The Best Speed-Reading Extensions for Chrome
The Galaxy S5 just got Spritz, a speed-reading app that is shaking up the way we read on our tablets. And now many of us want that speed-reading tool elsewhere too. What are the best speed-reading apps for Chrome? Let’s take a look.
Spreed – Speed Read The Web (Chrome)
Spreed is the clear favourite of the Chrome store. To use it, click Alt-V and then highlight the passage you’d like to speed read, and Spreed will even guess which text you’d like in advance. Or right-click and choose “Spreed selected text” from the context menu for the same results. Spreed will start straight away and you can make any adjustments as you read.
The aim of Spreed is to eliminate any need for subvocalization, thus taking you from a probable 200 words per minute off to 400 words per minute easily. Spreed lets you change your reading speed, font size and words at a time, so you can really adjust what works best for you. There are also controls to change the background colour from black to cream or white. Plus, there is a highlighted character near the middle of the text which you can toggle on and off as you wish. Clicking on the question mark will show you the hotkeys you can use while reading.
Sprint is much the same as Spreed when it comes to usage – either select and type Alt-Z or right click and choose “Sprint read selected text”. You’ll need to click play to get it started though, and visually it looks quite different.
The settings panel gives you all sorts of options, like changing the words per panel (or chunk size). The background colour can be changed to a number of different colours, and the font, font size and auto-start time can be adjusted to your liking.
What makes Sprint really fun is the statistics. You can see how many words you’ve read with Sprint, and how many minutes you’ve spent reading with the extension. For fun, in the statistics section you can also see just how long it will take you to read a given book using this extension. It might well convince you to head over to Project Gutenberg and get some more classics under your belt.
Read Fast is slightly different in terms of initial usage, as you must highlight the text and then click the “R” icon in your toolbar. In the bottom-left of the Read Fast window, you can see an orange section that says “Flash Mode”. This is where you can adjust your reading to show multiple words or to display these words in a diamond shape. The font adjustment is simply a choice between Serif, Sans Serif and Mono spaced. The speed can be adjusted with a simple slider up to a maximum of 1000 words per minute.
Personally, I find diamond mode to be a great way to speed read, and also to check whether you are setting the reading speed appropriately. For instance, if you keep reading ahead in diamond mode, it’s not fast enough.
More Speed-Reading Apps
Obviously, the app that’s right for you will depend on your taste. Another tool we’ve written about is browser-based speed reader called Readfa.st, which may be of interest to speed-reading fans on Chrome. What it does is let you collect a read-it-later collection of articles, then read them at high speed using their reader. It’s worth taking a look if you love the idea of training yourself to speed read well. We’ve also previously covered OutRead , ReadQuick and more iOS speed-readers if you want to start speed-reading on the go.
What are your favourite speed reading tools? Do you speed read on your mobile devices too?