Speed Reading III is a useful and free tool to help you improve your reading speed in a simple and efficient way. It offers you variable speed controls for you to adjust the reading speed according to your needs and progress. You can practice using any TXT files as long as they follow some very simple format requirements.
The idea is very simple – by splitting each line into two blocks of words, you will be able to look at two midpoints per line, which will allow you to read and understand what you read much faster. However, note that Speed Reading III will not test your comprehension skills – just your reading speed. Though the program comes with ten different text files for you to choose from, you can also prepare your own text in a way that this tool can use (just follow the instructions provided by the developer). The texts you will be working with need to have the length of the display window used by the program. They do not need to contain a full story, as this is not about what you read – this is about how fast you read. You will be presented with what looks like a blank screen, though actually all the text is already there, printed in a very light shade of grey. Each block will be highlighted at a time, following the pace set by you.
The speed controls are very easy to use – the four levels provided go from “very slow” to “fast”, and each of them can be further adjusted using a slider. I missed, however, a button to pause and/or stop the reading process, and possibly another one to go back to the main window to choose a different text.