How It Works

Best of Times works on words and phrases that you supply that are very likely to appear in articles you either always want to see or never want to see.

Best of Times scans the Article Title, the Headline, the Strapline and the Teaser text to decide whether to keep or hide the article.

Straplines are like a sub-headline. That don't appear very often but it's important to scan them when they are used.

Note that the amount of teaser text that appears depends on the width of the screen you are using. A PC/laptop monitor will have more teaser text than a tablet which will have more text than a phone. What this means in practice is that you might see a different view of the Times depending which device you are using to browse times.co.uk.

Best of Times also works at the Section level. You can hide a complete section by supplying it's name as it appears in the Today's sections menu at the top of the Times Web page. More usefully you can hide a section except articles containing your target words and phrases.

You will return frequently to the Options page of Best Of Times, adding new issues to refine your concerns. You don't need to replace filters that don't apply on a given day of even for a whole year. So just keep adding until you get the Times looking exactly the way you want it.

What you do

The four tabs indicated above offer a rich variety of ways to remove or retain newspaper articles and are described in detail below.

Each time you have finished amending or adding filters, press the "Reload the Times" button then navigate back to the browser tab in which you opened the Times or Sunday Times. The tab will be in the process of reloading the web page with your new Best of Times look to it. Verify that the filters have done what you expected and go back to reading.

Any time you want to see the full text of your newspaper, uncheck the "Enable Best of Times" checkbox, press the "Reload the Times" button and the Web page will be reloaded without filtering.

Hide Sections of No Interest Whatsoever

Click on the Sections To Hide tab and you will see a grid containing all the regularly appearing Sections in both the Times and the Sunday Times.

Depending on what's in the news on any given day, the Times will include sections that last a day or two or three. I call them "Seasonal" sections and they have names like "Isa Guide", "Best Places to Live, "A Levels", "Unversity Clearance" and so on. Beneath the grid is a text box in which you can enter the names of all the Seasonal sections you don't ever want to see.

Hide a Section but Keep Certain Articles

This may be the most useful feature of Best of Times and it deals with the "Worst Aspect" of the Times that drove me to create Best of Times. Click on the Sections To Hide tab and you will see:

Less than 10% of the Sports section on any one day is of interest to me but I used to have to scan every single article in the Section to be sure I wasn't going to miss anything of interest. With this option, I can exclude everything I don't want in that section while keeping up with my major sports interests and learning about minority-interest and upcoming sports that receive less coverage."

The drop down box contains all the Section names listed in the previous tab. Select one Section name then, in the text box below, enter words and phrases designating articles within the chosen Section you wish to hide.

Note that any "Seasonal" section names entered in the text box in the previous tab appear at the bottom of the dropdown list.

The final entry in the dropdown--Remove this-- clears a previously selected Section and provides a blank drop down for you to work on.

You've probably noticed that some articles can appear in more than one section of the Times. Typically, the article will be in News plus the actual section the article relates to. If you hide it in the sectin where it belongs, it will still appear in News. We will see how to deal with that in the next tab.

Always HIDE articles containing certain words or phrases

This is the sledgehammer approach to hiding articles no matter what section they appear in.

If you know anyting about rugby, you may be wondering why I put in "six nations"--a rugby tournament--as well as "rugby." Well, a skill often found in sports journalists is the ability to pen an entire article without specifically naming the sport it relates to. Their thinking appears to be "if you don't already know what I'm talking about, you probably shouldn't be reading my article."

And why Martin Samuel? Well, he is precisely one such sports journalist.

Always SHOW articles containing certain words or phrases

Note that, if you have hidden, say, the Comments section and the word tennis would have been displayed in an article there then Comments will be restored to the top menu and the Section header will reappear but the setion will only show articles whose headers include "tennis."

Past six days

Best of Times currently only works on today's edition of the Times and the Sunday Times.
If you would like it to work on the Past six days too, contact me and I'll work on it.

Filter on words inside articles

As explained above, Best of Times currently only works article titles, headlines, straplines and the teaser text.
If you would like it to filter by words and phrases within articles, contact me and I'll work on it. Any solution is likely to be extremely slow as the full text of an article is only loaded when you request it. However, it should be possible to do such filtering in the background to allow you to keep reading.

Download and Install BestOfTimes

BestOfTimes is available from the Chrome Web Store here. Simply click on the "Add to Chrome" button.

But you are welcome to download and install it yourself from here. Read on.

For Windows

You will need a Windows PC running Google Chrome browser. It won’t work in Chrome on an Android phone but there’s a browser for Android called Kiwi where it does work. See below

Download BestOfTimes.crx from here and save it to a folder.

1. From a Chrome tab, browse to chrome://extensions/

2. Switch on "Developer mode"

3. Go to the folder containing the .crx file, drag it to the chrome tab you just opened and drop the file onto the tab.

4. Confirm the install by clicking on "Add extension"

5. In the Chrome toolbar to the right of the address bar, click on the Extensions button. It looks like a folder 

6. Click on the pin next to BestOfTimes

7. You should see a new button appear top right hand in Chrome

Next, open a new browser tab and browse to https://www.thetimes.co.uk/.

Press and select Options from popup that apears

For Android

Install the Kiwi browser from Android Play Store.

Download BestOfTimes.crx from here and save it somewhere on your phone.

Open Kiwi, tap in the top right-hand corner to open a menu. Select Extensions then +(from .zip/.crx/.user.js).

Navigate to the BestOfTimes.crx file you just downloaded. Kiwi installs it as an Extension.

Usage is mostly as described above. However, there's no room for Extension buttons on the Kiwi address bar. To get to Options, go to the Extensions page, look for the BestOfTimes addin, press Details and scroll down to where it says Extension Options. Press there.

Since there's no popup from the address bar menu, there's a link in the More panel of the Options page to get to the PDF extraction page.

For Microsoft Edge

Edge supports Extensions from the Chrome Web Store and provides a link to the Store. The process is similar to the above for Chrome.

Unlike Chrome and Kiwi, Edge does not support sideloading (from a .crx file as described above) so please go to the Chrome Web store to get BestOfTimes.

Home