Distraction-free Reading Experience Offered by IE11 for Windows 8.1
Article by George Norman
On 11 Mar 2014
Earlier this month Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) Team touted the fact that IE11 for Windows 8.1 has a new feature to offer: Reading View.

Thanks to Reading View, Internet Explorer users can enjoy a distraction-free reading experience. The browser presents the article the user wants to read and discards all the other content that may prove to be a distraction.


Lots of websites out there are home to great quality content. Or to put it in other words, there are lots of interesting articles that you can read in your web browser. The thing is that these articles are often times accompanied by things like ads or links to other articles. Some articles are sometimes split into several sections and you have to click a “Next” button to keep reading. The extra content is nothing more than a distraction and clicking the “Next” button is nothing but a nuisance. They both have to be dealt with.

That is precisely what Microsoft did with Reading View, a new feature offered by Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1. This feature pulls the article you want to read and presents it to you so you can enjoy a distraction-free reading experience. The text content you want to read is presented front and center while all the other extras are left behind. If the article is separated into several sections, Reading View combines the content so you don’t have to keep clicking “Next”.

Here’s how a webpage looks like in IE11.

And here’s how it looks when you click the Reading View button in the address bar. The Reading View button will appear when you visit pages that have “article-like content”. If the button does not show up, then it means that the page does not work well in Reading View.

Please note that you can also enable Reading View by using a hotkey: Ctrl + Shift + R.

“When we built reading view in IE 11, the goal was to create a view of the page that was noticeably terrific for reading, one where it actually felt better to read this page than the original page – like a temporary reading oasis in your browser just for that article. At the same time, we wanted to preserve the integrity of the content, as well as the story’s URL, author, and other relevant contextual information. While we are not the first browser to integrate it natively, we did see an opportunity to improve on other browsers’ experiences by incorporating legibility best practices that publishers of printed media have been using and refining for centuries, and adapt them to reading online,” commented Jane Liles and Bonnie Yu, Program Managers, Internet Explorer, and Marty Hall, Interaction Designer, Internet Explorer.

Tags: Microsoft, Internet Explorer, IE11, Windows 8,1. Reading View, browser
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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