MacMost Now 592: Safari Reading List

The new Safari Reading List feature allows you to quickly and easily save web pages for future viewing. You can add pages to your Reading List in various ways, and they will be marked as read when you get back to them. They will also sync with iOS 5 devices. They are similar to bookmarks, but could be used in some interesting ways.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode, let's look at the new Safari Reading List feature. So, Reading List is a new feature in Safari 5.1. It's kind of like temporary bookmarks, let's take a look. So, say you're in safari and you see an article you want to read, but you don't have time right now. So, what you can do, is add it to your reading list. Now, if you have the bookmarks bar open, which is right here, you can open or close it by selecting hide or show bookmarks bar, you've got these little eyeglasses here, which is the reading list icon. Click on that, and the left side will expand to show your reading list. This one's empty, so it's just a message about how to use it. Now, I still see the page I'm viewing on the right here, and i can use the add page button to add it to my reading list there. So say I go to another page and I want to add that to the reading list as well, i can just jump to that page, add page, and now I've got two there, but I could also do more than that, I could do things like say, control-click on a page, so I see a link to something i want, I can control or right click on that link and put add link to reading list. That will be another way to add it to there as well, and there are menu item choices too under bookmarks, you can add to reading list there, and you can see that there's a keyboard shortcut, shift command D, to add to a reading list. Now, at any time, you can use the eyeglasses icon to get rid of your reading list, or show it. If you have it shown, you can jump to any item in the reading list by simply clicking on it. So i can jump back to this item like that. Now, notice there's two modes for the reading list, you can see all of the items, or just the ones that are unread. Now, a new item you add will, of course, be unread. When will an item be marked as read? Well, that's a little bit of a mystery to me, it seems like you have to be on the page for a certain amount of time, and then also have to maybe switch, or close, the reading list here. So I've been on this page for a bit, and you can see, it still doesn't change it. If I jump to this page, now you can see it got rid of that first one. You can also hit clear all to clear your entire reading list. You could also, to add pages to a reading list, do things like drag and drop links from the page. Now, you can do that from other applications as well, and the control click trick works as well too. So, for instance, if you're in mail, and you get a mail message with a link in it, you can control click on it and add it to your safari reading list, even though you're not in safari. So, this kind of looks like a single linear list of items like bookmarks, and the only difference being that when you check something, it's marked as read, and it's only available in the all list, instead of in the unread list, but there's a little bit more to it. It syncs wirelessly using iCloud, so when we have iOS devices, with iOS 5, you'll be able to add an item to your reading list in safari on your Mac, and then, see it appear in the reading list on your iOS devices, and vice versa. So, you could potentially mark items on you Mac that you later want to read while you're on the go, or, mark items that you see while you're on the go so you read them when you're sitting at your desk. You can also think of it as a temporary bookmarks area, so things that you don't necessarily want to bookmark, and have permanently in your bookmarks, you can just save over there, read it later, as the reading list idea would suggest, and then discard it. You can easily select an item, and then you saw there was a little X that appeared next to any item in the reading list so you can get rid of it that way, or control click on it will allow you to delete that item from the reading list. You can also use it as a kind of online to do list. Things that you need to go and do online, and the idea is to keep the reading list clear at the end of the day. So, for instance, you get an E-mail saying you have a bill due, and instead of leaving that email in your inbox, as you may do now until you pay that bill, you can simply add the link to the website by right clicking on it in your E-mail, adding it to your reading list, then, remove the E-mail from your inbox, go to the reading list later on when you have time, and see that, oh, I've got an item here that links to this bill I need to pay. Now, don't confuse the reading list feature with Reader. Reader is a button that appears in the address bar for a news article, or blog post, where it will get rid of all the rest of the tings on the webpage and only show you the text in a larger font. They're complementary features, certainly things that you add to your reading list may be things that you use with reader, but. they're not really connected. You go to a reading list page, and then you would have to find the reader button, just as you would if you went to the page any other way. So, if you found this look at Safari's new reading list feature useful, 'til next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 28 Responses to “MacMost Now 592: Safari Reading List”

    8/15/11 @ 8:33 am

    Hey Gary, I find this new feature to be very useful but I was wondering if I could add them to the Reading List somehow to read them offline?

      8/15/11 @ 8:44 am

      Nope. It doesn’t work that way. It is just a list of pages, it doesn’t store the pages themselves.

    8/17/11 @ 10:20 pm


    I was trying to do the reading list and when I try to put anything in the list the area is all white and I can’t see anything in that area. I don’t know if I have something turned off/on or what.



      9/1/11 @ 11:48 am

      I think your mind is blank!

    10/4/11 @ 1:49 am

    Is there a (command) short-key I can use when I want to reset Safari? Instead of having to do it manually via “Safari-reset safari-reset.

    10/17/11 @ 12:10 pm

    How do i enable reading list on lion running safari 5.5?

      10/17/11 @ 12:55 pm

      The latest version of Safari is 5.1. Is that what you mean? If so, it is on by default. Look for the eyeglasses icon.

    1/26/12 @ 3:51 am

    Hey Gary. Great review.

    To me it seems quite odd that you can’t save web pages for offline reading via the reading list.

    It would be an nice feature during travel – for example adding pages while waiting in the airport for later reading at flight mode on board.

    Do you know if Apple have any further description of the thoughts behind the reading list somewhere?

      1/26/12 @ 7:46 am

      There’s a little mentioned in the Safari help, but probably not what you are looking for. You can always save or print (to pdf) pages that you wan to read later.

    1/27/12 @ 7:55 am

    No, not quite. I am looking for some data about the Safari reading list. For eksample how often users actually are using it.

      5/9/12 @ 4:42 pm

      How do I get to/find my articles I have added to my reading list?

        5/9/12 @ 8:06 pm

        Just open the reading list sidebar, like in the video.

    Robert Mathieu
    3/4/12 @ 12:07 pm

    Hello Gary,
    Few questions; 1st does the ‘reading list’ auto-delete pages after they have been opened/read or after a certain allotted time frame ?? If so, can you stop it?
    Does the ‘read list’ have a history? To revisit/find a page that has gone missing or accidentally removed/deleted.
    Also I know the keys to save a page to ‘read list’
    command+shift+D sends it there.
    command+shift+L opens ‘reading list’
    What keys closes ‘read list’ ???

      3/4/12 @ 12:57 pm

      Items shouldn’t delete themselves. They just go to the “All” side instead of the “Unread” side.
      You have a complete history in Safari — no need to complicate with another history list just for Reading List.
      Use Command+Shift+L to open and close the reading list.
      Also, remember that you still have bookmarks, which offer much more functionality. Use bookmarks if Reading Listing doesn’t suit you.

    Robert Mathieu
    3/6/12 @ 8:59 am

    Thank You,
    Great advice and good points.
    Here is one more thing, when I have ‘multiple’ tabs open and I want to hide the several(tab bar) shift+command+T does not close it. It will only ‘hide’ one open tab , not several. Is there a command or a way to ‘hide’ multiple tabs in the tab bar???
    Thank You so much in advance.

    Dumarina putros
    3/28/12 @ 12:37 am

    i deleted my reading list. how can i get it back ?

      3/28/12 @ 8:02 am

      You can’t. It is meant to be a temporary list of items that you want to get to later, not a permanent archive of links. Use bookmarks or some other method if that is what you want.

    4/28/12 @ 3:15 am

    How do I stop safari from sending every page I click on to reading list. I cannot open any web page or go directly to any site. Each time I open safari and go to my home page any web site I select goes straight to the ‘eyeglasses’ it wont even let me log on to facebook or other social networks. How can I disable this???

      4/28/12 @ 8:08 am

      It sounds like something is wrong. There is no functionality that I know of that would do this. I’d go into the Genius Bar as have them take a first-hand look.

        5/4/12 @ 4:08 am

        thanks, its taken me a long time to get back here. I actually worked out there was a problem with my keyboard. The caps lock was always on even though it was not lit up and the mouse wasnt scrolling correctly. so I unplugged the keyboard and mouse and rebooted the computer then plugged them in again and everything worked well after that. Mind you, I had rebooted several times prior to disconnecting the keyboard and it didnt fix it. Thanks for your help.

    5/18/12 @ 10:36 pm

    Hi, today’s the first time I don’t see the glasses icon on my browser. How can I do to put the icon back?

      5/19/12 @ 3:54 pm

      Check Safari, Preferences, Bookmarks, Bookmarks bar: Include Reading List.

      3/7/13 @ 11:01 am

      If the Reading List is empty, you wont see the ‘glasses’ icon on your browser. Try Command-Shift-D to add a page to Reading List, and automatically the Reading List ‘glasses’ icon will reappear…

    11/7/12 @ 9:56 am

    I have the same problem, I can add pages to my reading list.
    However I try to open the reading list and i just get a grey empty list/tab.
    I am using safari 6.0.1 on Mountain Lion.

    Please advise.
    Thank you.

      11/7/12 @ 10:10 am

      Look at the top of your Reading List. It should have buttons for “All” and “Unread.” Try switching between them.

    11/27/12 @ 12:57 am

    Good Morning ;
    I can’t close the reading list their is no icon to close it, please advice

      11/27/12 @ 7:15 am

      Click the eyeglasses icon again. It both opens and closes it.

Comments Closed.