Gavin Wray

Custom stylesheet for the George Orwell essay archive

I found an archive of George Orwell’s essays in English and Russian language while searching for a full-text version of Politics and the English Language (1946). This essay contains Orwell’s famous six rules for clear writing, which are touchstones for content people.

The site’s typography makes for a difficult reading experience:

  • long line lengths spanning the full width of the browser
  • justified paragraphs rather than left-aligned (ragged right)
  • tight leading

When reading long-form articles online, I prefer large sans-serif body text, constrained line lengths and leading between 1.3 and 1.5 ems.

To improve the reading experience, I made a custom stylesheet with new typography for use with the Stylish browser extension. I’ve shared the stylesheet via userstyles.org and GitHub.

Before

Politics and the English Language - before custom styles

Image: orwell.ru

After

Politics and the English Language - after custom styles

Install via userstyles.org directory

  1. Add the Stylish extension to your browser. The extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

  2. Visit https://userstyles.org/styles/141074/.

  3. Click Install with Stylish.

  4. View any of the essays.

  5. The Stylish extension should prompt you that styles are available for the current site. Accept the prompt and add the styles.

Install manually

In Chrome the Stylish extension may not reliably prompt you that styles are available for the current site.

To add the stylesheet manually:

  1. Select the browser extension icon and select Create new style.

  2. Give the style a name.

  3. In stylish.css copy all of the styles that are inside the @-moz-document and url-prefix rules.

  4. Paste the styles in the Code 1 box.

  5. In the Applies to settings, choose URLs starting with from the drop-down list.

  6. Enter http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/ in the box.

  7. Select Save.

Content © 2008-2019 Gavin Wray
Athena theme by Diana Mounter

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