Keep Original Style of Website in Reading Mode with this Extension: Unclutter

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Unclutter is an open-source Browser Extension that provides a Reader Mode meant to remove distractions while reading any content on websites. These distractions are generally in the form of ads, popups, banners and more. The extension is available for Google Chrome as well as Mozilla Firefox.

Many browsers offer a Reader Mode that displays web pages in a layout and design that is conducive to reading. This is done by eliminating the distracting elements. Unclutter boasts some unique and improved features that makes it better than the native reader modes.

The original style of the website remains intact as Unclutter modifies the HTML code of the article instead of replacing. This ensures that readability is improved without making all the pages look identical, which becomes quite monotonous and boring. Also, the user can still interact with graphs, tables, or videos normally as on the original web page.

Unclutter does this by using the website’s own responsive CSS and removes all the non-essential page elements by analyzing, parsing, and applying these rules in the CSS Object Model (CSSOM). This is a set of APIs that allow for manipulation of the website’s CSS using Javascript.

Features:

  1. Themes: Unclutter provides various Theme settings for better reading including a dynamic dark mode.
  2. Per-domain activation: The extension can be automatically activated on a per-domain basis i.e. you can choose to activate it only for the domains that you have configured.
  3. Page outline: To navigate and read long articles easily, an interactive page outline is provided that also contains chapters from the webpage.
  4. Notes: You can create and save highlights / private notes for any article by simply selecting the text on the page.
  5. Social Highlights: Unclutter displays related social conversations from Hacker News and Hypothes.is for more than 85k articles from within the extension by automatically underlining the text that has some conversation about it. You can click it to read the conversation.

How it works:

1. Install the extension in your browser.

2. Navigate to the article that you wish to read and run the Unclutter Extension from the extensions icon in Google Chrome or the Firefox Extensions toolbar and the web page will be uncluttered immediately. You can also use Alt + C to Unclutter the page.

AI Revolution original

Uncluttered Reader Mode

3. Uncluttered Reader Mode: A navigational view with outlines and chapters will be enabled at the top left of the page. You can use this to browse through length articles.

4. Click on the ‘bolt’ icon at the top right of the page to automatically Unclutter all pages in the current domain.

Enabled domain for Uncluttering

5. To zoom in / out, make the page wider / narrower, use Dynamic Dark Theme and more, use the relevant icon in the toolbar available at the top right. (See screenshot below)

Display Settings

6. Click the ‘Pen’ icon in the tool bar to enable Private Notes. Select any text in the article and simply type the notes in the box that appears besides the paragraph.

Private Notes

7. Click on the ‘Social Highlights’ icon and any text for which there is a related conversation (on Hacker News or Hypothes.is) is underlined in Orange or Red. Click on the underlined text to read the conversation in brief. If you click on the Conversation Box, you will be navigated to it on the specific website.

Social Highlights

8. Default settings and behavior of the Unclutter Extension can be configured using the ‘Settings’ icon in the toolbar. Any domain for which you have enabled automatic uncluttering will be visible here.

Settings

Final Comments:

Unclutter Extension offers a very good Reader Mode that gets rid of all the distracting elements of a web page and provides for easy and efficient reading. The Page outline in the navigation view is extremely helpful to browse through lengthy articles. What’s more, you can even add your private notes by selecting any text on the page. Unclutter is a far better alternative than the native Reader Modes offered by browsers.

Click here to download the Unclutter Google Chrome Extension.

Click here to download the Unclutter Firefox Extension.

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