Microsoft Talks About How They Built Reading View Mode In Internet Explorer 11

Internet Explorer 11 Reading View

Reading view is a cool new feature Microsoft released as part of Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 8.1. Reading view allows you to focus on the main content of the Web page you want to read, without the distractions of related (or unrelated) content surrounding the story. When you visit a compatible web page, IE will show a Reading View icon at the bottom next to the URL, just tap it to enjoy reading the web page in Reading view mode. While other browsers like Safari too provide this same feature, Microsoft detailed their effort to create this experience. One of the highlight is that, Microsoft created a whole new font called Sitka.

IE 11 reading view takes advantage of a brand new font for Windows 8.1, called Sitka. It was developed for Microsoft by Mathew Carter, in collaboration with the Advanced Reading Technologies team that previously developed Clear Type text rendering to work well for online reading as well as in print.

One of the advantages of the Sitka font comes from the optical scaling addressed by its different weights. Research has shown that different letter spacing, stroke sizes, and x-height can have a positive effect on the readability of different sizes of text. An optical family contains styles specifically optimized for each size and use case – rather than trying to be one-size-fits-all, like many of the typefaces common on the Web. Thus, you can get terrific legibility in text, and style in display sizes, all with the same family. Reading view for example uses Sitka Small, which is designed with thinner strokes, larger x-height, and looser letter spacing, for image captions, and Sitka Banner, designed with thicker strokes and tighter letter spacing, for the article titles.

In this picture we show three of the optical weights of Sitka at the 2.0em size. From this you can see how the tighter letter spacing and thinner widths employed in Sitka Heading are a better reading choice for text at this size.

In this picture again we show the same three optical weights of Sitka this time at the 0.8em size. It is easy to see how the greater x-height, and looser letter spacing employed in Sitka Small is substantially better for reading the text at this size.

Sitka was also the first typeface family designed with scientific legibility studies integrated directly into the design process. Most fonts do not undergo legibility studies. Those few that do are studied after the font is nearly done. Sitka, however, was repeatedly tested throughout the design process.

Additionally reading view uses a larger than average size font because research has shown that reading speed increases at larger sizes (up to a plateau at very, very large sizes).

Read about it in detail from the link below.

Source: Internet Explorer blog

Note: Both Microsoft-news.com and WMPoweruser supports this Reading View feature in IE11.

About the author  ⁄ pradeep

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • WinMetro

    Sorry MS, but IE still fucking sucks. When will MS get rid of that 90’s Setting dialog from desktop IE? You know why desktop IE users are heading straight to Chrome? It’s because you don’t give a shit about desktop users and your on some “Touch” drugs since all your attention these days is on the Metro browser! MS, we get it, IE is great on touch but please fix the broken desktop IE UI. I discovered Chrome a few years ago and I haven’t looked back.

    • Mike366

      I like ie’s UI better. Chrome sucks

      • oppo

        If only youtube and flash worked…

    • Guest

      Thank you Satya Nadella for sending Tami Reller back to the kitchen! http://i.imgur.com/hSSe6XL.jpg

    • WinMetro

      Never said that IE was bad OK. I am talking about Desktop IE. I just want to see some effort put into the desktop UI like the IE team done for the IE11 developer tools, they look good.

  • Sergio

    I think that Reading Mode actually works because I find myself being more proficient in reading large articles when I use It, as opposed to when I read it from the page in its original formatting. This is one of those cases where these readability studies actually produce something useful.