Use Safari 5′s Reader for easier reading on the web
Mac Tip #442, 23 June 2010
The text on many web pages is just too darn small! My latest MacBook Pro has quite a high resolution screen so everything looks smaller, and text is harder to read. Of course you can zoom in, but Safari Reader is easier and a much more elegant solution.
Safari 5 has the Reader feature
This Tip will be meaningless if you use an older version of the Safari web browser. Make sure you have version 5. It requires at least Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.8.
Reader only works on some web pages
I haven’t been able to discover what factors on a web page prompt the Reader feature to become available. If you try to use Reader and it’s not there, try another website. Unfortunately Reader is not available on MacTips.info.
This Tip is being published at around the Solstice time. My screenshots show me reading a page about what Solstice is.
Engage or Exit Reader
After loading a page where Reader does work you’ll see a ‘Reader’ badge at the right-hand end of the Address Bar. You can see it in my first screenshot, next to the Refresh arrow.
To read the page in Reader (or to exit the Reader) do one of these things:
- Click the Reader badge in the Address Bar.
Enter Readerfrom the
Command (⌘) Shift (⇧) R.
You can also exit Reader by clicking the
X at the right-hand end of the Control Bar (see below).
When you call up Reader the usual page is covered by a transparent black overlay, with a white area in the middle. The text of the main article on the web page appears in easy to read black text on the white background.
Hide and Show the Reader Control Bar
A transparent black Control Bar appears at the bottom of the Reader. Move your mouse away from the window to make it disappear. Move your mouse back over the window to bring it back again.
Zoom in or out
To increase or decrease the size of the Reader text either click a zoom button (magnifying glass) in the control bar at the bottom of the Reader or:
Command (⌘) +to increase the text size; or
Command (⌘) -to decrease the text size.
Zoom In and
Zoom Out are also available under the
Mail or print the article
The Control Bar also provides buttons for emailing or printing the article.
Easy and elegant
Reader is my favourite feature of Safari now. I used to spend time and effort zooming in or using the Readability bookmarklet. If I set a preference to use a minimum font size in Safari many web pages would display oddly.
Reader is elegant and easy to use. It has a benefit of also hiding all the ads and decorations and other ‘fluff’ that usually appears around web pages, making it simpler and easier to read the interesting stuff.
If you’re able to run Safari 5 then install it and try out Reader immediately. I think you’ll be impressed.
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Tell us in the Comments at the website your experiences with Safari Reader.