Add speed reading to Chrome, Firefox

Interested in reading faster while you're online? Check out these Chrome and Firefox extensions to make it happen.

Speed reading is about to have another popularity spike -- one likely fueled by the recent announced of Spritz on the Galaxy S5. The speed reading feature will come included with some apps, and uses a single focal point in words, along with rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP for short) to display words one-by-one at speeds up to 1000 words per minute.

This technology is not only useful on smartphones or tablets, it's also great for tackling longer written works online in less time. If you search for what the average reading speed is, you'll come up with a figure somewhere around 200 wpm. Even if you read faster than that right now, could you imagine being able to read two, three, or even four times faster? Here's how to add RSVP speed reading to Chrome and Firefox:

Chrome

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

When it comes to speed reading extensions, there are quite a few to chose from on the Google Chrome Web Store. However, one stands out from the rest: Spreed. To install, just click the link, then click the Add to Chrome button.

This extension has a handful of settings and offers a very solid reading experience. You can adjust the words per minute, font size, invert the display color, remove the highlighted focal point, and use keyboard shortcuts. To use the extension, highlight text on any Web page, right-click and choose "Spreed selected text."

Honorable mention goes to Sprint Reader, as it does have many customizable options the reader might be interested in. However, it does not work well with numerical values, making it a bit less reliable than Spreed.

Firefox

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

The choices for RSVP reader add-ons in Firefox are pretty slim. Reasy seems to be one of the most-downloaded and offers quite a bit of customization. Head to the Reasy add-on page and click the Add to Firefox button. A pop-up window will appear, and after a short wait period, you'll be able to click the Install button.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

To use Reasy, head to any page on the Web and highlight text. The Reasy window will automatically pop-up, ready to deliver the words one-by-one. The basic window allows you to set the words per minute and number of words displayed. If you want to adjust more options, such as font, custom shortcuts, and color scheme, you'll have to open the add-on manager (go to the main menu in the top left corner, then choose Add-ons) and then click the options button next to Reasy.

Do you think this form of speed reading is useful online? Or do you think it should stay on smaller screens? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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