GNOME Web Browser is Adding a Reader Mode

epiphany reader mode

An experimental reader mode will ship in the next version of GNOME Web, aka Epiphany.

The feature is already available to try in the latest development builds of the GTK Webkit-based web browser, released this week as part of the GNOME 3.29.3 milestone.

Reader mode (also known as “reader view”) is a toggle option that strips a web page down to its bare text.

All bespoke styling, background images, buttons, branding and page ephemera is removed.

You get a distraction-free, text version of a web page.

Because reader mode use its own custom .css to present web content it is (sometimes) possible to adjust a page’s text size, background color, and/or layout for improved readability. There’s no indication (yet) of customisation options being available in GNOME Web’s version.

Reader Mode Isn’t New, Of Course

A reader mode of some sort is available in many browsers, most famously in Safari (macOS & iOS) and Mozilla Firefox on both desktop and mobile. A reader mode for Google Chrome was on the way at one point, but has since vanished from the roadmap.

As I don’t have the latest version of GNOME Web/Epiphany to hand I can’t test how well the feature works first-hand.

But as someone who is a big fan of reader mode in other browsers, I do look forward to trying it out.

You can learn more about the feature in this BugZilla bug report

Image credit: Alex/BabyWogue

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