How to Use the Reader in iOS Safari

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Have you ever been trying to read a web article on your iPad, but were annoyed and distracted by all of the other stuff on the page? Use the Reader! Here's how!

The Problem: A Cluttered Page

Here's an example of the sorts of pages you run into on the iPad. This recipe is just what I'm looking for, but the banner ad at the bottom, links in the sidebar and the ads make it distracting and hard to read, and I'm likely to accidentally tap something go somewhere I don't want to.

The Reader Symbol

But up in the address bar, there's a little symbol showing 4 horizontal lines. That means that Safari has recognized it as a text article and is offering me the reader.

The Page in the Reader

All I have to do is touch the reader symbol, and the page is transformed! Now, it's just the text article and the articles pictures in a simple, vertically-scrolling page. This is easy to see, with clear, bold text, and is perfect for reading without distractions. To return to the original layout, just touch the reader icon again or use the back button to leave the page.

The Reader is in iOS 5, 6, 7 and 8

This is the way it works in iOS7 on both the iPad and iPhone. If you have an older iPad or iPhone that still has iOS6 or iOS5, you also have a Reader which works the same way (maybe even better, because it has a font-size control in the page), and which is activated a more obvious button in the address bar that says "Reader."

Not every web page that you go to will show the Reader. There has to be enough text in a continuous article so that Safari sees it as something that can work in the Reader. Also, the fonts for the subheadings often turn out to be smaller than the body text -- but at least they're different so you can tell that it's a division.

Enjoy your Reader on your iPad or iPhone!