The chrome browser has it all. Decent looks like abundant features, regular updates, and an interactive user interface. What it doesn’t have is a dedicated inbuilt webpage reader. Even Microsoft Edge has one and that makes us wonder why Chrome browser doesn’t have it already. It was announced some time back but it has been an exasperating wait until now.
While the actual feature is on its way, you can still enjoy a quality reading experience with the expansive reader extensions available in the Chrome Web Store. The options are plenty but most of them do very little to amplify the reading experience. We have searched the Chrome Web Store for the best reader extensions for reading articles that ensure minimum distraction and do not change the layout of the web page far beyond comprehension.
5 Best Chrome Reader Extension for Reading Articles Online In 2021
- Easy Reader
- DOM Distiller Reading Mode
- Mercury Reader
- Reader View
- Just Read
- Minimal Reading Mode
- Fika Reader
- Indexing of Article
DOM Distiller Reading Mode
DOM Distiller Reading Mode is another example of a subtle reader for Chrome that has a clean layout for a more focused reading experience to the user. All the unnecessary labels, buttons, sidebars are removed at once and you are left with a cleaner text and media webpage. The extension is very fast and doesn’t take much time in loading the contents. You can switch between three font styles, namely sans serif, serif, and Helvetica.
- Different font styles
- Minimal interface with zero clutter
Mercury Reader is another lightweight chrome reader extension that can instantly convert the webpages into text-only articles. It is surely for the focused readers who do not like persistent or intrusive media contents along with the text. Also, the Mercury Reader extension is incapable of loading images and media into the reading view. This is done to achieve a Kindle-like reading experience that is not marred by annoying popups and useless CSS.
- Simplified view with one click
- Directly send docs to Kindle device
Reader View is one of the less popular yet very elaborate reader extensions for Chrome. We were amazed by the sheer volumes of features and customization available in this extension. For starters, the webpage can be converted to reader mode with one click. After that, there is an option to include or remove images and media content along with increasing or decreasing their size. The extension discards all the buttons, adverts, and sidebars by default and presents you with a reader-friendly version of the webpage. You can also cycle between 6 different backgrounds as per your need and can also add or decrease the line spacing of text as well as its size.
- Elaborate tools section
- Multiple reading backgrounds
Just Read is a simplified reader extension for Chrome browsers that is devoid of the most advanced features found in a reader. It does come with a simple toggle to change page views. We love the fact that you can change the background themes of the web pages without going too much into detail. If you know your way around CSS, you add a lot more functionality to the webpage in view. Just Read also has a premium tier that comes with more lucrative features such as adding comments, highlighting texts, adding a custom scroll bar, and sharing a certain page view across all your devices.
Just Read believes in utmost privacy and does not collect personal data while you use it. The reader extension can get into trouble with content that is structured in bullet points and lists and can sometimes jumble them up, confusing the end-users.
- CSS can be altered
- Can block popups with ease
Minimal Reading Mode
Minimal Reading Mode is one of the smallest-sized reader extensions for Chrome that is just 19 KB. It doesn’t rely heavily on system resources and is very easy to navigate without displaying a large menu to activate or deactivate features. It scrapes all the media from the page and you are left with whatever text the page contains. The pop-up blocker works very well and if the extension is enabled you will never notice them. There are 3 dark mode themes available in the extension and they help you to reduce the eye strain while reading for long hours.
It also performs image and media minification which shrinks the media on the page into a tiny square. If you wish to view the media, all it takes is a simple hover over the tiny square. It is a handy feature that helps you to read through articles without having to hide the obnoxious ad content that isn’t Safe for Workplaces. The reader extension also removes repetitive content that includes many buttons, menu bars, page links, and adverts. All in all, Minimal Reading Mode is a less explored yet suitable option for readers that want a lightweight yet flexible extension.
- Image and media minification
- Super lightweight and CPU friendly
Fika Reader adopts a simpler accessing pane as opposed to the in-your-face menus and action buttons that take the joy out of reading online. Fika Reader doesn’t have many features to play with and not directly printing facilities. It can however share the article in the reader’s view but only to Twitter and Facebook. There is no option to share the URL as of now but the developer promises that it is in the works.
With Fika Reader, you get three main buttons a TOC button that presents a table of contents pane on the left, a settings button, and a full-screen button. The major action happens in the settings button where you can choose between themes, photo backgrounds and can alter text properties that include the alignment, size, and typeface. In our experience, the background feature is practically useless as you don’t see the full background. It just fills out whatever area is left empty after converting the page to read mode.
- TOC feature
- Direct share button
Once you choose a file reading extension for Chrome reverting back to the old ways is very displeasing. These reader extensions put meaningful content on the front rather than all the useless clutter amassed on the page for ad revenue. Installing an extension is simple, you don’t have to even be logged in to do so. The new version of Chrome browser makes it easy to pin and manage extensions and even remove them without going into the settings. If we were to recommend the best reader extension for Chrome, Mercury Reader, Reader View, will be our top pick.
If you want an extension that doesn’t consume extensive system resources in the background, Fika Reader is the most viable choice for you. Do leave your inputs and suggestions about any important reader extensions for Chrome, in case we have missed any.