dom-distiller

Google Is Still Working On ‘Reader Mode’ For Chrome And Is Now Allowing Testing On Desktops

February 25, 2015 - Written By Justin Diaz

Google seems to be getting closer to launching a “Reader Mode” for the Chrome browser on desktop and mobile devices as Google’s own Fran§ois Beaufort posted some more about the situation early this morning. Reader Mode in its most basic description is a way for the user to consume the bits of text they see online every day without all the added extras. Meaning if you’re viewing news articles or any other type of content that includes large chunks of text on a site you’ll be able to see things without unneeded imagery, ads, and other webpage design elements that could otherwise impede your ability to just simply read content.

While the Reader Mode has technically been accessible via the mobile version of the beta Chrome browser since around December of 2014, this post displays that Google is still developing the functionality and that it seems to be making some progress towards becoming a full fledged function as they’re alerting users to the ability to test it Chrome for desktops now. As a recap of how you access reader mode on mobile devices, all you have to do is open up chrome and type the following into your browser’s address bar minus the parenthesis.(chrome://flags#enable-reader-mode-toolbar-icon)After that step is done you can close out Chrome and relaunch it, then after opening up the browser menu by hitting the button in the top right corner of the display, there will be a new reader mode option for you to test out and play with.

It seems now you can also play with it on the desktop version of Chrome, although the process for enabling this feature with the desktop version of Google’s browser is different from how you access it on mobile devices. To get to it, you’ll need to open up the Chrome browser and run it with the –enable-dom-distiller switch. Doing this Beaufort explains, should cause the distiller page to display the new reader mode option, then from there just turn it on and you’re off to reading on websites with just the text you set out to read. There’s no telling when and actually if Google will release this as a standard feature, but it would seem since they’re continuing to work forward with it that it could be coming to the stable version of Chrome at some point in the future.