How to access full and readable Web page views in iOS and OS X

NewSafariIconXThe Web is likely where you get most of your information, and in doing so you might find yourself inundated with noise as you try to read your favorite articles and other content. In part, these come from ads and site-specific offers, but at other times it can simply be small formatting issues that cause you grief.

For example, even if a site is relatively bland, its default font size might not be the best for your ability to read it. Alternatively, on your iPhone, you might be served the mobile version of a site, when you might prefer using the full desktop version of the site. This is especially true for certain Web apps that may be formatted to accommodate the layout of the desktop version of a site, and might not even be available on the mobile version.

OS X Options

Safari in OS X should not be automatically loading any mobile versions of browsers; however, you can use some of its features to get a clear and full view of the pages you are reading.

The first is to invoke the Reader by pressing Shift-Command-R, choosing the option in the View menu, or clicking the small inset button to the far left in your address bar that appears when an applicable article is loaded. This will fade out the current view of the page, and show you a well-formatted view of the page that should make for easier reading.

Safari full screen option in Yosemite

Clicking the zoom button will invoke Full Screen view in OS X Yosemite.

Full-screen view can also be beneficial, and can be used to block out any background apps you have running. In addition, in can be coupled with Reader to give you a good and clear view of your article, with minimal distractions. Do this by pressing Control-Command-F, or by clicking the green Zoom button in Yosemite.

A last option is to auto-size page content by double-tapping, where for those with multi-touch trackpads, you can double-tap with two fingers on specific page content (e.g., a paragraph, or image), and Safari will zoom in to the extents of that block of content, which may make viewing it far easier. This can be reverted by again double-tapping. You can also resize your entire page by pinch-zooming and then scrolling around with a two-finger drag gesture, which can make locating minute content easier.

iOS Options

As with OS X, iOS also supports a Reader view, which will replace the current loaded Web page with a formatted and minimal look of the article you are reading. To do this, when an article that supports Reader is loaded, you will see “Reader View Available” show in the address bar, and then a similar button to the far-left of your address bar that can be tapped to invoke Reader.

Another option similar to OS X is to double-tap content to zoom in on it for easy reading; however, unlike OS X this can be done by double-tapping with one finger, instead of using two.

iOS request desktop site option

In this view, accessed by dragging the bookmarks grid down, you can tap the option to request the full desktop version of the current Web site in iOS.

Finally, apps in iOS are already full-screen, so there is no option for toggling such views in iOS, but being a mobile OS, Apple does include an option to specifically request a full desktop version of mobile sites you might be browsing. This can help you properly load Web apps or otherwise view the site as you expect, instead of only seeing a stripped-down version. To do this, with the site loaded, tap the address bar and you will see your favorites and bookmarks show up in a grid layout. Now tap and drag the grid down, and you will see two additional options for the current page, one which allows you to add the page to your favorites, and another that allows you to request the full version of the site.

5 thoughts on “How to access full and readable Web page views in iOS and OS X

  1. kootenayredneck (@kootenayredneck)

    Well if you lucky enough to be sitting in front of your Mac you use AirDrop and send the link to your Mac from you iPhone and view it there.

  2. Tyusnei

    Personally I think it’s weird that Safari on OS X doesn’t just automatically zoom each loaded page to the width of the window, whatever width that is. Yes, a user can constantly zoom in and out manually, and, yes, there are two extensions that I know of that handle automatic zooming in a couple of different ways, both imperfectly. Yet, autozoom ought to be built into the OS. If you’re using a 5K iMac widescreen, it’s almost laughable how small the default zoom looks in Safari when you first open it, and it’s more laughable when you return later to a website you’ve already zoomed in for only to have to zoom in again, because the browser can’t remember. What on earth is the point of a widescreen display if the software can’t zoom in and leverage the available horizontal space for you?

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