Like other web browsers, including its own predecessor, Microsoft Edge has a “reading view” feature. When enabled, Reading View displays the contents of a website article in a clean and simple layout, removing special formatting, unnecessary site elements (such as social media links and comments), and even advertising.
What you’re left with is simply the article headline, its text, and any images or videos specific to that article. In short, Reading View is a great way to get a distraction-free experience for reading articles, especially lengthy ones, on the web. So if you’re new to Windows 10 and unfamiliar with Edge’s Reading View feature, here’s how to use it.
Enable Reading View in Microsoft Edge
To get started, launch Edge and navigate to an article at one of your favorite websites. Note the emphasis on article. Reading View only works when you’ve loaded a dedicated article page; it doesn’t work for areas like a site’s home page or photo galleries.
With the article loaded, find and click on the Reading View icon on the right side of Edge’s address bar. The icon fittingly looks like an open book. If you’re not sure which icon to choose, simply hover your mouse cursor over it for a second or two to receive a text description. Alternatively, you can enable Reading View with the keyboard shortcut Control-Shift-R.
Once you click the Reading View icon, Edge may take a few seconds to reformat the page. When it’s done, you’ll see a simplified version of the article featuring only its text and associated images or videos. Everything else on the website is hidden while in Reading View.
Customize Edge’s Reading View Options
The default formatting for Reading View in Edge is a sepia tone background with moderately sized text, but you can change the background color and text size if desired. To do so, once you’re in Reading View, find and click the Reading View Options icon in the upper-right corner of the window. The icon is represented as two “A” characters. Note that you may need to click once inside the Reading View interface to bring up the black bar that contains this icon.
Clicking the Options button will reveal a drop-down menu with buttons to increase or decrease the text size and change the theme to one of Light, Sepia, or Dark modes, as Microsoft has named them. Play around with the various options until you find a combination you like. Edge will remember your choice and use it again when Reading View is enabled in the future.
When you’re done with your distraction-free reading experience, just click the Reading View icon in the address bar again (or use the Control-Shift-R keyboard shortcut) to exit the mode and return to the default website layout.
Reading View Limitations
In addition to locations like home pages and image galleries, some pages on some websites are coded to prevent the use of Reading View in Edge and other browsers with similar features. In situations like this, the Reading View icon in the address bar will be grayed out and you’ll see a message “Reading View is not available for this page” when you try to activate it. In general, however, most sites allow the use of Reading View and it can quickly become a must-have feature for reading long-form articles.
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