Tips For Faster Reading From the Computer Screen
Many of us work with a computer all day long and it is usual that you read far more texts from the computer screen than from paper. Can you apply speed reading techniques for reading from computer? Yes, you can as on the general the speed reading techniques are applicable both reading from computer or book. However there exist some differences and you will benefit in case of reading from the computer screen if you will apply the following tips.
In case of reading from the computer then you may have an advantage of processing the text and making it easier to read. It means that you can change the way the text is shown on the screen. The first thing you should look for is adjusting the text in a way that there are two columns on a page. When the text is broken into two narrow columns then you can read it faster in comparison to an ordinary single broad-columned text. So, when it is possible then convert the text to a two column format.
Next, you could make changes is the font and its size. Many texts, especially MS Word documents are written in Times New Roman font, but this is not the best for speed reading. Test results have proved that texts in Arial font could be read at faster speed. Therefore if possible change the text to Arial font.
A typical 12 point text is not the best solution for fast reading. If your near vision is normal then you will benefit from decreasing the font size as in that way your field of vision will cover more text. Still, you should avoid making the font size too small as if you read it then your eyes will get tired after some time and this will decrease your reading speed. 9pt Arial is the best font for speed reading from the computer screen.
The distance you sit from the computer also matters. If you are reading from the computer then your eyes should be bit more far from the text than in comparison to reading from paper. It should be 50 cm (20 inches) or more. In any case you have to feel comfortable when reading from that distance. If you want to read faster then you should rather read the text from a greater than a shorter distance to have more text in your field of vision.
Proper light conditions are also important. If you are reading from computer screen then there should be enough background light in your room. If you are sitting behind your computer in a dark room, then there is a big contrast between the screen and the background, which will cause your eyes to get tired fast and it will slow down your reading speed. In addition, you have to avoid direct sunlight on your computer screen as it will make reading difficult.
You may use the cursor for keeping track while reading from computer screen. Place it on the left edge of the text. Start reading and move the cursor down vertically so that it is always pointing to the line you read. By doing this it will be easier to keep track and if you move cursor with a smooth and steady pace then it enables you to keep a good rhythm for reading.
The bad thing about reading from computer is that you have to scroll the text, which wastes time and distracts your attention. For reducing the need for scrolling use full screen mode when reading documents. Getting a larger sized monitor will decrease the amount of scrolling you have to do. As continuous scrolling would make it difficult for your eyes to find the right line then you should scroll text in big portions. While scrolling follow the text with your eyes for being sure that you will not get lost in the text and you can resume reading without losing much time. Developing a good scrolling rhythm will help you to keep up your reading speed.