Save a page in Safari to read later on your Mac or iPad


Save a page in Safari to read later
Mac Tip #529, 28 March 2012

Sometimes you find a useful article on the web that you want to read, just not right this minute. So what do you do? You don’t want to keep it forever, so bookmarking it seems a bit much. With OS X 10.7 Lion Apple introduced a new feature called Reading List that’s perfect for this task. Here’s how to use it.

I use outside services for this, such as Read It Later or Instapaper. Another one I haven’t used is Readability. You might like to take a look at them too. Here’s a blog post I wrote in 2010 about the two I use: Save interesting links to read later.

Quick Start

  1. Open a web page in Safari that you want to read later.
  2. On your Mac choose Bookmarks > Add to Reading List. Or use the keys Command (⌘) Shift (⇧) D. On your iOS device tap the Send to icon on the Toolbar and tap Add to Reading List.
  3. Later, to read items in your Reading List …
  4. Make sure you’re connected to the Internet.
  5. On your Mac choose View > Show Reading List. Or use the keys Command (⌘) Shift (⇧) L. On your iOS device choose Bookmarks in Safari. Reading List is the first item.
  6. Select an item in the Reading List to load it in Safari.

Want more detail? Read the full Tip below.

Display the Reading List on your Mac

The Reading List is a special set of Bookmarks in recent versions of Safari. Display it one of the following ways.

The Reading List icon resembles a pair of spectacles. It usually appears at the left end of the Bookmarks Bar.

The Reading List icon resembles a pair of spectacles. It usually appears at the left end of the Bookmarks Bar.

  • Choose View > Show Reading List.
  • Type Command (⌘) Shift (⇧) L.
  • Click the Reading List icon at the left end of your Bookmarks Bar. The icon shows a tiny pair of spectacles. No Bookmarks Bar? Choose View > Show Bookmarks Bar.
  • You’ve shown the Bookmarks Bar but still don’t see the spectacles icon? Make sure you’re running Safari v5 in Lion and then choose Safari > Preferences…. In the Preferences window click on the Bookmarks tab and make sure Include Reading List is checked.

The Reading List opens on the left side of the Safari window.

If you haven’t yet added anything to the Reading List it will be empty.

The Reading List appears on the left side of the page. Select an item to read that page.

The Reading List appears on the left side of the page. Select an item to read that page.

Display the Reading List on your iOS device

On your iPhone or iPad open Safari then tap the bookmarks icon in the Toolbar. The Bookmarks icon resembles an open book.

The first item under Bookmarks is Reading List. Tap to display the list.

Read an item in the Reading List

Open the Reading List and select an item. After a few moments the original web page should load. That also marks that particular item as read.

To keep the item in the list of All items do nothing.

Delete an item from a Reading List

To delete an item on your Mac, hover over it until a small x appears at the top right corner then click the x. Or, to remove all items click the Clear All button above the Reading List.

To delete an item on an iOS device such as an iPad swipe across it from left to right. A red Delete button appears. Tap the Delete button to remove the item.

Filter the Reading List

Display all items you’ve added to your Reading List by clicking the All button at the top of the list.

To see only those items you have not yet read click the Unread button at the top of the list.

To mark an item as unread even after you have read it simply Add it to the Reading List again from the Bookmarks menu or by dragging as explained below.

Reading List on my iPad.

Reading List on my iPad.

Add an item to your Reading List

Open a web page you want to add to your Reading List, then do one of the following:

  • On the Mac drag the favicon for the page to the Reading List icon in the Bookmarks Bar.
  • On the Mac choose Bookmarks > Add to Reading List.
  • On the Mac use the keys Command (⌘) Shift (⇧) D.
  • On the Mac, with the Reading List open, click the Add Page button above the list.
  • On your iOS device tap the Send to icon on the Toolbar and tap Add to Reading List.
  • On your iOS device, with the Reading List open, tap the + symbol above the list.

Saved items sync automatically

If you have the latest operating systems for your Mac and iOS device, and if you use iCloud then items you save on one device are available on your other devices.

I did notice though that the Reading List on my iPad didn’t show a new item I’d added on my Mac until I tried to add a new item on the iPad.

The Reading List is a handy way to save pages you come across on your Mac for later reading on an iPad. Or, if you have only one device — Mac, iPhone or iPad — for saving items to read when you have more time.

Give it a try and let us know how you get on with it.

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