Speed Reading Software

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 31, 2008
Updated • Sep 19, 2017
Windows, Windows software

SpeedRead is a free speed reading software for Microsoft Windows that supports a total of four different speed reading techniques.

Speed Reading is a reading technique that increases the reading rate of the reader without severely affecting the comprehension. Readers at the World Championship Speed Reading Competition (yes there is such thing) are able to read between 1000 and 2000 words per minutes with a comprehension of approximately 50% according to Wikipedia.

Speed Reading is not a single method; not one way to follow that will lead to a faster reading speed but rather a collection of methods like absorbing connectors or grouping words. The effectiveness of a speed reading technique depends on the relation between the reading rate and the comprehension level. Reading 1000 words a minute but only understanding 10% of the text would not be effective while a comprehension level of 50% or more could very well be.

Speed Read

Speed Read is a speed reading software for Windows that can be downloaded freely from the developer's website. The speed reading software concentrates on the following four speed reading techniques:

  • Reading groups of words instead of single words
  • Learning to "absorb" small connector words like "and, the, but, to, etc".
  • Forcing constant attention on subject matter
  • User or teacher adjustable rate of speed for word or word group presentation.

The speed reading software can open text documents on the computer and display them in the program interface. It displays one word at a time and 300 words per minute by default. Those variables can be changed in the same interface. It provides the option to display more than one word at a time, increase or decrease the words per minute parameter and display only words with a minimum lengths of x characters.

Note: SpeedRead is no longer available on the developer's website. We have uploaded the last working version to our own server for archiving purposes. Note that we don't support the program in any way. You can download it with a click on the following link: (Download Removed)

A viable alternative to Speed Read is the only service Zap Reader which feels like a basic online version of Speed Read. Users can paste text into Zap Reader which displays one word at a time at the default speed of 300 words per minute. The speed and the word limit can be changed as well but it does not come with the additional functionality of Speed Read.

Shortly before pressing the publish button in WordPress a popup appeared in Speed Read telling me that the speed reading program was shareware with the options to register or to close. Pressing close would close the complete application which could be opened again without troubles. Still, the homepage is stating it is freeware. I suggest you stick with Zap Reader which provides most of the features as well.

Do you know of any alternative speed reading software programs that are open source or freeware?

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  1. Alex said on September 30, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I use ReallyEasyReader, I have tried most of the software out there and this one seems to be the best, most uncluttered one out there.

    Unsure if it opens .docx, but know it does .doc and .pdf’s.


  2. rruben said on August 31, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    another substitute for zapreader is http://www.spreeder.com which looks better and works with javascript to make it faster to use.

    Anyway thanks for the software tip, but I really hope that it opens docx files :-P but I guess it does not

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