Emacs, scripting and anything text oriented.

Unclutter: A better Reader View for browsers

Kaushal Modi

Unclutter is a better looking Reader View browser add-on available for both Firefox and Chrome.

Table of Contents

I am writing this post to share this wonderful browser add-on Unclutter (available for both Firefox and Chrome) by Peter Hagen. I discovered this a few days back on Hacker News. But given how awesome this add-on is, I am surprised that the HN post didn’t gain any traction.

I’ll quickly post the important links related to this add-on, and then briefly list few points on why I like it.

Why? #

I use Firefox as my primary browser. If you are too, you might be wondering “why install this add-on when Firefox already has a Reader View”.

Here are my reasons:

  1. You do not lose the article’s origin style!
  2. The Unclutter author Peter Hagen was super-responsive when I opened an issue on his repo. This add-on did not work well on one of the pages on this site, but he fixed it in less than 24 hours!
  3. This website shows an outline on the side, but many websites don’t. Unclutter adds a similar outline for any page where it’s enabled.
  4. Unclutter can be auto-enabled for your chosen sites. For example, ever since I have discovered this add-on, I have auto-enabled it on https://www.masteringemacs.org.
  5. You can customize a key-binding or shortcut to toggle this add-on. For now, I am keeping the default binding Alt + C.
  6. The subtle animation you see when enabling/disabling this add-on is pretty cool.
  7. Like the Firefox built-in Reader View, Unclutter also removes distractions – So no ads or pop-ups!

It has other features like annotating pages with your notes privately and displaying comments from Hacker News and Hypothes.is, but I don’t use those.

Caveat #

While viewing a page with Unclutter enabled, there are no issues. But I have noticed that if I toggle it off, the original CSS gets broken. This issue is tracked on its repo. Until this gets fixed, a quick workaround is to do Ctrl + F5 (force reload the page and thus its CSS too) after disabling Unclutter.

Closing #

But this minor issue doesn’t prevent it from making it my default “reader view” app on Firefox.

I’ll end this post with a before and after when visiting this page. Feel free to click those images to view them in higher resolution.

Versions used: firefox 101.0.1 , unclutter 0.15.4
This is Day 26 of #100DaysToOffload.