Mac App Review: SliceReader

When SliceReader first appeared, I was instantly intrigued. It’s a simple app which “slices” an article, pasted text or text file into pages and display them, one paragraph per page. It’s designed to make reading long form articles easier for those of us who don’t do as well with reading long pages. It works.

Reading a sliced article is as easy as scanning the paragraph and pressing the spacebar to move to the next. If a paragraph is longer than the screen, the spacebar will scroll the text until the end, then advance on the next tap.

The design is “opinionated,” meaning you get what the author has chosen as the ideal design for readability. It’s gorgeous, in my opinion, and I find it very easy to quickly scan a paragraph. The default layout is a light grey background with dark grey text at a reasonable contrast level. The window size is fixed, but there’s a fullscreen option which provides the same size area for text but covers the rest of your screen. Call it a concentration mode, if you like. It has a night mode with inverted foreground/background colors as well.

SliceReader can clip directly from web pages, processing them with Readability to remove ads and comments. You can feed it a url or use a bookmarklet from any web page to open it directly in SliceReader.

You can also feed it a text or Markdown file and it will process and slice it for easy reading. It’s perfect if you save Markdownified versions of articles to nvALT or other text formats. There’s a System Service available to pass selected text for slicing. You can even pop up an entry window and just paste text directly into it.

The window has a “pie chart” progress indicator in the lower right corner, making it easy to see how far you have to go before the end of the article.

I’ve already found SliceReader indispensable. I used to be an avid reader and able to handle the longest of texts. Somewhere along the line I lost that ability. SliceReader makes it possible for me to read long articles quickly and with 100% comprehension.

SliceReader is available for just $2.99 US on the Mac App Store. The author, Mutahhir Ali Hayat, is a responsive and hard-working developer, so I expect to see great new features as feedback rolls in. Go check it out in the App Store, and follow @slicereader on Twitter for updates.

Brett Terpstra

Brett is a writer and developer living in Minnesota, USA. You can follow him as ttscoff on Twitter, GitHub, and Mastodon. Keep up with this blog by subscribing in your favorite news reader.

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