Text-only browsers: Did poor internet speed ever ruin your crucial browsing or data saving? We all face such situations occasionally and are left wondering what to do next! We need a Text Only Browser to navigate without images at this moment. These browsers have simple, fast interfaces.
Some text-based browsers allow you to surf websites using shortcut keys. These browsers also benefit programmers. Text Only Browsers let you read without images, track web crawler visiting behaviour, and track your web pages’ ease.
Let’s explore the finest free and open-source Text Only Browsers.
Labnol Text Browser
Labnol Text Browser is a reliable text-based browser that you can definitely count on. It is owned and made by the same person who owns popular websites like the beloved technology, design blog, and digital inspiration. It works well with Google Scripts and doesn’t use up a lot of resources.
As soon as the web page opens in the Labnol Text Browser, the internal links also open in the same browser. Not only that, but you can also use this text-only browser as a proxy server to read text-only news articles and other web content. The website you want to visit is run by the hidden Google Apps Script, which sends the site to Google’s servers. The content of the site is then shown on your computer screen.
That means you can still load it using Google Cloud even if the site doesn’t have permission. You can also find out if a website is really down or if your internet connection is to blame.
Google Scripts work with them.
Lynx is the most popular text-based browser because it is the oldest text-based browser and is very easy to set up. It’s a full browser, not just an add-on like you might have thought. Even though it was the first Text Only Browser, it works with most operating systems, like Windows, Unix, etc., and even the most recent versions of those systems.
Lynx’s text interface looks more like a command line, which makes it very easy to use. When you run this text-only browser, it takes you straight to their home page. To open a new website, press the “G” key, type in the URL you want, and press the “Enter” button. You can move around on the page by using the four arrow keys on your keyboard. At the bottom of the screen, you can also read about how to use the shortcut keys.
You can also use the web version of Lynx, which is very different from the text version. However, it only lets you see verified websites, not just any web page.
Unix, Mac, VMS, Windows 95/98/NT, DOS386+, and OS/2 EMX all work with it.
Elinks is an open-source text-based browser that works with your Windows OS. It has a simple interface that looks more like a Command-Line. When you open Elink, you’ll see a box that asks for the URL. Type the website’s URL to open the page, click OK, and then press the Enter key to start looking around.
On this text-based browser, the website’s original layout is kept, and white text shows up on a black background. You can move around with the up and down arrow keys, and you can use the right arrow key to open a link. On the other hand, you can use the left key to go back to the last page you looked at. Like WebIE, pressing the “G” key will open a dialogue box where you can type the website’s URL and look around the web page.
You can find out about many more shortcut keys on Elink’s Documentation Webpage. You can right-click on Elink’s graphical user interface to “Reload” a page, get the “Close Tab” buttons, or get to the “Bookmarks.” Elink is one of the easiest text-only browsers, and you can get it for free.
Windows and Linux are both compatible.
WebIE is a text-only browser that you can get for free for your Windows OS. It only lets you view websites in text format. Even though it was made for people who have trouble seeing or can’t see at all, anyone can use it if they don’t want to run a website with pictures.
To start text browsing, you just need to type in the URL and you’re good to go. Since the browser is all text, you won’t be able to click on any links to open them. You can get to the links by instead pressing “Ctrl+Enter” on the word “Link” that is right before the link. When the website is loaded, it won’t be in its original order.
There are several other shortcut keys you can use to move around WebIE besides the “Link” key. So, if you want to go to the Headline, you can press Ctrl+H, and if you want to see the website in graphical form, you can press Ctrl+I. Use the “Help” option in the “Manual” button to find more shortcuts.
You can also change the size and colour of the fonts, and it can help you do things like organise your favourite websites, turn on or off pop-ups, view RSS newsfeeds, and more. WebIE does a lot more than regular Text Only Browsers. You can save a web page in TXT or HTML format, log in to your email accounts, print the web page, or ask for help from the support team.
Compatibility: 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Vista Service Pack 2, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, or Windows 8.
Text Mode Chrome Extension
This one is an extension for browsers that work with text. Text Mode is an add-on for Google Chrome that lets you browse text files. By adding this extension to Chrome, you can turn it into a text-only browser that only shows the text on a website and no images. Even though it’s written as text, it still follows the main layout of the website.
Videos and Flash content on the site are also turned off by Text Mode, along with images. Since it’s an extension, you can switch between the normal mode and the text-only mode by clicking the icon for the extension on the toolbar. Also, if you right-click on the “Options” button, you can “desaturate” the website if you want to.
Text-only browser mode gives you black-and-white pages that are easy on the eyes. It also makes the web pages load faster and lets you switch to text mode with just one click. One of the things we like about it is that it can get rid of most of the ads (99 percent) without any extra software. Also, if you want to change things up even more, you can make the website background white.
Now, how do you know what the pictures are? They are made up of empty spaces, so if you find that strange, you can replace them with a flat surface or background.
Google Chrome works with it.
We also found Emacs/W3, which is a text-only web browser made for the GNU Emacs text editor and is also a text-based web browser. There are many reasons to use Emacs/W3, like;
It makes browsing faster and definitely less distracting because it gets rid of pop-up ads, bright colours, and images. By using the shortcuts for navigation, you can just read without having to worry about where you are.
Use Emacs Lisp to quickly search the Internet for any information you need for a project you are working on. For instance, you can search for information in the PHP mode to find it in the PHP manual. You can also find the definition of a word or information about a bug report with the least amount of typing.
You can also change the way Emacs works and make your own shortcuts and functions quickly and easily.
Last but not least, it doesn’t take up nearly as much memory as the GUI.
You can use Browse-url to open URLs in your favourite browser, but you can also use Firefox or Emacs to browse the web right in the text-based browser. To browse in Emacs, you can use w3m.el, which is the interface for an external W3M browser, or w3, which is a web browser written entirely in Emacs Lisp.
Windows and Linux are both compatible.
Textise Mozilla Add on
Textise is one of the easiest add-ons for Mozilla Firefox. It works just like other text-only browsers and add-ons. You can look at any website page by page by pressing a button that turns on text-only mode right away. It makes it easy for you to turn on or off depending on what you need.
You can load the site you want to see first, and then click the icon on the Firefox toolbar to switch to the text-only version. After that, the website shows a page with only text on a white background. What makes this different is that you can click on the links to open them, even though the text is on the left.
Mozilla Firefox is compatible.
Links is an open source text-only browser that works on multiple platforms and has a very simple interface. Again, the interface looks a lot like a command line tool, and it also has a pull-down menu. Links has more complicated pages than other text-based browsers, supports both colour and black-and-white screens, lets you scroll horizontally, and only partially supports HTML 4.0.
This text-based browser is made for people who want to keep things like the menu, pop-ups, and more that are unique to GUIs in a text-only browser. Like some of the best text-based browsers, you need to press the “G” key to open the web browser and type in the name of the website.
When you open the browser, you’ll see that the text loads in white font, just like on the main website. The navigation keys look a lot like the ones in Elinks, so you can use the arrow keys as you normally would to move around the browser or go to a link or the history.
It gives you more because you can change the colour of the link and the colour of the font. For help with the text-only browser, you can look at the user guide on the Documentation Web page.
Windows, OS X, OS/2, Unix-like, OpenVMS, and DOS all work with it.
ImageBlock Mozilla Add on
ImageBlock is another add-on for Firefox. As its name suggests, when you load a website, it blocks all the images so you can browse faster. So, you won’t be able to see anything on the website except for the text, design, and a few other things. With its own button, Firefox makes it easier to switch between the GUI version and the text-only version that doesn’t load images.
With this great tool, you can quickly change your Firefox browser to text-only mode. It is especially helpful for people who use portable devices like tablets or smartphones or who have slower internet connections like GPRS, Edge, GSM, etc.
Mozilla Firefox is compatible.
Fangs Screen Reader Emulator
Another Firefox add-on that helps you navigate the web using a screen reader is Fangs Screen Reader Emulator. It’s a cut above Firefox’s other text-based add-ons and has some more advanced functions than standard add-ons. Fangs provide the same text-only view of a website as a screen reader.
This function aids in the discovery of accessibility issues in web pages and provides insight into the user experience for site administrators. Given the prohibitive cost of other popular alternatives, this extension is a godsend for those working on improving website accessibility.
Simply open a website, right-click anywhere on the page, and select the “view fangs” option to view the site in a new Firefox window with no images or other formatting. You can use this to see the text on a page magnified or even split up into sections.
To toggle between the text-only and graphical interfaces, pick “preferences” from the menu’s drop-down selection. When you access a website in Fang mode, two new tabs appear: one displays the site’s headlines, while the other displays the site’s links.
Fangs is a screen reader emulator that may be downloaded for free at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/.
0 dollars, no cents
Mozilla Firefox is compatible.
Line Mode Browser
When it comes to portability, Line Mode Browser is the first of its kind, and it was also the second web browser ever created. As we know it now, the World Wide Web was the first widely accessible browser. WorldWideWeb was right adjacent to the original web browser. The WordWideWeb was exclusive to the NeXT OS, which is not the case here.
The need for the Line Mode Browser arose from the inaccessibility of the WorldWideWeb on several operating systems. For the first time, a single browser could be used across multiple computer platforms. The UI was also very basic, making this a very straightforward tool.
Because of Line Mode Browser’s development over time, you may now research this text-based browser with the aid of citations and keyword searches.
0 dollars, no cents
All major operating systems (including FreeBSD, Solaris, Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows) are supported.