Time Saving Tuesday

ZAP Reader Logo I’m a pretty slow reader which can get very frustrating when I see long articles that I have to read. I have seen programs before that say they can make you a speed reader in no time. Whether they work or not is a good question; I normally believe them as much as I believe those diet pills that can shed 50 pounds in a week!

ZAP Reader is different though. It isn’t some crazy program that starts you off with “eye exercises” that make your eyes want to bug out. It works on a concept that I have never seen before. You can customize how many words you want it to display on the screen at a given time and how many words per minute (wpm) it should display. ZAP Reader defaults to 300 wpm and one word on the screen.

According to this reading test I currently read 200-250 words per minute. Just like in the demonstration below I changed the ZAP Reader Settings to 600 wpm and had it display 2 words at a time. At that speed I can comprehend everything as well as I did before, but I am doing it more than twice as fast.

You’re probably wondering what you need to install to use this. Well, nothing. ZAP Reader is completely Web based and works in browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox without any problem. Here is how you use it:

  1. ZAP Read – Right-click on the “ZAP Read” link and choose “Add to Favorites” (for Internet Explorer) or “Bookmark this link” (Mozilla Firefox).
  2. Select text on a page and then click your new “ZAP Read” Favorite or Bookmark to ZAP Read the selected text.

Plug-ins for applications like Microsoft Outlook and Word are going to be available soon as well. There is also a WordPress plug-in that will be made so that a ZAP Reader button can be added to all of your posts. You can see the button being used at the ZAP Reader blog.

If you want to see ZAP Reader in action without testing it out yourself then watch this quick video that demonstrates all of the features: