CNET Editors' review
Speed Reading III for Mac aims to help users read faster by showing a basic technique that can improve one's focus. This application doesn't test comprehension or give explicit pointers on how to improve, though.
Speed Reading III for Mac requires no special steps in installation--just download and run the program. The first screen that appeared included a fair bit of information on it. Part of the text on this first window makes it clear that the app will not teach you how to speed read or test you to see if you absorbed anything. It will just determine how fast you read. The app comes with 10 short texts that can be loaded into its pedestrian interface for practicing, and you are also able to load your own texts. Each line of text is split into two parts, and each part of a line flashes by at a preset speed. We selected a slower speed to start with, and watched as the left half of the first line appeared and then disappeared, and then the right of the first line appeared and disappeared, and then the left half of the second, and so on. You are encouraged not to "read" the text, but to look at each segment as a whole to see if you can absorb it. As your text processing skill increases during practice, you can increase the preset speed. Perhaps the idea is to develop a kind of muscle memory for how to read quickly by focusing better.
Speed Reading III for Mac does little to assess one's reading comprehension. However, it determines how fast the user can read and helps them improve their reading speed through a basic technique. The application works well and seems to be a good tool for practice.
Speed Reading III lets the user try one method to increase reading speed and comprehension. Ten practice text sources are built-in and you can also select any text file as a source. Reading speed can be adjusted from approximately 50 words per minute to 1500 words per minute using four radio buttons (very slow, slow, medium and high) and a slider. Comprehension is not tested. This utility displays full text very dimly with snapshots of normal black text moving across the page.
What's new in this version: Version 1.4.0 is compiled for 32 bit Cocoa.
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