Google Chrome is getting a reader mode on desktop

From The Verge: The desktop version of Google Chrome’s browser is getting a reader mode, which can be used to strip out a page’s unnecessary background clutter to make an article easier to read. ZDNet notes that the feature launched today in Chrome’s experimental Canary release, and it should make its way to more stable versions of the browser in the future.

Reader modes have become a standard browser feature. Microsoft’s Edge browser has had one since at least 2015, and Firefox and Safari both added them in 2017. Firefox’s implementation is the most advanced out of the three, with support for different color-schemes (including a dark mode), text-to-speech, and a host of text-resizing options.

The new reader mode isn’t entirely new for Chrome. It’s existed for a while in the Android version of the app where it’s called “Simplified view,” and it can be turned on from the browser’s accessibility menu. The desktop version’s reader mode is a renamed port of this accessibility option, as noted in a bug report that was spotted back in February.

If you want to enable the new functionality, then you’ll need to use an up-to-date version of Chrome’s experimental Canary release. Head over to “chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode” toggle the feature on, and restart your browser. You can then put a page into reader mode by clicking the settings button on the top right of the browser and selecting “Distill page.”

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