Ebookfriendly cartoon 13 526x394


  1. Font size changes were in-built to screen books simply because it could be done. There was no regard for variable line justification or pagination displacement or page design. This is an excellent example of the dis-coordination of software and hardware in screen books. A screen magnification option would be better.

  2. Adobe can do some limited hyphenation for better justification, and it respects widow/orphan limiting (two lines by default). I’m sure there are others I don’t know about. It isn’t perfect, but , in theory, it will keep improving.

    I’m pretty sure TeX is widely honored as performing great page layout in software, so it is not unheard of.

  3. Actually font size change is important for many who have print disablities, not just that it could be done. One of the first things that we try to do for students with disabilties is get all the texts that they use in a digital format if possible. Screen maginifaction just doesn’t do the same thing as it impeeds saccades and fixations in the reading process. As the print is made larger, students view fewer words on the page, thus enabling them to focus more easily and decrease the chance of losing their place while reading – soemthing that is easy to lose while moving with magnification. Larger print is also important when reading at a greater distance, at lower light levels, and when moving. While the use of large print text has usually been associated with assisting the special needs of students with visual impairments or older people, the benefits gained with the use of large print are actually applicable to others who may not have a learning disability, specifically the struggling, reluctant, and remedial readers. Font size, paper and ink colors, and formatting are several factors that all have an effect on readability of text material. especially those susceptible to visual stress, were found to make more errors on the smaller than on the larger text. From this Hughes and Wilkins (2000) concluded that the reading development of some children could benefit from a larger text size and spacing than is currently the norm. Reading miscues, including misreading syllables or words; skipping syllables, words, or lines; rereading lines; and ignoring punctuation cues were found to be virtually eliminated when students read large print books. Fewer words on a page mean struggling readers have to visually process less per page, but it still allows the readers to make progress with comprehension, tracking, and fluency, with fewer decoding errors. Additionally, having fewer words on the page lowers anxiety levels concerning the text in struggling readers. The ability to change to a larger print provides a positive and powerful tool for struggling, reluctant, and visually challenged readers. Increased font size and spacing of large print scaffolds struggling readers to develop the skills they need. Larger print assists students in: recognizing words accurately, comprehending what they are reading, and reading more fluently.

    Currently many teachers and librarians already use large print materials for their students who have:
    * Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
    * Difficulty with encoding or decoding
    * Dyslexia
    * Large or small motor deficits
    * Amblyopia or “Lazy Eye”
    * Light sensitivity
    * Short term memory deficits
    * Tracking issues
    * Visual impairments

  4. I have visual and concentration difficulties (neurological disease) and can only read ebooks. I read better off a custom coloured background (a weird kind of pinky yellow) and using a medium-to-large font. Like anyone else, I read better using a serif font (the hooky bits lead the eye on to the next letter/word) but most ereaders or ereading apps seem to set a sans-serif default font.

    I didn’t give this kind of thing a thought until I became ill. Visual accessibility is important for everyone – you just may not realize why reading off a white background or reading some types of text leave you feeling so tired and fuzzy.

    General tip: avoid white (reflective) backgrounds. Read in night view, or set a coloured background which suits you best. (Look for software which allows you to change the background colour.) Experiment with different fonts and sizes. Make sure you have a comfortable and accessible ereader. Reading should flow easily, not be hard work or tiring.


The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail newteleread@gmail.com.