Remove distractions with Reader Mode in Chrome

Accessibility for ALL learners has always been important to me. That’s why I’m a huge fan of accessibility feature such as Automated Close Captions, Cursor controls and more. After discussing the Immersive reader for Microsoft Edge, I got many questions about Chrome. “Does Chrome have a reader like this?”, “How do I use the immersive reader in Chrome?”, “Do I have to switch Browsers?”.

Well, the answer to those questions is both Yes and No. The Chrome browser does not support the Immersive reader(Unless you use this workaround), and sadly does not have the fully featured powerhouse that Immersive reader is.

It does however have a hidden Reader mode. Hidden? But why? If you look at Google and how they have previously rolled out updates, it makes perfect sense. The features appear in the flags page before being rolled out to the general public as a test. And so this would indicate they are actively developing this feature before rolling it out. A similar thing has happened with the Tab groups. which was first noticed in flags, and is now part of everyday Chrome use since the March 2021 Update.

Now back to reader mode.

Enable the reader mode

As mentioned before, reader mode for Chrome can be found in the flags page. You can navigate to this page by opening a new tab and typing in chrome://flags/

This will open the following page:

Chrome Flags (Experiments)

Note: Flag are experimental features and should be used with precaution.

At the top type ‘reader mode’ in search and the option to enable the Reader mode for Chrome will appear. Enable this and restart your browser.

Search for Reader mode
Enable the Reader mode for Chrome

From now on the reader mode will be available on all website where it can be used to simplify the page, remove distractions and change the fonts.

Once clicked, you get a number of options to change the way a webpage is presented in Chrome.

The Reader mode icon on a webpage
Customize the presentation of the website with Reader view.

If you prefer to watch the video on how to enable this incredibly helpful feature, I have embedded the YouTube link below.

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