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Entries tagged 'cat:Reading'

Distinguishing Line Separation in Texts

When reading an article or a book I often accidently read a line several times because I slip at the moment where my eyes run back to the beginning of a line. I thought maybe there could be a solution to this. My need for a solution for this problem may be unique. Probably almost everybody knows from expereince what I mean by slipping into the wrong line on a line break. But it sometimes really prevents fluid reading for me. So I thought of a few ways of formatting or presenting a text in a way that prevents this slipping.

The basic idea is to separate every other line visually so that it is intuitively obvious which line comes next when jumping to the beginning of the next line after a line break. An interlacing pattern that does not disturb the reading but just slightly guides the reader into automatically falling into the correct line after a line break. This may be an alternating pattern, marking every second line, or a more elaborate one that repeats overy three or more lines. In theory any such method should be possible to implement in a e-book reader. Maybe that would get me to switch from paper books to a tablet-like device.

One already commonly used mothod to achieve the same is alternating white and gray backgrounds. For some reason this is only commonly used with tables. Any colour combination could be used.

Another idea is to mark the line beginnings and endings in the free space left and right of the text. I like the idea of different shapes, e.g. a filled circle, a cross and a square outline; three symbolds that aren't easily confused on first sight.

The following I like best, visually, but it interferes with existing common formatting. The end of every second line becomes bolder at the end; the beginning of every other line starts out bold and becomes less so towards the middle of the lin, creating alternating lines of bold at the beginning and bold at the end. This way when you reach a line break on a thick line, you should continue on the next thick line after the line break. You may keep any typos that you may find in the following example.