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Today, I was complaining about meta discussions being excessively wall-of-texty and impossible to skim and, while doing so, decided to see how many characters the text was made of. I fired up Python, typed in len(""""""), put the cursor in the middle and pasted the question body in.

Since I used the dumb windows terminal to do so, it pasted in the text keystroke by keystroke, as if it was typed in. I found this made skimming the text much easier.

Is there a webapp that replicates this behaviour -- text appearing in at the speed at which you skim text?

I know about Spreeder, but it only shows one word at a time -- if you want to reread a passage more slowly, you can only rewind with the clunky slider, instead of just looking a line or two upwards.

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Spreeder can change the number of words displayed at once in the settings. This doesn't help with the rewinding though. –  Rebecca Chernoff Aug 25 '10 at 16:23
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4 Answers

ZapReader has buttons and keyboard shortcuts for previous and next sentences. It doesn't pause the text, just moves to the new point and carries on.

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Another webapp I have seen is Eyercize, which has keyboard shortcuts and several options for customization.

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Eyercize is much more like what I am looking for. –  badp Aug 26 '10 at 17:52
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This form of reading is called Rapid Serial Visual Presentation.

Wikipedia has a list of applications:

eyercize.com - free online highly customizable speed reader and tachistoscope
RSVP Reader - RSVP Extension for FireFox
Dictator - A Cross-platform GPL2 RSVP text reader
FastReader - A windows based RSVP text reader
MyRSVP - An online Java Applet
WordFlashReader - A cross-platform RSVP program written in Perl/Tk
Spreeder - Free online speed reader
iReadFast - Free application for Mac OS X
Reasy - Another Firefox RSVP Extension with different presentation to RSVP Reader - now also available for Google Chrome Reasy Chrome extension
kReader - Portable Free RSVP reader for Windows.

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Reasy for Firefox has configurable reading fixation, you can skip forwards and backwards using the configurable action keys (default 'f' and 'b')

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