El Capitan: Adjust Safari’s Reader Settings

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Under El Capitan, Reader view in Safari has become customizable, and I like the changes quite a bit. Not familiar with Reader? Well, when you visit sites that this Safari feature can work with, you’ll see a little icon with lines appear in the left corner of the Smart Search bar.

If you click that icon (or press Command-Shift-R, for View > Show Reader), you’ll be taken to a clutter-free version of the site, which’ll strip out things like ads. This is great for reading articles without distractions! And now, you can make this view look exactly how you want it to, as well. To do that, click on the icon on the right of the Smart Search bar when you’ve got a Reader page open. 

There you can make the text bigger or smaller (or change the font entirely) or switch up the color of the background. And when you’re finished with your article and want to exit Reader view, press Escape, use the Reader shortcut I mentioned above again, or click the “lines” icon at the top.

And hey, we’ve got this feature under iOS 9, too! It follows the same steps as above—if you see the “lines” icon appear in the search bar, tap it to switch to Reader view. Then you can use the icon on the right to adjust the settings.

Leave this view on iOS by tapping the Reader icon again.

This really does make perusing articles online much easier, so if you’ve never played around with Reader at all, now would be a good time to check it out! I’m a fan. 

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Lee Dronick

Thank you! I didn’t know about how we can change the background, the paper, color.


I tend to save a lot of articles by printing to PDF. Unfortunately, the Reader view doesn’t work for that. It’s no surprise that adding color to the background might not want to be something you’d burden your printer with, nor its expensive ink cartridges, but it would be cool to be able to retain Reader style settings for print-to-PDF documents.

Melissa Holt

You’re welcome, Lee! grin

Hey kc_cramer! I’m not sure why it’s not working for you, but using Command-P and then saving as a PDF is functioning just fine for me in Reader view. What steps are you following?



kc_cramer, I also need for my work PDFs and calling for the Print to PDF after having switched to the Reader View works .... although not without it’s limitations.

The font chosen is NOT the one used in the Printout/PDF.

Background colors are also ignored ( for the better ).

Font size doesn’t behave in Rv like expected, it rather zooms into the page, even if in the View Menu, [Zoom Text Only] is checked ( and that works for a plain webpage ). On older versions of Safari, without Rv, text size changes would be taken over to the printed/PDF version.

BTW, this here is not an exclusive feature of El Capitan, I’m still on Yosemite but my previous Safari versions ( latest 9.1.1 here ) already offered these bonuses ( although with the forementioned caveats ).

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