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Author Topic: simple software to facilitate reading screen full of text ...  (Read 5086 times)
tsaint
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« on: February 17, 2010, 03:42:18 PM »

 Is there a simple piece of software (AHK maybe) which will draw a horizontal bar on the screen, level with the cursor, so help reading long lines of text in large articles?
 The idea would be to slowly move the cursor down the screen as you read, with the horizontal bar also moving accordingly.
Tony
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Stephen66515
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2010, 03:50:02 PM »

I agree, as I always seem to read 1/2 a line of text, then somehow end up 14 lines down the page without realizing until the text makes no sense at all.  Maybe you could change your cursor to a large bar, rather than a pointer?  I'm pretty sure there are icons like that available.
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rjbull
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2010, 04:18:23 PM »

I asked for something like this once before: Wanted: line highlighter

The first recommendation is for FX Software (Assistive Software).  They have a number of visual helper programs.
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tsaint
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2010, 04:37:28 PM »

thanks. I searched the forum, for all the wrong terms obviously. Was tempted to search for "thinggie to help me read"
The Assistive software works, maybe slight overkill for my needs.
Re big cursor, that would be clever but my initial reaction was that cursor size must have limits.
Think I'll put my (pathetic) AHK skills to the test and try to come up with something myself.
Tony
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JavaJones
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2010, 10:53:02 PM »

Interesting idea. I've always just selected bits of text as I went, to mark my place. But this can often have unintended consequences. So a more purpose-built tool would be great, though would have to be system-wide.

- Oshyan
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rjbull
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2010, 04:11:31 AM »

The Assistive software works, maybe slight overkill for my needs.
Don't overlook PhilB66's post at the end of that thread - PlaceHolder plus WheelHere used together.
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tsaint
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2010, 04:40:52 AM »

thanks rjbull, I did. Rectified now, placeholder looks excellent.
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rjbull
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2010, 04:41:16 PM »

tsaint, FWIW, Bits du Jour have a $9.75 offer on Line Reader, due on Friday 12th March.  I haven't tried it, but it looks like the sort of thing you asked for.

Line Reader home page
Quote
With Line Reader, your mouse cursor transforms into a handy reading aid, taking the form of a horizontal line that you use to track your spot in any online document or web page. You can customize the length, width, and color of your line, as well as invoke a secondary helper line that serves to further emphasize the location of your cursor. One click, and your line flips to the vertical, which is convenient for highlighting entire paragraphs, steps in a recipe, or assembly instructions.

Line Reader As amazingly useful as Line Reader is, we’ve made it even better by including some handy bonus features! First, there’s the Magnifier Window, which offers an enlarged view of anything that you hover your line cursor over and a screen grabber. Then there’s the Measurement Window that gives you the ability to measure anything that you can see on your computer screen. Finally, we have the Tag Along Form Window, a resizable, customizable box that attaches to your line cursor and serves as a appointment reminder, image holder, or text box!


* LineReaderDemo.gif (6.22 KB, 160x160 - viewed 486 times.)
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AndyM
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2010, 04:53:47 PM »

Desktop Ruler has a setting "Stick to Mouse" that would work.

 www.coder.hr

« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 04:56:18 PM by AndyM » Logged
PhilB66
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2010, 10:05:48 PM »

Check out The  Virtual Reading Ruler demo page @ http://www.crossboweducation.com/RulerPreview.html

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tsaint
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2010, 05:00:28 PM »

Rjbull, that looks good thanks - I'll give it a try.
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criss
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2010, 11:30:20 AM »

I can recommend this one:

http://droid7c2.wordpress.com/readingruler/
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ppass
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« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2010, 02:45:21 PM »

The problem of all these software is that the ruler follows the mouse. Much more useful would be that the ruler automatically detects the next line to read and jumps there when the user hits a key. This should be fairly easy to program by looking at the few pixels below the current line. Now that would be very useful.

A challenge would be to stay on the same line even when scrolling down the current page (or hitting page down). By the way, this is the thing that I find most challenging: after hitting page-down, find where was the last line I was reading before pressing the page down. A software automating this would be a great productivity tool.

I am sure that there are many excellent programmers here that would be willing to take up the challenge...
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rjbull
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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2010, 03:37:49 PM »

I think V - The File Viewer can do this, to a point, but think it could be improved.  I just e-mailed the author to ask.
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ppass
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2010, 04:01:01 PM »

Do you refer to this?

In this case, you open a file (text file for example) with a special software which has line highlighting capabilities. I think that this thread is more about a desktop productivity tool that draws a bar above any window (a web browser, a mail client, whatever). What I am saying is that by analyzing pixels in the vicinity of the bar, it should be fairly easy to auto-detect lines. Of course, the bar should be above a window with text in it.

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MarmotMan
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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2010, 04:01:09 PM »

The way I deal with this is to open an application (any re-sizable app will do), re-size it to full width and no height, and then use PowerMenu to make it partially transparent and always on top. You can then position it wherever you like on the screen and either scroll under it or move it around while reading.

Klugy, but it works.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2010, 06:05:54 AM »

activ'aid does this too. it's ahk.
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