Processing text on monitors
The display of text on computer screens is commonplace for a variety of purposes--electronic journals, library cataloging, computer networks, computeraided instruction and design, desktop publishing, and electronic-mail are some examples--and the range of day-to-day applications is expanding. As the use of computer monitors for information processing and disseminating activities increases, the importance of maintaining or improving reading performance with text presented on monitors becomes critical. Recent research activity, investigating text displayed on monitors, has focused on questions of legibility and readability. These issues have enjoyed a renewed interest since the introduction of computer monitors to display reading materials; investigators have become aware of the possibility that findings from previous research on printed text may not transfer to computer monitor presentation of text ( Daniel & Reinking, 1987). This is evident in data that have shown performance differences between paper and monitor reading. Although the findings are mixed ( Reinking & Bridwell- Bowles , 1991), comparison studies of monitor and paper text presentation have shown that reading from a monitor is slower than reading from paper (e.g., Gould & Grischkowsky, 1984; Heppner, Anderson, Farstrup, & Weiderman, 1985; Kruk & Muter, 1984). A number of variables have been proposed to account for the difference, both in terms of the physical characteristics of monitors and in terms of how text is displayed.
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