When reading news articles, I'd like to hide all those sidebars and other items that scream for attention, I mean, to make everything black on the webpage except the block of text that I'm interested.

It would be a matter of clicking the extension button on the browser toolbar and selecting the HTML element that I want to read, this would create the Lights Off effect that I'm looking for. I'd prefer an extension for Chrome or Firefox, which I think are more cross-platform.

Alloffthelights.js demonstration animated gif

I only found ways to do this for Video elements, like this and this extensions, this Q&A at Super User and the jQuery plugin shown above.

  • For text elements, you can use Reader. It doesn't exactly turn off the lights, but it removes all distracting content
    – Tymric
    Oct 23, 2014 at 13:22

1 Answer 1


If you are a website owner then you can use the official Turn Off the Lights API, then you can choose what must not go dark.

Or you can use the built-in feature to select the area that should not be dark using the mouse action. Follow the steps below on how to enable this feature:

  1. Ope the Turn Off the Lights Options page,
  2. Click on the 3rd tab Advanced options
  3. Scroll down to the "Mouse" action topic, and enable the radio button "Enable area selection to focus on an item when the lights are off"

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