Use This Site to Read and Annotate Articles Without Ads

Here’s how it works:

  1. Open,
  2. Copy and paste an article’s URL into the “Enter Article URL” box.
  3. Click “Create Outline.” 
  4. The article will load in a new Outline window with all ads and unimportant visual elements removed (text formatting, images, and videos remain intact, however).

The end result is akin to enabling Focus Mode on Microsoft Edge or Safari’s Reader mode; you’ll be served up the same article, just without those annoyances—and it works with any browser.

But minimalist reading isn’t all is good for:

Use to annotate articles

Outline is made by the same team behind the web annotation browser extension, and Outline offers the note-taking features of the latter as well—provided you have a free account.

You can still read ad-free articles via Outline, but if you want to make highlights or otherwise annotate them as you do, you’ll need to sign up for, then sign in with that account from’s sidebar menu.

Illustration for article titled Use This Site to Read and Annotate Articles Without Ads
Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

To create a new annotation or page note:

  1. Click and drag to highlight the text you want to mark up,
  2. Select “Annotate” to add an annotation, or “Highlight” to create a page note.
  3. Edit your note in the side panel, then select to make the annotation “Public” or “Private.” Public annotations show up for anyone you share the outline link with, while private annotations only appear for you.

Outline also lets you share notes and collaborate with others. Copy the Outline URL at the bottom of the page to share with anyone, or go to Annotations > “Share annotations on this page” to send your outline to other Hypothesis users. All readers will be able to see your public annotations, while fellow Hypothesis users can create their own annotations, and you can reply to each other’s comments in the side panel.

Brendan is a freelance writer and content creator based out of Portland, OR. He covers tech and gaming for LifeHacker and other publications like Digital Trends, EGM, and IGN.