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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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closed as off-topic by Vidar S. Ramdal, Alex, jonsca May 5 '14 at 19:52

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Application/website recommendations are off-topic and out of scope. It is better instead to use a particular web app or website and ask for help in any issues you have with it specifically." – Vidar S. Ramdal, Alex, jonsca
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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

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

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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2014 update: Spritz blows all the other RSVP tools out of the water and while it's not available yet, there are several alternatives available:

For Android, there's OpenSpritz-Android and SpritzerTextView, both open sourced.

Gritz is written in Perl and processes text files.

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