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Simple tools to make Websites more readable

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Many web users have difficulty in viewing and reading content on a website. This difficulty can result from many causes including poor eyesight and color blindness. Such a difficult in being able to read a site's content can be referred to as readability problems. Not only can such readability problems cause frustration but it can also interfere with their ability to interact online.

Luckily this difficulty can be addressed with many tools provided for the Firefox web browser. These tools are free and not difficult to use. To learn how to take steps to increase a web site's readability factor, please read on.

Things You Will Need

The Firefox web browser, Internet access, and basic Internet knowledge.

Step 1

Open up the Firefox web browser. Then either click on or type in the following website address: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page. After loading the website, continue to step 2.


Step 2

The zoom functions in Firefox
Next, move the mouse cursor to the "view" menu. Then select the "zoom" function. Notice how there are several options to zoom in, zoom out, and zoom in on text only. Then click on the "zoom text only". A mark should be seen next to the option. Then click on "zoom in". Notice how the text increases in size but not the other web page elements including images.

Step 3

The Readability project
Next, click on the following link: http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/. The website Arc9 readability website will open revealing several functions for formatting web pages.

Step 4

The Readability project (36438)
After open the Readability web page, look at the three columns of choices. The each column has a function. In the first column "Style", one can choose a different color, background, and font. The choices are limited but will provide several different appearances shown in the sample text section below. Click on one or choices in the style section. Notice how the text changes with each selection. Is there a style that looks better than the rest? Is it more readable and viewable?

Step 5

The text size selections
Next, look at the "size" column. There are different sizes available from very small to very large. tryout the different size selections with the preview text pane below. Notice that the text will either decrease or increase with each selection. Choose a selection that is more visible for your eyes.

Step 6

Margin selections
After selecting the style and size of the text, look at the third column labeled "Margin". Each margin choice will show a different margin size for the preview text below. Notice how each selection will result in the margins being increased or decreased. Choose a selection that looks the best to you.

Step 7

Readability link in bookmarks section
After finishing up selecting the style, size, and margins, add the "readability" button to your bookmarks section of the web browser. One can simply click on the right mouse, choose to add the link to the bookmark section, and click on okay.

Step 8

The reformatted wikipedia page
Now click on the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
After loading the page, return the mouse cursor to the bookmark menu. Click on the "readability" link. The page should now be redrawn with new formatting.

Step 9

Wikipedia website reformatted
Take a close look at the new text formatting. Notice how the text now flows through a central area and is reformatted with the selections in style, size, and margins selected on the readability website. If the page needs adjusting or the text is not as readable as one would desire, scroll down to the bottom of page and click on the readability button to return to the readability site.

Using both built in zoom tools in Firefox and third party readability applications can help many users in their efforts to read content on many websites. However, the technology and applications are not fool proof. Sites that use Adobe Flash or other multimedia technologies may not work with such applications. Furthermore, not every site will work with reformatting tools such as those provided by the Readability project. Some sites will appear worse off than before and others may be more difficult to navigate. Each Internet user will need to decide what tools work best. Some may just use the built in zoom tools found in Firefox and other web browsers while others may seek out applications such as the Readability project. More exotic solutions not covered in this article include voice browsers that read out text aloud, braille printers, and other applications. However, by using the tools built into Firefox and a third party application such as the Readability project, anyone can improve the readability of many websites without too much effort or money.

Tips & Warnings

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