Posted by: wordsmithsuk | July 20, 2012

Reading from a computer screen

Most people read at least some of their material on a screen nowadays. Many have almost given up paper-based reading altogether in favour of gathering information via iPads, smartphones, laptops and desktop computers.

If you are not using techniques like the ones discussed in earlier posts, you will certainly find it slower and more uncomfortable to read from a screen. Research tells us that some readers are getting through on-screen text at speeds that are as much as 30% slower than their paper-based speeds.

There are few things that you can to help yourself to read faster when you are reading from a screen:

  • Use your highlighter as a guide or pacer. Just click your cursor where you want to begin reading. Then drag it down the page to continue highlighting the page as you read. When you’ve finished a section or paragraph, release the mouse button and click to clear the highlighted area. Then move your cursor to the next section, and repeat the highlighting process.
  • Use your cursor as a guide and navigate down your document using the mouse or scroll wheel at whatever pace is comfortable. It’s even easier if your mouse has an automatic scroll setting. Simply set the speed and let your mouse loose on auto pilot mode. All you have to do is use your cursor to guide your eye down the page.
  • Reformat pages that are difficult to read. Simply copy and paste text into a word document and reformat it so it’s easier to read by changing fonts, adjusting line spacing and deleting distracting pictures and links.
  • Install the Readability app. It turns any web page into a clean view for reading on a computer, smartphone, or tablet.

To celebrate the summer holidays, we are giving away the brand new edition of Jane’s e-book Secrets of Speed Reading. By adding this title to your summer reading list, you’ll quickly learn how to get through more books in far less time.
This ‘gem of a book’ will help you harness the huge reserve capacity of your mind – and you will be surprised at what you can achieve.
Just email Nick at and we’ll send you the download.

The free offer on this e-book is open until 15 August 2012.



  1. This is a really useful piece of advice. Thanks.

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