I am not sure how many people actually know of this sleek user-friendly tool on Microsoft Edge. It is called the Immersive Reader. Staying true to its name, it is a great tool for readers to indulge in.
Take a look at this article with distracting elements (navbar, widgets, ads).
Now, click on the Immersive Reader option next to your URL bar.
And, voila! You can now read the article peacefully.
I feel this is great for reading long articles. It has a very Kindle-like experience to it. You can increase the font size using the “Text Preferences” tool. You can change the theme as well. There are many options which I have not yet explored. As a reader, I want to focus just on the article, with the freedom to increase its font size if need be. This tool offers all that and more.
You can also use the “Read Aloud” feature if you want the article to be read out to you. The voice is as natural as it can get, not sounding robotic.
The Immersive Reader is still in its early stages. It does not always render the correct page, and you have to wait till the page loads completely to see the icon. But so far, I am extremely pleased.
If you do not see the Immersive Reader icon on Microsoft Edge:
Make sure you are viewing an article and not the home page
Wait till the page loads completely
If you still do not see the icon, use read:// before the URL. For example if the URL is 𝚑𝚝𝚝𝚙𝚜://𝚠𝚠𝚠.𝚖𝚜𝚗.𝚌𝚘𝚖/𝚎𝚗-𝚒𝚗/𝚗𝚎𝚠𝚜/𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛/𝚌𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚕-𝚝𝚎𝚊𝚖-𝚝𝚘-𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚎𝚜𝚜-𝚏𝚕𝚘𝚘𝚍-𝚍𝚊𝚖𝚊𝚐𝚎𝚜-𝚒𝚗-𝚋𝚒𝚑𝚊𝚛-𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚝𝚎-𝚜𝚎𝚎𝚔𝚜-𝚊𝚍𝚎𝚚𝚞𝚊𝚝𝚎-𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎/ then use 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚍://𝚑𝚝𝚝𝚙𝚜://𝚠𝚠𝚠.𝚖𝚜𝚗.𝚌𝚘𝚖/𝚎𝚗-𝚒𝚗/𝚗𝚎𝚠𝚜/𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛/𝚌𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚕-𝚝𝚎𝚊𝚖-𝚝𝚘-𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚎𝚜𝚜-𝚏𝚕𝚘𝚘𝚍-𝚍𝚊𝚖𝚊𝚐𝚎𝚜-𝚒𝚗-𝚋𝚒𝚑𝚊𝚛-𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚝𝚎-𝚜𝚎𝚎𝚔𝚜-𝚊𝚍𝚎𝚚𝚞𝚊𝚝𝚎-𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎/ to launch the article in the Immersive Reader.
How is Googling a skill? Anyone can search on Google, right?
Yes, but not everyone does. Why? Because most people do not like to research or read.
In the tech industry, many of the answers are easily available online. Just a search away. It is very rare that you are the first one to face an issue. For a lot of coders, Stack Overflow is like a second home.
Whichever industry you are in currently, Googling is a good skill to have. It is right there, all the details, 24×7, for free. If you are able to research and find out an answer on Google for most of your problems, then in my opinion, that IS a skill. To learn more, to be self-reliant, without being overly dependent on others, is a skill.
Even if you get help from someone, you should STILL Google about it to learn more. Most people are too busy to get into in-depth teaching. They will just touch the topic at a high-level. I always make it a point to do some Googling when someone offers me a solution. It has helped me a lot in building on my base knowledge.
Why Do So Many People Dislike Googling?
People are hesitant to Google for an answer even if it is much easier than waiting for an answer from someone.
We are all naturally lazy (including yours truly). We just want all the answers to come to us without effort. We like to be spoon-fed without lifting a finger (even if it is for a search engine that automatically does the rest of the work for you). But growth happens (as cliché as the next line might sound) – “outside our comfort zone.”
I realized many people are bad at Googling when I posted snippets of some random articles on my Instagram story (with the title, website name et all), and my friends still asked me for the link instead of searching on Google using the article name. Mind you, to provide them the article link, I had to go through the exact same steps – search using the article name on Google, copy the URL and paste it on our chat. I did not have the link stored anywhere for easy access.
It continues even today.
Even after explaining to them how to search on Google.
I am not a passive aggressive type, so I find it difficult to use the infamous “sure, let me Google that for you” when someone asks me something that can be easily Googled.
Some Neat Googling Tips & Tricks
Most of the time, we can get what we want by just entering the search query on Google.
But what if we want something extra?
Well, for the curious cats, here are some cool Google search tips and tricks you can use to get a desired result.
My most favourite.
Use double quotes if you want the exact phrase in the same order to appear in your search results.
For example, “I want to live in New York” will give results where the phrase appears in the exact same order.
Remove the quotes, and you will have the keywords scattered all over the article, and not exactly in the same order.
Using double quotes is also a great way to search for articles using just their titles.
In the example below, I want to search for posts that have mentioned “I want to live in new york” in the exact same order.
Defines a word and also includes an audio clipping on how to pronounce it correctly.
Use Define: followed by the word.
Searches for results on a specific site.
Use Search: followed by the website URL and search query.
In the example below, I want to search all recipes for apple pie on YouTube.
Use the * asterisk symbol to let Google do the guessing work. This allows you to see the most popular search phrases that match a part of your query.
Insert * wherever you want Google to add in the most popular search words/phrases. In the example below, I have used how to * money, so it will consider popular search phrases like how to make money, how to earn money etc.
If you find a website you really like, and wish to see similar ones, use Related: followed by the URL of the website you liked.
In the example below, I want websites similar to Udemy that offers courses online.
This is a great way to include synonyms.
Use ~ before the word that requires synonyms.
If you wish to see search results only related to a specific location use location: after the search phrase.
In case you are looking for content in a particular format, use filetype: followed by the type of file (example: pdf).
Exclude something from search results by using dash –.
For example, let us consider the example below, when you type -money, this means you want Google to exclude the word “money” from the search results. I have additionally added another exclusion, that is the website YouTube.com.
I am a type INFJ (advocate) and I was impressed by how true the description was. It felt like my innermost feelings and thoughts were out on display for everyone to see. So much so that, I started sending a link of the INFJ description page to anyone who was curious about my personality. I am pretty sure I won’t be able to come up with a more befitting description than the one on the site.
Also, that one person who you thought for sure was an extrovert, might just as well turn out be an introvert! What we show to the public, is seldom the truth, and this test kind of captures the gist.
The quiz is quite long but give it a go if you love digging deep into personality types and you have some time for self-analysis. You can find all personality type descriptions under the “Personality Types” tab of the website.
Another fun thing to do – make your loved ones take the test and compare results!