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In May 2024, we will fully remove the PubReader functionality from the PMC website.

See the December 15, 2023 news item in New in PMC for more information.


The PubReader view is an alternative web presentation that offers another, more reader-friendly way to read literature in PMC and Bookshelf. Designed particularly for enhancing readability on tablet and other small screen devices, PubReader can also be used on desktops and laptops and from multiple web browsers. To try out the PubReader view, take a look below.

We welcome your comments and suggestions!

Reading made productive

Science, easily digestible

Clean, easy to read, multi-column display. Nothing to distract you from the task of reading the scientific literature.

Access from whatever device you are using

Works on your desktop with all the major web browsers. Also works well on tablet devices.

Bring your own web browser
Quickly and easily navigate

Navigation options

On a tablet, flip the pages as you would with a book. Or tap/click the edges, use the arrow keys, page up/down keys, the scrollbar; it's all up to you.

Figures at your fingertips

Activate the figure strip to have access to all figures, no matter where you are in the text.

Figures from wherever you are
Find what you're looking for

Search functionality

Use the "search in page" feature to find terms throughout the text. Current term is highlighted in orange; use the arrows at the bottom to advance through items.

Try out the PubReader view


This is a presentation for any article that is available in full-text HTML form. It is not available for older content in PDF format only or as scanned images of the original print pages. You can get to the PubReader view directly from an article citation in a search result list or an issue table of contents:

Link to PubReader from table of contents (issue) page

Or from the Formats links in the top right corner of an article page in PMC:

Link to PubReader from standard article

Or, try it now with one of these articles:

In Bookshelf

For content in Bookshelf, PubReader view is available for the majority of titles, specifically those with unrestricted navigation. PubReader view is accessed from the Views menu on the right.

Link to PubReader in Bookshelf

You can try:

Switching between the PubReader view and the classic view


If you are in the PubReader view of an article, and would like to switch to the classic view, tap or click the Alternative formats icon or the Settings icon in the toolbar at the top. Then select the "classic view" from either of these menus. (See image below.)

How to switch from PubReader to classic article view

PMC now automatically directs certain users to the PubReader view:

If you are taken to the PubReader view automatically and you choose to go back to the classic view as described above, PMC will remember your preference and automatically take you to the classic view in the future. You can also get to the classic view by clicking on the "Article" link for an item in a PMC search result or in the issue table of contents page.

Similarly, you can make PubReader your default view again by clicking on the "PubReader" link in a search result, a table of contents, or at the top of a classic-view article page. (Note that this preference setting works only if your browser accepts cookies.)

If you use multiple browsers or devices to access PMC, the default-view setting will be specific to each browser on each device that you use.

In Bookshelf

You can go back to classic view from the Settings menu (gear icon) (Switch to classic view). Bookshelf will remember your preference and the next time you try to access the content, you will be taken to classic view. The default setting is specific to the browser you are using.

How to switch from PubReader to classic view in Bookshelf

Technical Details

We start with the XML version of an article (or book chapter) and use XSLT to convert it into an HTML document. We then add CSS and JavaScript (JS) to implement the formatting, paging, navigation, text reflowing and other dynamic features. This, essentially, is the way we have created the traditional web view. The difference now is that we are able to take advantage of features and functions that are available only in the latest versions of the underlying technologies (HTML5 and CSS3).

The CSS and JS code used to create a PubReader presentation is available at the GitHub repository NCBITools/PubReader. Anyone can use or adapt it to display journal articles or other content that is structured as an HTML5 document.

Last modified: Thu April 28 2022