Sorry if I’m missing something…
How do I view notebooks without the editing chrome in a way that maximizes screen real-estate for consumption rather than editing? E.g.:
(1) A “reader mode” for the whole notebook – no editing margins on left or right – take up whole screen width
(2) Temporarily select a single cell/visualization and make it full screen in a modal
You can also select “View in fullscreen” via the dot menu in the upper right, which will remove most of the UI. Note that this is not the same as putting your tab into fullscreen mode via your browser’s settings.
I’m brand new to Observable as well, although I have been using D3 for a few years. I’m surprised at the huge waste of space in the default notebook layout. The chart that I’m currently working on is a treemap, and in the current view it sits in the middle of the window and only occupies about 50% of the available width of the screen.
While that’s true of the notebook, it’s not necessarily true of the of the visualization’s ultimate home, if you embed it elsewhere. For example, here’s a notebook I wrote to visualize NCAA tournament brackets, which could certainly benefit from more space. It gets that space, when I embed it in a web page.
From my perspective, Observable is really a development environment. In that context, extra space for things like the tree view on the right and the embedding button on the left make sense. I agree with you that there’s more than necessary but it doesn’t bother me because I’m ultimately interested in embedding.