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0.5.0 • Public • Published


A standalone version of the readability library used for Firefox Reader View.


Readability is available on npm:

npm install @mozilla/readability

You can then require() it, or for web-based projects, load the Readability.js script from your webpage.

Basic usage

To parse a document, you must create a new Readability object from a DOM document object, and then call the parse() method. Here's an example:

var article = new Readability(document).parse();

If you use Readability in a web browser, you will likely be able to use a document reference from elsewhere (e.g. fetched via XMLHttpRequest, in a same-origin <iframe> you have access to, etc.). In Node.js, you can use an external DOM library.

API Reference

new Readability(document, options)

The options object accepts a number of properties, all optional:

  • debug (boolean, default false): whether to enable logging.
  • maxElemsToParse (number, default 0 i.e. no limit): the maximum number of elements to parse.
  • nbTopCandidates (number, default 5): the number of top candidates to consider when analysing how tight the competition is among candidates.
  • charThreshold (number, default 500): the number of characters an article must have in order to return a result.
  • classesToPreserve (array): a set of classes to preserve on HTML elements when the keepClasses options is set to false.
  • keepClasses (boolean, default false): whether to preserve all classes on HTML elements. When set to false only classes specified in the classesToPreserve array are kept.
  • disableJSONLD (boolean, default false): when extracting page metadata, Readability gives precedence to Schema.org fields specified in the JSON-LD format. Set this option to true to skip JSON-LD parsing.
  • serializer (function, default el => el.innerHTML) controls how the content property returned by the parse() method is produced from the root DOM element. It may be useful to specify the serializer as the identity function (el => el) to obtain a DOM element instead of a string for content if you plan to process it further.
  • allowedVideoRegex (RegExp, default undefined ): a regular expression that matches video URLs that should be allowed to be included in the article content. If undefined, the default regex is applied.


Returns an object containing the following properties:

  • title: article title;
  • content: HTML string of processed article content;
  • textContent: text content of the article, with all the HTML tags removed;
  • length: length of an article, in characters;
  • excerpt: article description, or short excerpt from the content;
  • byline: author metadata;
  • dir: content direction;
  • siteName: name of the site.
  • lang: content language

The parse() method works by modifying the DOM. This removes some elements in the web page, which may be undesirable. You can avoid this by passing the clone of the document object to the Readability constructor:

var documentClone = document.cloneNode(true);
var article = new Readability(documentClone).parse();

isProbablyReaderable(document, options)

A quick-and-dirty way of figuring out if it's plausible that the contents of a given document are suitable for processing with Readability. It is likely to produce both false positives and false negatives. The reason it exists is to avoid bogging down a time-sensitive process (like loading and showing the user a webpage) with the complex logic in the core of Readability. Improvements to its logic (while not deteriorating its performance) are very welcome.

The options object accepts a number of properties, all optional:

  • minContentLength (number, default 140): the minimum node content length used to decide if the document is readerable;
  • minScore (number, default 20): the minimum cumulated 'score' used to determine if the document is readerable;
  • visibilityChecker (function, default isNodeVisible): the function used to determine if a node is visible;

The function returns a boolean corresponding to whether or not we suspect Readability.parse() will succeed at returning an article object. Here's an example:

    Only instantiate Readability  if we suspect
    the `parse()` method will produce a meaningful result.
if (isProbablyReaderable(document)) {
    let article = new Readability(document).parse();

Node.js usage

Since Node.js does not come with its own DOM implementation, we rely on external libraries like jsdom. Here's an example using jsdom to obtain a DOM document object:

var { Readability } = require('@mozilla/readability');
var { JSDOM } = require('jsdom');
var doc = new JSDOM("<body>Look at this cat: <img src='./cat.jpg'></body>", {
  url: "https://www.example.com/the-page-i-got-the-source-from"
let reader = new Readability(doc.window.document);
let article = reader.parse();

Remember to pass the page's URI as the url option in the JSDOM constructor (as shown in the example above), so that Readability can convert relative URLs for images, hyperlinks, etc. to their absolute counterparts.

jsdom has the ability to run the scripts included in the HTML and fetch remote resources. For security reasons these are disabled by default, and we strongly recommend you keep them that way.


If you're going to use Readability with untrusted input (whether in HTML or DOM form), we strongly recommend you use a sanitizer library like DOMPurify to avoid script injection when you use the output of Readability. We would also recommend using CSP to add further defense-in-depth restrictions to what you allow the resulting content to do. The Firefox integration of reader mode uses both of these techniques itself. Sanitizing unsafe content out of the input is explicitly not something we aim to do as part of Readability itself - there are other good sanitizer libraries out there, use them!


Please see our Contributing document.


Copyright (c) 2010 Arc90 Inc

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.




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