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Many years ago I did a 5-day speed reading course. At the time, my reading speed (paper, not screen) went from 200ish words a minute to between 1100 and 1250 wpm. It was fantastic. Comprehension also increased.

A friend also doing the course went from 60 wpm to around 200, so it was great for them as well.

Of course, this was back in 1996. Surely now there must be some free life hacking software for learning to speed read? A relative is wanting to do it, but would prefer to do a course on a computer as that's where they're finding it slows them down (reading off a screen).

A quick search reveals software like RocketReader or 7SpeedReading, but they do cost. Does anyone know of a free piece of software for such an activity?

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If you don't mind using the internet : spreeder.com/app.php –  user2498 Feb 13 '12 at 15:49
    
Is there anything more to speed reading than what that spreeder page does? Since you've done a "real" speed reading course that was actually effective for you, it would be cool if you could do some sort of follow-up comparison. –  eflat Feb 16 '12 at 15:35
    
Although it wasn't your question, there is a quite interesting project named Spritz (spritzinc.com). –  Wiktor May 6 at 7:54
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4 Answers

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From my memory some time ago someone mentioned http://www.readfa.st over on this website (forgotten the original link). If anyone had other free good alternative websites or software to train speed reading, do let me know too. Thanks!

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I've been using readfa.st for a little while. Not sure how scientific it is, but I feel like it's personally helped me. –  stickman Feb 14 '12 at 13:06
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Spreed is a Chrome Browser Extension. You can use anywhere on the page. Just Select the text and press Alt+V. You can easily train yourself to read at 400 words per minute. This is an impressive tool.

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Late to this discussion, but I've used PhotoReading for years. You don't need software and one can actually absorb 20+ thousand of words a minute. You can still find the book, "The Photo Reading Whole Mind System". You don't really need more that that.

The system gives you a range of strategies to approach and absorb written material.

I friend used it to get through law school. The first day or two of each semester she photo read all the texts for the term. Then she simply sat and listened in each class never taking a note. (Of course she participated in group projects too.) To prepare for exams she photo read all the material again. This only took her a couple of hours. She graduated 2nd in her class.

Apparently some of the service academies (West Point) used to teach the technique to 1st year cadets.

Worth checking into it.

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There is an open source utility for speed reading called "Speed Reader Enhanced"

Here is a list of some plugins which will help you in practicing speed reading with any article on any webpage: 1. Zapreader 2. Spreeder

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