As journalists, we spend hours each week reading news articles, features and reports, and although necessary, it can take up a lot of time and energy.

Readsy, powered by Spritz, is a free web tool that aims to speed up your reading time, by using a common speed-reading technique called Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP).

RSVP is based on the idea that humans naturally fixate on a singular point in each word they read. This point, that changes according to the length of the word, visually triggers the brain to recognise the word and process its meaning.

For shorter words, readers will look towards the centre of the word, such as the 'a' in 'was', whereas for longer words, their eye will naturally shift to the left, focusing on the third or fourth character of an eight letter word, for example.

Screeshot of desktop tool Readsy

By aligning the word for you, so you don't have to move your eyes left and right when reading a sentence, RSVP can speed up the time it takes you to read an article, or skim text, by focusing your eyes on one word at a time without having to move them. 

How does Readsy work?

Sign up for a free Spritz account online and give Readsy permission to access it. Using this account, you'll also be able to use Spritz's range of iOS, Windows and Android applications.

You'll immediately be able to cut and paste text into the tool, upload a PDF file or submit a URL of the article you need to read.

Once you click the green 'Readsy!' button, you'll see the wording of your text appear word by word at the top of the page. It'll automatically start in 300 words-per-minute, but you can alter this speed if you wish, anywhere from 50 wpm to 800 wpm.

Use the controls below the wording to pause, rewind, or fast-forward sentence by sentence.

When reading, simply stare at the red letter outlined in each word that appears on your screen. Without any effort, you'll be able to absorb the information in a shorter amount of time than it would do to read conventionally from left to right.

Saying that, we found it is worth keeping the full article, piece of text or report open in another window, just incase you want to refer back to or highlight something you've just read.

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