Normally I prefer to read the document on paper ( I can highlight, take notes...), however, it means that I need to print the documents out. Therefore, I intend to change to adapt to reading on monitor screens. I am wondering is there any tip to practice?

  • 1
    In what way can the reading be improved? Is it blurred, too lengthy for the screen, or (phone) screen is too small, can't annotate it, lose your place, too much glare, gives a headache? Is there a specific difficulty? Jun 7, 2021 at 16:03
  • @WeatherVane, I am easy to lose my concentration, and without marking, I am easy to get lost. The screen size is okay already Jun 7, 2021 at 21:01
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    Get an extra monitor. Rotate it 90 degrees to portrait mode, Read your documents there. Install a glare filter for eye comfort. Humans typically maintain focus when they read vertically (such as reading down a narrow newspaper column). The wide screens available today are typically used for media work and are not at all suitable for reading. Use the Lens Tool on your reader (if available), it will help you concentrate more.
    – Syed
    Sep 26, 2021 at 8:37

5 Answers 5


Increasing the font size would mean less words at a time, which could help with concentration. Sometimes I will also highlight over the words as I read with the cursor.


My hack to make it easier to keep your place, annotate etc is to

  • copy/paste the document into a new document that you can edit locally

Then you can add

  • bookmarks
  • highlighting
  • notes

as you wish.


I feel I can overcome some of the disadvantages of reading on a screen by engaging in “active reading”. My tools of choice are an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. PDFs I can mark up directly with appropriate software. Other formats are not so nice to work with, but with the iPad Pro I can split the screen with the doc in the left window and a note-taking app in the right. It is an expensive solution if you don’t have the hardware already, but there are cheaper versions up to and including taking notes on paper while you read off a screen. And even if you can’t hand—write notes, many reader apps allow typing notes and marking passages.


Turn on the 'night light' feature, which most screens have. A warmer temperature color, meaning less blue light, is easier on the eyes.


Personally, since I have problems with my eyesight, I use an ebook reader that can also be used as a monitor (Onyx Boox Max2) but it's sufficient an ebook reader that has a network card and you can use vnc (which works even better than hdmi port). Of course it have a good reader with the possibilty to higligh, annotate (on the document and side by side).

With a normal screen, I usually prefer to invert the colors with white writing on black (or better brown on black). If you use linux often the desktop manager supports negative or you can use xcalib -i -a on Xorg.

As for the programs, there are so many and now I don't remember all, for pdf I think evince allows it, even xournal (both for linux). For html pages you can always export them in pdf, or I recommend this extension: https://addons.mozilla.org/it/firefox/addon/webscrapbook/ (there is also for chrome).

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