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Quick Tip: How to Use Safari’s Reading List

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Safari’s built-in Reading List makes it easy to save pages and articles that you’d like to read later. In this Quick Tip you’ll find out take advantage of your Reading List.


What It Is

Think of your Reading List as a cross between a bookmark and a reading service. When you add a page to your Reading List, Safari temporarily bookmarks the page and also makes it accessible offline. If you come across an interesting article or page you’d like to read but don’t necessarily have time now, you can add it to your reading list and go back to it later. Unlike Bookmarks which are meant to be kept indefinitely, the Reading List is meant for pages you’d like to read but can then either bookmark properly or just discard. If you have saved a review of a product to your Reading List, you’re probably not going to want to keep that saved once you’ve read it.

Safari’s Reading List can keep track of articles you’d like to read at a later date

Safari’s Reading List can keep track of articles you’d like to read at a later date

With iCloud, your Reading List automatically syncs to any other device you use iCloud with - Mac and iOS.


What It Isn’t

Reading List isn’t really a replacement for services such as Instapaper or Pocket. These services focus on the content and present it in a way that keeps it accessible offline and akin to reading a magazine or book. Reading List simply caches the entire page for viewing and makes it quickly accessible using the Reading List pane. It doesn’t format the layout for reading like Instapaper does - the page is presented exactly as it is.

Tip: Although Reading List doesn’t format content like Instapaper or Pocket does, you can combine the use of the Reader function when viewing articles from your Reading List.


Adding Pages to Your Reading List

There’s a couple of ways to add pages to your Reading List. If you’re currently on a page you’d like to read later, click the Share button in Safari and select Add to Reading List.

The Share button can be used for sending items to the Reading List

The Share button can be used for sending items to the Reading List

To add a link to your Reading List, you can right-click the link and select Add to Reading List. Alternatively (and even easier), you can hold down Shift whilst clicking a link and it will automatically add it to your Reading List.

Right-click on any link to display the option to send it to your Reading List

Right-click on any link to display the option to send it to your Reading List

Viewing Your Reading List

You can access your Reading List using the icon in Safari’s Bookmarks Bar.

Click the Glasses icon in the Bookmarks Bar to access your Reading List

Click the Glasses icon in the Bookmarks Bar to access your Reading List

Additionally, you can also use the View menu and select Show Reading List. This also has the shortcut Shift-Command-L.

Once you show your Reading List, a pane will appear from the left-side of your Safari’s window.

The Reading List appears as a separate pane in Safari

The Reading List appears as a separate pane in Safari

The Reading List is simply a list of all articles you’ve added. You can toggle the Reading List to just show you articles you’ve not yet read. It can be kept open whilst you’re browsing which will give you another way of adding pages to it, using the Add Page button.

The idea of the Reading List is that once you’ve read a page, it should be removed to keep it from getting too cluttered. If you need to save it for future reference, this is a job for a bookmark - hence the Clear All button on the top-left.

Any articles saved in your Reading List will be cached and when adding an article, you’ll see a small message as it saves the page for offline viewing. This is perfect for when you're wanting to be able to read an article but won't necessarily have an internet connection to load the page.

Safari automatically caches pages saved to your Reading List

Safari automatically caches pages saved to your Reading List

Syncing Your Reading List

If you’d like to sync your Reading List to another Mac or iOS device, just make sure you’re signed into iCloud and the option to sync Safari is enabled. It’s as easy as that!

Make sure Safari is enabled in iCloud’s syncing preferences and you can sync your Reading List across other devices

Make sure Safari is enabled in iCloud’s syncing preferences and you can sync your Reading List across other devices.

Wrapping Up

Safari’s Reading List is a good starting point for gathering articles and other reading material that you might not have time for. Whilst it doesn’t have the features of services such as Instapaper or Pocket, it’s very easy to use and built-in to Safari.

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