[Chrome] Preview links before clicking on them with Hover Reader

Hover Reader for ChromeWhen browsing the Internet, you will often find yourself clicking through links as you jump from one page to another. While this has already become a norm, clicking through links just to see the actual content of that page can be very tedious and time consuming. So is there any way to make your task a whole lot easier? Well, there is. All you need to do is to install a simple Chrome browser extension called Hover Reader.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Hover Reader is a free Chrome browser extension that is basically meant for you to effortlessly obtain a full preview of the links that you get from various web pages, articles and posts. The main function of this extension is quite simple. You drag and place your mouse cursor over any link and the said tool will show you a full preview of that link sans the annoying ads and images.

Pros

  • Free to use, user-friendly
  • Non-obtrusive
  • Lets you get a full glimpse of any web page, article or post without leaving the page that you are on – no need to open new tabs, no need to click links
  • Configurable settings – you can adjust the font size, change the font style and exclude a site or page from being “hovered”
  • Easy user controls – just hover your cursor over any link and the preview window will appear. To close the preview window, just drag your mouse cursor away from the link.

Cons

  • It could take a while before the hover window appears
  • It would be nice if a user could also opt to lock the hover window to prevent it from disappearing even if you drag your mouse cursor away from the link

Discussion

Hover Reader for Chrome ExtensionTo use Hover Reader on Chrome, simply download and install it on your web browser. After that, you will be able to use it right away. No need to click its icon from your browser’s omnibar. The icon is basically meant for you to access its settings. Just hover your mouse cursor over any link and wait for the preview (overlay) window to appear.

To scroll the preview page, just scroll your mouse wheel up and down. It’s as easy as that. To close the overlay window, just drag your mouse away from the link. If it still doesn’t disappear, just click anywhere on the screen.

Now, if you click the extension’s icon, you will be able to view its main settings. In its settings, you will be able to make a few changes to the appearance of your overlay window. You can adjust the text size as well as the font style. Apart from this, you can also exclude a page or site from being “hovered”. Once excluded, the extension’s overlay windows won’t appear on that page or site.

Functionality wise, Hover Reader for Chrome is quite easy to use. It doesn’t have many options so you won’t get confused. As for its preview window, it will basically give you a full glimpse of where that link is exactly heading to. It’s just that you’ll only get a full text preview without any ads, embedded videos or images. Anyways, this can be good if you’re doing web research since you’ll be focusing more on the information that you can get but if you want to preview the images or videos, then this tool won’t be that useful at all.

To sum it all up, Hover Reader is a nifty browser extension that you can use to get a full glimpse of posts and pages without leaving the page that you are currently on. While I don’t really have any serious concerns regarding this tool, I did notice that it takes a second or two before the overlay windows appears. It would also be great if it would allow its users to lock the preview window so that it won’t quickly disappear even if you’ve already dragged your mouse cursor away from the link.

Conclusion and download link

Hover Reader is a handy tool that you might be interested in checking out. Not only does it offer a hassle-free way of checking links, it also helps keep your browser clutter-free since it lessens your need to open new windows and tabs.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 3.0

Requires: Google Chrome on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, Linux and Mac OS X

Hover Reader on Chrome Web Store

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