Prose Renderer

The gist: build a web component that allows readers to configure text rendering options to make prose easier to read.

I tend to think of this as a library or component called Prose.js or Reader.js that is concerned with taking a nested collection of <p> elements in particular and rendering them in a way that gives the user fine grain control over how it's rendered. Their preferences would be stored in localStorage so upon refresh their settings would load and be used across web pages (like chapters in a book).

The Kindle device and apps have decent control settings for this, as does Wattpad.


I've put together a simple mock-up of what this could be like:

Mobile mock-ups of a prose text setting UI. On the left, the title, author, a "Font Settings" button, the chapter number and title, and the prose. On the right, the button has changed color and a panel has appeared below with buttons to change the font size and text alignment - left or justified

When the Text Settings button is pressed, it opens the widget. When it's pressed again, it closes it.

When the widget is open, tapping the settings automatically changes the text that's being rendered.

Due to limitations in the mock-up tool, I can't easily change the font or make the text justified, but I think the mock-up covers the gist.


Configuration options:

  • Text size
  • Text alignment — justified or left aligned or right aligned


  1. include the script to load the source for the component
  2. just use the component! wrap the output for the prose in the component:
  <p>It was a dark and stormy night...</p>
  <p>More stuff! More stuff!</p>


Any of the major web component libraries are appealing for this, in particular ones that can generate a portable component that can be easily loaded and dropped in like Stencil. Svelte and Lit appeal to me too.


  • Working with localStorage—writing and reading
  • Building out a non-intrusive UI
  • Overriding/applying styles to nested content


Here's a screenshot of Instapaper's web text settings:

Screenshot of Instapaper's text settings

Extra Credit

  • Support additional settings
    • Line spacing
    • Different fonts
    • Margins