Speed-Read Web Pages At 650 Words Per Minute


Squirt is a free browser add-in for Firefox, Chrome and Safari that makes it easy to speed-read a web page (or part of it) at up to 650 words per minute.  It's ideal if you regularly read news stories or other articles on the screen rather than printing them out, as it helps you to take in the information efficiently and quickly.

To get started with the program, head to http://www.squirt.io/install.html for installation instructions.  Once installed, the Squirt logo will be added to your browser's button bar.  To speed-read the entire page, just hit the button.  Or to read just a portion of the page, select it with the mouse before hitting the button.

Squirt works by showing you the text one word at a time, so that you can read without needing to move your head or eyes.  Colour-coding of one letter in the word, and clever positioning, helps ensure that you stay focussed and attentive.  

If you want to learn to speed-read, why not try it out?  It's free, and you can easily uninstall it if you decide it's not for you.




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Agree with previous comments overall.

The sweeping eye movement patterns of speed reading (as described by previous commenters) are indeed highly useful in identifying the structure and logical underpinnings of an essay quickly to give writers targeted verbal feedback on a draft. Important to identify the whole and how all the parts fit together...

The Squirt approach, providing one word at a time, could be useful on the tiny screen of a mobile phone. It seems (from my brief trial) to invoke some of the cognitive processing measures of audio reception, in which the listener does not know for sure what the speaker will say next, but unlike listening to another person (in person, over Skype, by phone, etc.) Squirt concomitantly ties up the visual element as the reader tries to make sure no word image is missed. Thus, Squirt is a perceptual processing experience rather than an analytical, thought-evaluating experience--and can interfere with one's forming a sense of the whole line of argument as one juggles incoming perceptions and the concepts expressed by the words. When I listen to a video on YouTube or a lecture, for example, my eyes are taking in body language and other cues to augment what I hear, whereas with Squirt, I am focused intensely on--tied down to--images of typography, the written/inscribed component of verbal communication, which do not provide additional significant useful information. I note the random appearance of each colored letter, but unlike a survivalist using wide-angle vision in the woods, I am not receiving a perception of my environment of which I can make any practical use...even though credit should be given to Squirt's creators for recognizing that varied perceptual stimuli help keep the user alert. And of course, one can go back to the original webpage to analyze conceptually dense content.

Tried this before & no go. Prevents deeper understanding regarding serious issues. Learned in HS how to speed read on minor things. This just messed with me by forcing adjustment between major/minor.
Worth a fast try, just saying.

This is an old gimmick. It kinda works.

But it's not all that good an idea.

Real "speed reading" (which some people - like myself) do naturally is rather the opposite - handling several words (or even whole lines) at once.

(Of course, there is a tradeoff: Since you are recognising, not reading, the words, it makes you a lousy proofreader.)

Interesting. Certainly works. I dislike reading on my desktop and frequently send the text of a page to my Kindle. This is quicker and we will see in a week whether I prefer it.