Adding reading time to Nuxt3 content

I've been using Nuxt2 quite a bit for my sites (including this one) and am now starting to use Nuxt3 for a few new ones and am finding the docs lacking in many places or confusing in others so hope to post a few more tips in the coming weeks.

Today we have the "reading time" popularised by sites like Medium.


In Nuxt3 if we are using the content module then create a new file called /server/plugins/reading-time.ts with the following contents:

import { visit } from 'unist-util-visit'

const wpm = 225

export default defineNitroPlugin((nitroApp) => {
  nitroApp.hooks.hook('content:file:afterParse', (file) => {
    if (file._id.endsWith('.md') && !file.wordCount) {
      file.wordCount = 0
      visit(file.body, (n: any) => n.type === 'text', (node) => {
        file.wordCount += node.value.trim().split(/\s+/).length
      file.minutes = Math.ceil(file.wordCount / wpm)

This is a little more convoluted than in Nuxt2 because there we were able to look at the plain text and set a property before parsing (beforeParse), however in Nuxt3 those properties do not persist all the way through to the page.


For completeness in case you are still using Nuxt2 the equivalent there was to modify nuxt.config.js to add this block:

export default {
  // ...
  hooks: {
    "content:file:beforeInsert": document => {
      if (document.extension === ".md" && document.minutes === undefined) {
        document.minutes = readingTime(document.text);
      document.category = getCategory(document);
  // ...

Then place this function at the end of the file:

export const readingTime = (text) => {
  const wpm = 225;
  const words = text.trim().split(/\s+/).length;
  return Math.ceil(words / wpm);

Displaying it

Now, anywhere on your page where you are displaying content from those markdown files you can simply do:

<p v-if="post.minutes">{{ post.minutes}} minutes</p>

I've chosen a reading speed of 225 words-per-minute but obviously reading speed is highly subjective.

One flexible alternative would be to record the number of words an article has and then in the front-end divide it by a user-configurable value. While it's unlikely worth the effort on a small site where somebody is hitting a single article if you're putting out a lot of related interesting content a viewer might peruse through it could be nice.

0 responses