Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Easy on the eyes

I've never been a Microsoft cheerleader, but yesterday I accidentally discovered a wonderful feature in Word 2003: the Reading Layout view.

A huge relief for those of us who read and revise long documents (like novels!) on the screen, Reading Layout view:
  • Gets rid of distracting toolbars
  • Lays out pages in narrower paragraphs to minimize left-right eye movement
  • Uses Microsoft's Clear Type Technology to increase legibility.
You can increase or decrease the size of the text onscreen without changing the font size in the document. And yes, you can edit the document within Reading Layout view.

One really nice feature is that when you finish reading what's on the screen, just hit the Page Down key, and it actually takes you to the next complete bit of text. In other words, unlike with the usual Page Down action, you don't have to find your place again every time you hit the key.

It's so easy to get in and out of. To apply Reading Layout view, simply go to the View menu and choose Reading Layout, or, even more quickly, click on the button on the Standard toolbar (that's the one on the bottom of the screen) that looks like a book. To go back to the previous view, just hit Escape.

I'm probably not describing it very well, so check it out yourself, or click here for more coherent instructions, information, and a demo.



By the way -

You can use ClearType in everything you do onthe PC. I just switched over to it and it's much easier and more readable - especially on web pages. I look at practically any other PC that doesn't have it (because not many people realize you can get it) and it's like looking at a PC circa 1990. All those jagged edges on fonts are a thing of a past with Cleartype. You can get it here:


Posted by: Blogger Rob at 4/19/2006 4:09 PM

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