Reader Mode in Safari is the answer to the nature of Internet — large number of information with terrible legibility. When publisher fails to deliver enjoyable reading experience, we should take control and pave our reading environment.

Reader Mode in Safari 7

Before Apple introduced Reader Mode, I used Instapaper Text Bookmarklet to remove the clutter from an article. In addition to more typeface choices, Instapaper was the most popular service to save your articles for read later.

As I spend more time browsing in Safari, I start using built-in Reader Mode to clean the article I’m reading. But I detest the default typeface and text color. Wide range of typeface choices in Instapaper — my favorites are Elena and FF Tisa — has taught me to respect the role of typography, especially in reading.

CustomReader Basic Settings

CustomReader lets you customize the appearance of Safari built-in Reader Mode. You can set the font, choose the text color, and change paragraph text alignment. But what makes CustomReader worths installing is the ability to apply custom CSS.

If this is the first time you’re working with CSS, I’ll show you how to configure and setup the template I’m using for Reader Mode.

Download Arvo by Google and install it on your Mac. You can also use other fonts, but we’re going to stick with Arvo because it resembles FF Tisa.

Turn on Reader Mode and open CustomReader settings by pressing Control-R or press the gear button found on the top left window. Copy the texts found in this CSS file and paste it into Advanced tab.

Taking three steps further

It’s incomplete without further tips to enhance your reading experience with CustomReader.

  • Toggle Reader Mode in Safari with a shortcut. Instead of clicking the «Reader» beside the address bar, you can press Shift-R.
  • Put the site with horrible legibility in the list of Auto-Read tab. CustomReader will toggle Reader Mode automatically when you visit the listed sites.
  • Save the article in Reader Mode as PDF and store them in Evernote. You can read the PDF version of your Reader Mode from everywhere. Beside that, Evernote will index all the texts in the PDF with its OCR technology.

Sometimes it’s not author’s fault that the typography of a website doesn’t do their writing justice. Most of time, the problem lies with publishers. What we can do is creating an environment where we can read comfortably, even in the midst of ads booby trap set by these uncaring publishers.