How to Improve the Readability of a Web Page for Free

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Boomarklets are awesome. I remember the first time I saw them – I was amazed! You find them on web pages, and you press the button linked to them. They’ll do a variety of things, depending on what they were designed to do. I used to use Internet Explorer, and have now switched to Safari. So, some of the bookmarklets I’ve made over the years no longer work. Certain bookmarklets will only work in certain browsers. The reason I’m bringing this up is that one: they’re actually just awesome. And two, you should always install them when you can, since they do a variety of great things. One I’ve recently found will help improve the readability of web pages.

The Readability Experiment by the folks at the arc90 lab is a browser bookmarklet. Reading anything on the Internet has become a full-on nightmare. As media outlets attempt to eke out as much advertising revenue as possible, we’re left trying to put blinders on to mask away all the insanity that surrounds the content we’re trying to read.

First you configure it: choose your style, including text size and page margin size. Make it look the way you would like, so that you’re more tempted to read it. If you’re on any web page that is annoying you because it wasn’t designed well, you can use it to ‘clean up’ the page. It will remove the unnecessary things you don’t want to see. I went to a post in my blog and clicked the Readability bookmarklet. It removed the video, the comments, and even the ads. It removed everything other than the actual content.

Readability is a very cool project. You can use it anywhere. My recommendation is to use it on MySpace, since they aren’t the best-designed pages on the planet. If you want to read any page easier without fighting through nonsense, install Readability.

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