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Exploring Chrome Extensions Volume 4: Mercury Reader

    Welcome back to another monthly installment of Exploring Chrome Extensions.

    We have all been there. We find a webpage that is absolutely riddled with advertisements and it kills any sort of readability. If you are familiar with Pinterest and the blog sites that are often linked, you know what I am talking about but this is also true about almost all web pages nowadays. Luckily there is a Chrome extension that seeks to remove all the unnecessary and annoying ad fluff from a page. The extension I am talking about is called Mercury Reader.

    Mercury Reader strips out advertising, formatting, and other webpage muddle to provide a clean, and most importantly, readable page. That is pretty much it. There isn’t a whole lot to talk about other than it seems to work pretty well. Instead of talking about it lets just look at what it can do in the following image.

Techbits_final

    In this example, Mercury Reader works great but there a few caveats. There are certain pages where we would like to remove the ads/clutter but keep the formatting. An example would be cooking or recipe web pages. Recipe formatting is often critical but Mercury Reader can have pretty mixed results with this. Sometimes it completely removes the necessary formatting and you are left with an incomprehensible recipe. I have seen some sites where Mercury Reader just completely mangles it or literally strips everything out so you are left with a single sentence.  Mercury Reader is really intended for articles specifically but it can work fairly well for other uses.

How to use:

    Once you have downloaded the Mercury Reader extension and restarted Chrome you will see a little rocket ship symbol to the right of the Omnibox and to the right of the Options menu. All you need to do is click the rocket and it will attempt to clear the clutter.

You can get Mercury Reader HERE

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