Arc browser’s new tool lets you remove some elements from a website

Techcrunch

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The Browser Company, the company behind the web browser Arc, introduced a fun new tool today called Boosts. It lets you customize a website with new colors and fonts. But the best feature of this tool is that you can “Zap” (read: remove) any element from a website, like a sidebar or a trending topic box.

Boosts originally launched in July of last year. The feature that was spearheaded by Chrome co-creator Darin Fisher and Victoria Kirst was focused more on developers. At that time, the tool focused on allowing developers to quickly put together a browser extension using JavaScript. The new version of Boosts is more end-user friendly, focusing on customizing the web pages or, as The Browser Company calls it, “editing the internet.”

If you have installed Arc, tap on the plus sign in the bottom bar and select “Create new boost.” The Boosts toolbar lets you change the background and font color with advanced controls for brightness, contrast and original saturation. You also can change the font type to give the website a new look.

Image Credits: Screenshot by TechCrunch

Once you create a boost, you will see a paintbrush icon in the URL bar that quickly lets you enable or disable it.

The best part about Boosts 2.0 is the Zap tool that lets you remove elements. For instance, I removed the Shorts section on YouTube, because I didn’t want to see vertical videos on my system. Plus, I axed the user suggestion box off Twitter because I have mostly found it useless.

Chrome on the left and Arc on the right. Image Credits: Screenshot by TechCrunch

Arc’s development team has made it possible to share your boosts with other users as well. The browser has introduced a Boosts gallery that lets you see some of the edited web pages created by other users. You can click on “Get Boost” on any of these designs and apply it on the website.

Image Credits: Arc

The gallery has some great boosts to get started with. For instance, this one turns Instagram into a simple home feed without all the bells and whistles and this one gives Slack a serious look with serif fonts.

If you are a developer, you can still add JavaScript to your boost. But in that case, it won’t be sharable with other users because of security concerns.

The idea of customizing a website is exciting — especially when you get to easily remove stuff that you don’t like. Earlier this week, Chrome revamped its customization tools to apply different themes and colors to the browser. However, Arc’s customization is at the website level rather than the browser level.

In 2020, The Browser Company raised $5 million in funding from different investors like LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner, Medium’s Ev Williams and Figma’s Dylan Field. Their Arc browser is still in invite-only mode. Last month, the company launched an iPhone companion app for Arc that makes it easy for you to save different pages in different workspaces and access them later from the desktop.

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