But hey, what if we find a solution that provides the best of both worlds, a win-win situation? You get the content without all the distractions and I get to keep the site layout. Is that possible? Let's find out.
Update, Apr 1, 2012: I've removed the Readability plugin as they have let us down by introducing tons of pop-ups, ads and other distractions on the readability page that kind of defeat the purpose of using it. By the way, this is "not" an April Fool hoax.
Readability comes to the Rescue
Meet Readability. Readability is a simple online tool that makes reading on the web more enjoyable by removing all the clutter surrounding the content. For me, it was love at first sight. Pure bliss. Don't trust me? Here's a screenshot of one of the articles on this site, as seen with Readability:
Amazing, isn't it? I get to retain the original format of this site and you get to read the content without the clutter.
How does it Work?
Visit any individual article page on this site (but not the home page). This page itself is a good example. In the header section, you'll see the "Readability Mode" link. Simply click that link and voilà ! Let's have a live demo now. Go ahead and click the "Readability Mode" link in the header (below the title) of this post. What do you think?
Not only does it enhance the readability of articles, but also allows you to easily print the articles in a printer-friendly format. It will just print the article without all the unwanted clutter.
For the record, feel free to print the content of this site, but for personal use only. You are not allowed to reproduce or distribute it without my prior permission. You are also not allowed to use it for commercial purposes. 99.9% visitors come to this site with good intentions and I do not have to say all this. But, the remaining 0.1%, like Mr. Shafir Ahmad from Singapore, who are not so well educated on copyright protection and respecting other's Intellectual Property (IP) rights, make me say such things and risk offending the other 99.9% well-intentioned visitors. In a way, it's like airport security. Probably one person in a 100 million will board a passenger aircraft with the intention of blowing it up. But because of that person, all of us have to go through rigorous security checks around the world. Crazy.
Let me give you a small sample of his creativity. Here's the original 5 Myths about PMP Exam Passing Score, and here's Mr. Ahmad's sleight of hand (plagiarism). I'm sure Mr. Ahmad will also mend his ways after I educate him.
Install Readability on your Browser
If you like the Readability feature, you can install the Readability bookmarklet on your browser and use it on any website. Here are the steps involved:
- Visit Readability website.
- Choose your settings. I like Style -> Newspaper; Size -> Large; Margin -> Narrow
- Drag the Readability Bookmarklet and drop it to your browser's Bookmark Toolbar (a.k.a. Link Toolbar in Internet Explorer). Need help with this? See this quick video:
- When you visit a site and come across an article of interest, simply click on the Readability bookmarklet. In an instant, the page gets transformed into a white board with just your article (text and images) on it.
- From here, you can:
- Read the article and simply go back to the original page by clicking the "Reload original page" button on the top left.
- Print the article.
- Email the article link.
Please give it a try and let me know what you think of it. I value your comments and feedback.
Image Credit: Flick / Swanksalot