Microsoft created a new font for IE11's Reading View on Windows 8.1

The release of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 8.1 included an all new feature called Reading View, which was designed to make the content on a web page easier to read. In a new blog post today, the IE team talks about how Reading View was created.

The blog post states that when an IE11 user switches to Reading View on a certain web page, the browser also transforms the text to an all new font made just for Windows 8.1 called Sitka. Microsoft says it is the first typeface family that was designed with the input of "scientific legibility studies". Sitka uses different styles made for specific sizes and uses. When Reading View is enabled, Sitka Small is used for image captions on a web site, while Sitka Text takes over for the main body and Sitka Heading is used for article titles.

The IE team also gave some consideration to page layouts to make it easier on a user's eyes while in Reading View. Finally, if an article stretches across multiple pages on a website, Reading View does away with that setup (and those "Next" button links) to present the article's content in one page.

Microsoft has set up a Reading View Test Drive demo page to show the specific code that can be used by web site designers to make their pages look the best when Reading View is activated in IE11.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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As quoted from the blog post info:

"No more “Next, Next, Next…” links

There are many articles on the Web that contain multiple and separate pages content. That means you have to click a “Next Page” link to continue reading, sometimes again and again, if the article spans many pages - and then you have to wait for each successive page to load, thus interrupting your reading experience."

That means a lot of potential (and probably dead-on) missing ads being force fed into browsers from sites that do that garbage of breaking up articles into almost single paragraph-sized chunks so they can have more chances to make you load the next page, then the next page, etc etc. I don't even bother with sites like that, as soon as I encounter one I just avoid it regardless of what I went there for in the first place - Tom's Hardware was a fantastic site many years ago but then they turned into that kind of "chunky text" provider with 15 page (!?!?!) articles that were barely 2-3 pages of actual content just to hit you with more ads.

I really hate when that takes place.

I hate it too, but even more so those sites where you essentially have to Next through an endless gallery of images with some small bit of text underneath each one (and ads all around of course!), meaning you have to load a hundred mostly irrelevant images and ads just to read a paragraph or so. As soon as I see such a site now I immediately click away.

I use reading view a lot as well on my tablet, it's a very good option to have. Glad they're adding it to WP8.1 as well.

who cares. the windows phone team will just use white over black 45 point size it ensuring this sentence does not fit in your sc<cut off>

Sitka looks ok, but the best part about it is the way Microsoft specified the different variants for different sizes. The existing method (part of OpenType) was so badly specified and implemented that it's just not used, while the new method treats it like weight or slant, so apps can easily implement it.

I use reading view constantly and it is awesome. White-on-black makes it so much nicer to read long articles at night. I would prefer it if I could use Calibri though.