Using Safari Reader View

If you are trying to read an article online and the font is too small, too light, or other page elements are too distracting, you can use Safari's Reader View to focus on just the text and other primary elements of the article. It is easy to turn Reader View on and off. Once on, you can adjust the font, font size and background color.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with On this episode let's take a look at Safari's Reader View.

So using Reader View is pretty straight forward. First you find yourself at a page that's an article. So it could be a newspaper page, or a blog, or anything that's just got some text on it. Here you can see the text of this article on the left. There's a lot of other elements to the right and to the left. Lots of stuff to distract you.

If you just want to focus on the text then Reader View is for you.

Now the way to see if it's available is to look at the top here in the address bar. Look for this little symbol here. If I roll my cursor over it you can see it says Show Reader View. All I have to do to activate Reader View is to click it.

The first thing you will notice is that just about everything on the page goes away except the article. So you've got just the text, the headline, and the body of the text but other things are included. Like, for instance, images, sometimes blocks like for links to social media things and sharing links and things like that. But it is far cleaner than if you just viewed the regular page.

But in addition to that you've got some more controls. So one of the reasons to use the Reader View is maybe the text on the page is too small. Or sometimes with the text the font isn't good, sometimes the text is gray rather than black and you find it difficult to read.

Once you're in Reader View you can adjust the text very easily by clicking here on these two little capital A's. Once I click there I get this little control that allows me to adjust the text. I can increase the font size very easily. I can change the background. You can see I can change to another color there, I can reverse with white text on a gray background or white text on a black background. I can also pick from several very readable fonts. So dispensing with the font that the website chose and choosing one of these that may be easier for me to read.

By adjusting all of these things I can make this article a little easier for me to digest.

So to leave the Reader View all you need to do to navigate away using a bookmark or maybe a link that is in here or you can simply turn it off using the same button that you used to turn it on. So this is useful because, for instance, here there is a video included with article. So I turned it off and I can reveal the video again.

So let's look at another site. Let's look at Here I am at the Homepage. This isn't an article but this is, of course, the Homepage list of tutorials. There is no Reader View here. Safari is smart enough to know that this isn't an article.

But if I were to go to the first video here you can see that now that I am in an article I have Reader View. So I will activate it. Notice in this case because the way I put the video on the page the video actually is there for you to view. So some sites are going to have the video presented in a way that Reader View will include it and some sites will have it in the way that excludes it from Reader View.

There is not much else here. You can see that the comments and the transcripts aren't picked up by Reader View so you can kind of use the regular version of the page to go back and see all of that stuff.

But it is important to know that sometimes you don't get Reader View like when you are on a Homepage. Sometimes you won't get it if the article is formatted in a strange way and what you get in Reader View sometimes will vary. Sometimes you will get a video and images and sometimes you won't.

But for the most part for nice long articles Reader View is a good way to go if you want to concentrate on the content.

Comments: 13 Responses to “Using Safari Reader View”

    robert sigafoos
    5/11/16 @ 9:30 am

    To toggle back to the original site, all you have to do is click on the grey area outside the reader view document. Also, notice that you can select all (comm+A) and copy/paste the document into another text/document app (textedit or pages) or send to printer. Select all does not select all videos (like your macmost videos) but it does paste the web links to other sites and youtube videos. How can we set a keyboard shortcut for Reader View?

    5/11/16 @ 10:01 am

    Robert: There already is one. It is View, Show Reader (Shift+Command+R).

    robert sigafoos
    5/11/16 @ 10:27 am

    Thank you . . . I saw that one but thought it was the sidebar reading list (glasses logo) between the RSS (@) feature and bookmarks bar. Guess I should have tried it before asking question.

    Law Thim Fook
    5/17/16 @ 12:00 am

    Thanks for the video, Gary. Do you know of any way, e.g. plug-ins or otherwise, to have Safari always open in Reader View, say when one clicks “Open in New Tab” mode?

    5/17/16 @ 7:39 am

    Law: No, sorry, there’s no way to do that. Not sure you’d want to as there may be information that the Reader View leaves out (some images, videos, sidebar text, etc) so it is a good idea to view the page regularly first, then only use Reader view when you want to focus on the main article text. Plus, many sites present text in a nice readable format so the reader view is unnecessary.

    Law Thim Fook
    5/18/16 @ 2:13 am

    Noted with thanks, Gary.

    Mitch Kennedy
    5/19/16 @ 9:30 am

    Gary, what triggers Safari to decide a page is available for Reader View?

    5/19/16 @ 9:33 am

    Mitch: I imagine it looks at the content on the page and tries to determine whether a large body of text is available. I’m sure it takes into account the common structure found on major news sites and CMS systems like WordPress too.

    Roger Thomson
    5/19/16 @ 9:36 am

    On my iMac I do not show the aA on the address bar. Is their a way to activate it?

    5/19/16 @ 9:37 am

    Roger: Are you using El Capitan? Or some older version of OS X?

    Mary Green
    5/19/16 @ 9:47 am

    wow, thanks, I bought my Mom a Mac she is 92 and has a hard time seeing, this is much better for web pages than the magnifier.

    5/19/16 @ 10:54 am

    very nice feature! Thanks for the tip!

    6/2/16 @ 10:09 am

    This is a great feature and I had no idea it existed. Thank you!!

Comments Closed.