readable, Readability Readability: Turn Webpages Into An Easy To Read Format Read More , Instapaper, and Joliprint Print and Create Nice Looking PDF Files From Webpages with JoliPrint Read More have become indispensable partners for many Internet users.


To give general web users a better reading and writing environment, Readability – one of the pioneers in web reading technology – has rolled out its new version [Broken URL Removed]. This new Readability focuses not only on the readers, but also on web publishers.

From Bookmarklets To Add-Ons

Basically, web services like Readability will convert any webpage into a more read-friendly format. To know more about the concept, let’s watch this short introduction video.

The old version of Readability relied on a Javascript bookmarklet for the conversion. Users would install the bookmarklet on their browser’s bookmark bar, and every time they wanted to have a more read-friendly version of a webpage, they would have pressed the bookmarklet.

Even though the bookmarklet is still functional, the New Readability utilizes browser add-ons to carry out the conversion task. To get the add on for your browser, click the “Get the Add-On” button on Readability’s main page [Broken URL Removed].


new readability

The site will detect what browser you use and give you the download link accordingly.

make website readable

After the download is finished, install the add-on. In my experiment, the Safari version of the Readability add-on required a manual installation.


make website readable

After a quick installation, the Readability add-on button will appear next to the URL field.

make website readable

You can enable or disable the add-on from the Preferences window.


making websites readable

Using The Add-On

To see the differences between the old and new version of Readability, I opened a MakeUseOf page and pressed the Readability button. The article page was quickly converted into a clean, easy-to-read page. But so far, it’s more or less similar to the old version.

making websites readable

The big difference is in the tool sidebar. Along with the familiar “Reload” and “Print” buttons, the new version also gives users tools to quickly change the page layout according to their preferences. Click one of the boxes under “Font & Color” and the layout will change into a pre-defined layout.


making websites readable

The tool will also let users quickly change the width of the text area and also the font size, which is useful if you have sight problems.

If you prefer clean text for your articles, Readability lets you “convert links to footnotes“. No more blue-underlined text as every link will now go to the end of the article. You can also hide the images within the article if you want to.

08i Readability Links 2 Footnotes

Another additional feature on the sidebar is the sharing button. Now you can easily share the article that you are currently reading via Twitter, Email and Facebook. Readability goes one step further by providing you with a shortened URL of the article.

08j Readability Share Article

More Publisher Friendly

The problem with most services like Readability is that they are not publisher friendly. Stripping down a webpage into the clean, easy-to-read format also means stripping out all of the publisher’s income.

To solve this problem, Readability offers a paid subscription model to its users. Subscribers can choose how much money they are willing to pay every month (with the minimum amount being US$ 5.00). Readability will then give 70% of the money to writers and publishers, while keeping the remaining 30% to maintain and improve the service.

09a Readability Subscribe

To make the offer more compelling, paid subscribers will get more features compared to free users, such as the ability to save articles to read later and also mobile access to the saved articles.

09b Readability Feature Comparison

If you are a writer or publisher and you want to participate in the program, you can add the “Reading Buttons” on your website(s). Adding the buttons is as easy as embedding the provided script.

09c Readability Reading Button

Also don’t forget to register your site to join the “Readability movement“.

new readability

As a reader, I think the New Readibility is way better than the old one. Especially with the addition of quick layout and sharing tools. As a writer, I think the paid subscription model offered by Readibility might be one of the solutions to provide readers with a more comfortable reading environment while keeping that environment publisher friendly.

What do you think about the New Readability? Share your thoughts and opinions using the comments below.

Image credit: the bbp

Related topics: Bookmarklets, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Reading, Safari Browser.

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  1. Piotr Kowalczyk
    March 29, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I started to use it after reading this article. Thanks for pointing to so many details. Before I was sticking to Instapaper and didn't really notice any difference. But there is one outstanding difference: Readability can switch the reading mode instantly without any delay, so that you can read a long article right away, you don't have to save it for later.

    I very much love the option to switch to a reading mode and actually for a long time was looking for such a tool for my blog. Already installed Readability button and also wrote a post on how to do it, go read in a reader-friendly mode:-)

    • Anonymous
      March 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      Hi, thanks for sharing.

  2. Abazh
    March 24, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I don't lide his "I Like"-meter on the left.
    I think there's no use o your site with such things....

  3. M A Iggulden
    March 24, 2011 at 6:31 am

    wow, someone knows what i want.