Reading Strip/Guide (Accessibility Feature)

I am in the process of trying to migrate from Gnome to KDE but one thing that is stopping me making the transition is the lack of a reading strip applet. Gnome has this excellent extension that provides the user with a customisable and easy to use reading strip (the extension is literally called Reading Strip).

The extension lets you guide a transparent coloured line over whatever you are reading to make it easier to focus and maintain your place. It also has a focus mode that darkens everything outside of the reading strip. As someone with Dyslexia, this has made a big difference to my workflow, especially when reading dense documents and papers. In fact, it was a bit of a eureka moment when I first discovered the extension, much more useful than the transparent coloured plastic pages that get recommended to those with reading difficulties.

Here is an example of how I use the reading strip with the optional focus mode:

It is a shame there is no equivalent on KDE as it makes reading a lot harder without. It would be great to see KDE Plasma integrate a similar feature within the desktop. Even just as an applet/plasmoid we could pin to the top/bottom panel. It being officially integrated into the desktop would also be a positive as there would be less risk of it breaking or being abandoned as in the case of a single Gnome extension.


That’s a good idea. Afaik, a way to implement this would be via KWin effect instead of an applet. @David_Edmundson could you confirm that?

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Yes. I made one in the kde4 era once, so it’s definitely doable. It didn’t land, but we have some better infrastructure now where shipping this as a third party add-on will become relatively trivial hopefully.


Thanks for the replies on this!

That sounds promising, hopefully it is something that can be implemented at some point. I am very happy to help test the feature if it becomes something the KDE team decides to follow up on.