Living on the (New) Edge: Reading

If you’re coming to the new Edge from Google Chrome, you may be surprised by the browser’s integrated Reading View functionality. This kind of functionality is user-friendly, of course, because it removes ads and other unnecessary distractions. But it’s also contrary to Google’s ad-based business model, so this isn’t functionality that you’ll ever see built into its own web browser.

Reading View works in the new Edge much like it does in classic Edge. When you’re viewing an article or blog post, a Reading View icon—which looks like an open book—appears in the address bar.

Click this icon and the view shifts to a plain text representation of the article or post.

I prefer the Reading View in the new Edge to that of classic Edge, which, for some reason, sports a horizontally-scrolling layout that is contrary to how most of the web works. In the new Edge, Reading View uses a normal and familiar vertical layout that scrolls up and down.

What’s missing, however, is the Reading View toolbar found in classic Edge. And that means that there’s no obvious way to customize Reading View or access other unique features.

In classic Edge, the Reading View toolbar provides access to text size and page theme options, a Read aloud feature, Learning tools (which are truly impressive and include more text options and page themes, grammar tools, and various reading preferences), and a Print icon.

(Tip: Page zoom does work in Reading View, of course.)

I expect most of this functionality to arrive in later new Edge builds. For now, however, you can access Read aloud and Print via the Settings and more menu.

Real aloud is particularly interesting, because this is an example of unique and useful classic Edge functionality. (Ironically, however, it doesn’t yet work in Reading View, so you need to be reading an article in the normal view, not Reading View.) When enabled, the new Edge will read the current article or post out loud to you as the words are highlighted as it speaks.

Additionally, there are some voice options, including different voice and playback speed.

Separate from this, it’s worth pointing out that the new Edge supports the standard page zoom options (CTRL + = and CTRL + -), but that will zoom the entire page as you view it. If you’d rather customize just the fonts, leaving other on-screen elements (like pictures) at their normal sizes, navigate to Edge settings > Appearance > Fonts and have at it. Be sure to check out the Customize fonts options there, too.

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Conversation 15 comments

  • Darekmeridian

    17 April, 2019 - 12:54 pm

    <p>Weird I had to turn on reading mode in flags.</p>

    • jgraebner

      Premium Member
      17 April, 2019 - 2:08 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#421551">In reply to Darekmeridian:</a></em></blockquote><p>I'm guessing MIcrosoft doesn't think the feature is fully ready yet, but I've found that it certainly works well enough to justify toggling it on. There are extensions that can do much the same in Chrome, but the built-in functionality in Edge seems far more elegant a solution.</p>

  • johnlavey

    Premium Member
    17 April, 2019 - 12:56 pm

    <p>The reading mode can be very useful. I am using Edge Canary so I had to go into flags to set up the book symbol. Now it works great. </p><p><br></p><p>Thanks for that pointer.</p>

  • DragonMage

    Premium Member
    17 April, 2019 - 1:52 pm

    <p>Canary build option, not in Dev build yet without Flags turn on.</p>

  • cwfinn

    Premium Member
    17 April, 2019 - 2:35 pm

    <p>Turn on Flags mode but where/how?</p>

    • RonH

      Premium Member
      18 April, 2019 - 11:26 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#421576">In reply to cwfinn:</a></em></blockquote><p><a href="about:blank" target="_blank">edge://flags/</a></p><p><br></p>

      • RonH

        Premium Member
        18 April, 2019 - 11:27 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#421771">In reply to RonH:</a></em></blockquote><p>Try this one too</p><p><a href="about:blank" target="_blank">edge://favorites/</a></p><p><br></p>

  • mmcpher

    Premium Member
    17 April, 2019 - 3:41 pm

    <p>Can't wait to try this on my Dev Channel Edge on my laptop. Here in work, we are still on Windows 7 and thus I am using the "original leak" .75 version and I don't think I can enable read mode. </p>

    • mmcpher

      Premium Member
      17 April, 2019 - 4:06 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#421599">In reply to mmcpher:</a></em></blockquote><p> Maybe it just takes awhile to take, but the open book is now appearing and working!</p>

  • hrlngrv

    Premium Member
    17 April, 2019 - 3:54 pm

    <p>FWIW, here's what Waterfox's reader mode controls look like.</p><p><img src=""></p><p>Can fiddle with font size, gutter width and line spacing in the same place.</p>

  • Daekar

    17 April, 2019 - 4:19 pm

    <p>This appears on my home PC running canary but not my work PC running the dev build. I will look forward to seeing the Reading Mode bar come back, which will return Edge to feature parity with Firefox, which also has a fantastic reading mode.</p>

  • LocalPCGuy

    17 April, 2019 - 6:59 pm

    <p>For some reason I'm not seeing the reading view icon. I'm logged into my account using Edge Maybe it's not fully available yet.</p>

    • Greg Rains

      17 April, 2019 - 7:16 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#421648"><em>In reply to LocalPCGuy:</em></a><em>I don't have it either. I've been using the Chrome Reader View Extension. I really miss the Reader View from Edge. Hope to get it soon.</em></blockquote><p><br></p>

  • anderb

    Premium Member
    18 April, 2019 - 4:54 pm

    <p><em>"But it’s also contrary to Google’s ad-based business model, so this isn’t functionality that you’ll ever see built into its own web browser."</em></p><p><br></p><p><a href="; target="_blank"></a></p&gt;

  • Mad_rower

    Premium Member
    19 April, 2019 - 3:51 am

    <p>Has anyone found a shortcut key to switch a page into reading mode?</p><p><br></p><p>In the old Edge, CTRL + Shift + R did it but in Edge/Chromium that reloads the page</p>


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