Better Reader improves Firefox’s Reader Mode

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Reader Mode, initially launched for Firefox on Android in 2012, landed in the beginning of this year on Firefox for the desktop.

First only available in Firefox Nightly and locked behind a preference, it is now enabled by default in all versions of the web browser.

Reader Mode turns articles on the web into versions that are optimized for reading. It does so by removing most elements on a web page that are not relevant for the article in question, and by modifying the format of the text presented to the reader.

It works similar to other Readability extensions but with the difference that it is built-in to the browser which means that users don’t have to install extensions, use bookmarklets, or external services to make use of it.

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The only controls Firefox users get when in Reader Mode are to change the font size, switch between three different color schemes, and to switch between sans-serif and serif.

The Firefox add-on Better Reader improves the mode by adding new features to it. First time users should not be confused by the new look of the configuration menu after installing Better Reader even though everything is changed there.

You still get all default options to modify the article, and on top of that an option to pick a custom font instead of the default font used by the browser’s Reader Mode.

firefox better reader

The text is displayed automatically in the new font once you select it, and Firefox will remember your selection and use it from that moment on whenever you launch Reader Mode.

The second option that Better Reader adds to Firefox’s Reader Mode lets you change the width of the text. You may increase its width or make it narrower.

The third and final option provides you with preferences to set custom colors for content and controls. This gives you more control over background and foreground content and control colors in Reader Mode.

Here is an example screenshot of a modified Reader Mode interface.

custom reader mode

Closing Words

If you are using Firefox’s Reader Mode regularly and want more control over how articles are displayed in it, then you may find the additional options that Better Reader offers helpful for that.


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About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand. You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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