User Guide


QuickReader User Guide

Introduction, Basic Concept, Reading Modes, Page Navigation, Settings, Downloading Books, Importing Pasteboards, Partner Apps, Quick Start, Tips, Advanced Tips, In-Depth Concept


Congratulations on taking the first step toward becoming a faster, more efficient reader, and welcome to the speed reading revolution! What you hold in your hand represents the newest technology to help you on the road to reading at blistering speeds.

Soon you will

  • Enjoy more news, entertainment, professional, and academic reading
  • Expand your vision to take in several words in a single glance
  • Maximize the productivity of your reading
  • Accelerate your learning potential
  • Enhance your focus and ability to tune out distractions
  • Stop back-tracking

QuickReader helps you to accomplish all of this by providing a customizable guide to follow through exciting eBooks. If you practice regularly in your spare time – standing in line, on a train, or while waiting for that friend who is always late – you’re sure to be amazed by the results.

Basic Concept

When we first learn to read, we are taught to identify the sounds of individual letters and to put them together to make words. We then learn to put those words together to make phrases, and so on.

However unconsciously, most of us never progress beyond reading one word at a time. Each word represents a “fixation,” or a place where our eyes stop. This habit often continues through our entire lives, despite the fact that we are capable of absorbing several words at once.

QuickReader provides a speed reading guide to help break the habit of overemphasizing individual words so that you can increase the size of your fixations. By relaxing your vision and learning a more efficient way to move your eyes across the page, you will learn to read faster. Your increased focus will bring more information retention and better concentration.

Reading Modes

NORMAL READING allows you to read through the selections like any other eBook.

SPEED TEST checks your current WPM (Words Per Minute) by clocking the number of words you read without a guide.

SPEED READING guide pulls your eyes through the text to teach you how to take in more words in a single fixation.

TAP RIGHT to go forward one page.

TAP LEFT to go back one page.

TAP CENTER to bring up the menu.

PRESS AND HOLD to pause speed reading guide.


QuickReader is fully customizable. When you enter the Settings menu, which is found on the top right of the screen, you will find a variety of options to customize the speed reading guide to meet your individual needs. As your speed reading abilities increase, adjust the settings to push yourself up to a faster WPM and larger fixations. You can also adjust the colors, margin widths, line spacing, right justification, and rotation lock from the Settings menu.

WORDS PER MINUTE – Allows you to adjust the speed of the guide using a numeric keypad. You can adjust the speed from 100 to 3,000 WPM.

GUIDE STOPS – Adjusts the size of the speed reading guide in two modes.

  • Stops per line determines how many times the guide will stop on an individual
    line of text.
  • Lines per stop expands the guide so that it stops on more than one line at a time.

GUIDE STYLE – Customizes the shape or style of the speed reading guide. Options include highlight, outline, side bar, underline, overline or “none” styles. You should start with highlight or outline guides before moving on to less intrusive guides for higher speed reading.

COLOR SCHEMES – Choose from 19 designer color schemes.

PAGE, TEXT, and GUIDE COLORS – Customize with thousands of colors to choose from.

FONT – Switches between available fonts. San serif fonts are recommended for use with the guide, but you should also practice with serif fonts to make sure you can use speed reading techniques on any text.

FONT SIZE – Changes the size of the font. It is recommended that you choose a font size similar to your everyday reading.

HEADS UP DISPLAY – Use the camera view as the page background (iOS 4.0 and later). Tip: use a bold and slightly larger font than usual and try one of the HUD color schemes (Amber Light, Clear, Green Tea, Morning Fog, Purple Haze, or Rose Tint.)

TRANSPARENCY – Set the transparency of the page color on top of the heads up camera view (iOS 4.0 and later).

PORTRAIT COLUMNS (iPad only) – Choose from 1 to 3 text columns when the iPad is in portrait orientation.

LANDSCAPE COLUMNS (iPad only) – Choose from 1 to 4 text columns when the iPad is in landscape orientation.

MARGIN WIDTH – Adjust the left and right margins. Can be used to practice with narrower columns, e.g., newspaper column widths.

LINE SPACING – Adjust the space between lines of text.

RIGHT JUSTIFY – When turned on the text will be left and right justified. Turned off, the text will have a “jagged right” margin.

PAGE TRANSITION – Determines the page turn visual effect. Choose from “Slide”, “Push”, “Fade”, and “Cut”.

LOCK ROTATION – Prevents the display from rotating while reading.

LET SLEEP – Turn off to suppress phone’s auto-sleep function while you are reading.

RESTORE ON STARTUP – Resume where you left off when you start the app.

BRIGHTNESS SWIPE – Sets mode of brightness swipe, used to change brightness of the screen by swiping up and down on the reading screen. Can set to “System” which changes the device’s brightness setting; “Overlay”, which displays a semi-transparent black overlay on top of the reading screen; or “Off”.

TAP ZONES – Customizes action performed in response to touches on the outer edges of the screen. For example, go to the next page, instead of the previous page, when you tap the left side of the screen.

RESTORE DEFAULTS – Restores all settings to original values.

Downloading Books

(Note, downloading books is only available in the full versions of QuickReader.)

QuickReader works with DRM-free EPUB format books, which can be downloaded from the Web, through iTunes or from integrated OPDS and Stanza format catalogs. EPUB is a popular standard for eBooks on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. It is the same format as used by Apple’s iBooks app. OPDS and Stanza format catalogs allow you to search, discover, and download books from the Internet.

Downloading Books with iTunes File Sharing

To import DRM-free EPUB books into the app using iTunes File Sharing, open iTunes while your device is connected to your Mac or PC; select your device in the left panel; select the “Apps” tab at the top of the page; scroll down to the File Sharing section; select QuickReader from the Apps list in the left panel; and then click the “Add…” button or drag DRM-free EPUB files into the Documents panel on the right.

You can also extract and backup books from the app by selecting them in the Documents panel and dragging them to a directory.

Tip: When importing a large number of books into the app via iTunes, we have found it can be helpful to remove the selection from the iTunes window after dragging the books into the File Sharing Documents panel. You can do this by clicking on another window. We’re not sure why this helps, but it does.

Downloading Books from the Web or via E-Mail

You can import DRM-free EPUB books from the web or e-mail by tapping the link and choosing to open the book in QuickReader.

Downloading Books from Book Catalogs

To download a book from an online catalog into QuickReader, tap on the “Download Books” link from the Library screen and select a catalog. QuickReader 3.0 comes with Feedbooks, Baen Free Library, Project Gutenberg, Munseys, Smashwords, and The Internet Archive catalogs and you can add others by tapping the Edit button on the Book Catalogs screen.

When you select a catalog you will be taken to the catalog page. From there you can search or navigate through the catalog hierarchy, until you find a book you are interested in downloading. To download a book, tap the Download button and the book will be downloaded from the catalog into your QuickReader library.

To add an OPDS or Stanza compliant catalog to QuickReader, select the Edit button on the Catalogs screen and select the green ‘+’ button. This will bring up the Add Catalog screen which allows you to enter the catalog URL, a title for the catalog, and an optional subtitle. Once you tap the Add button, the catalog will be added to your list of available catalogs.

You can import your personal catalog of eBooks over WiFi using the Calibre eBook management software. If you turn on the Calibre content server in the Calibre preferences, QuickReader will automatically detect the catalog on your WiFi network and make it available in the book catalogs list. If necessary, you can add the Calibre content server address manually to QuickReader; the address is typically something like “http://yourhost:8080/opds”. If you have problems accessing Calibre, it may be due to your computer’s firewall settings or the default Calibre port (8080) being used by another application.

You can also access your Calibre library in “the cloud” using Dropbox and Calibre2Opds. For a description of how to set this up, see Once you have published your catalog using Calibre2Opds, you can add the catalog address to your list of catalogs in QuickReader.

For a list of other catalogs that can be used in QuickReader, see

Note, the Young Readers Edition does not come with any catalogs pre-installed. This is intentional so that parents and teachers can decide what catalogs to allow in the app. For a list of catalogs and their addresses, visit

Importing Pasteboards

(Note, importing pasteboards is only available in the full versions of QuickReader.)

The Pasteboard feature in QuickReader allows you to copy and paste text into the application and to save it for later reading.

When you copy text on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, it is placed on the “pasteboard”. A pasteboard is similar to what is called the clipboard on other systems. QuickReader allows you to read the text on the pasteboard and to save the pasteboard text for later reading.


1) Open another application, such as Safari or e-mail.

2) Copy the text you want to read.

TIP: To select all the text on a web page, press and hold somewhere on the page where there is whitespace, such as next to a column.

3) Close the application and open QuickReader.

4) Navigate to the Library screen and select Pasteboards.

5) To read the text you just copied, tap the Pasteboard Text cell.


1) Copy text onto the pasteboard, as described above.

2) Navigate to the Pasteboards screen and tap the edit button.

3) Tap the green “+” button next to the Pasteboard Text cell.

4) To change the title, tap the title text and enter it with the keyboard.

5) Tap the save button to save the pasteboard.

6) When you return to the Pasteboards screen you will see your newly saved pasteboard in the list of saved pasteboards. Tap it to read.


1) Navigate to the Pasteboards screen and select the edit button.

2) Tap the red “-” button next to the saved pasteboard you want to delete.

3) Tap the delete button.


1) Navigate to the Pasteboards screen and tap the edit button.

2) Move a saved pasteboard by pressing down on the 3 horizontal lines at the right of the cell and dragging.


A simple way to get text onto your device is to e-mail it to yourself and then copy it from the e-mail app. You can also attach a document to an e-mail message, open it from the e-mail application, and then copy the text. In particular, this will work with text, Word, and RTF documents.

If you wish to copy a large amount of text, it is best to break it up into chunks to improve the loading time.

Partner Apps

QuickReader has been integrated with complementary partner apps Instapaper, iBookshelf, and MyLibrary.


Instapaper is a useful app that allows you to mark web sites for reading later. When you open Instapaper, it downloads the text of web pages you have marked for reading later–without the ads, pictures, and other extraneous stuff–making it much easier to read long-form text. And now even more so, as you can read Instapaper articles in QuickReader.

To read an Instapaper article in QuickReader, choose the launch link from the article screen in Instapaper, and choose to share it with QuickReader. This copies the article’s text onto the Pasteboard and launches QuickReader, which opens to the Current Pasteboard screen.

From QuickReader you can return to Instapaper with the (arrow coming out of the box) launch button. In this way you can easily go back and forth between Instapaper and QuickReader. It has never been easier to speed read content you care about.


QuickReader works with iBookshelf and MyLibrary—two great cataloging apps that keep track of all your physical and digital media assets. Find local libraries which have a book you’re interested in, remember who you lent a book to, and keep track of the books you want to read.

From QuickReader you can add books to iBookshelf or MyLibrary catalogs by selecting the launch link in a book’s chapters screen or on a book detail screen in the book catalogs. This will launch iBookshelf or MyLibrary and add the book to the catalog.

From iBookshelf or MyLibrary you can read books in QuickReader by selecting the Read button on the book detail page. This launches QuickReader and, if the book is available in QuickReader, takes you to the book screen. If the book is not available in QuickReader, then you will be taken to the Download Books screen to search for the book in the catalogs.

Note, if you customize a book’s cover image in iBookshelf or MyLibrary and then choose the Read button to return to QuickReader, the new cover image will be passed to QuickReader. In this way you can customize your QuickReader book covers.

Quick Start

Using QuickReader is easy, but the concept behind it is a little more complex. This section will help you hit the ground running. For a more in-depth look at what QuickReader does, check out the “Concepts” section of this guide.

TEST YOUR READING SPEED by choosing “Speed Test” and making a reading selection.

START TRAINING by choosing “Guided Reading.” Set the WPM (Words Per Minute) at a speed slightly faster than the WPM measured by the Speed Test.

ENHANCE YOUR TRAINING from time to time by reading with the guide set twice fast as your tested WPM. Then re-read with the WPM turned down but still above your starting WPM – you’ll find that what once felt out of control is now more manageable.

TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL by increasing the size of the guide stop and the WPM speed so that they stay just out of your comfort zone.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS by periodically running the Speed Test.


Choose a guide stop (lines per stop or stops per line) which is comfortable at first, but try to increase it over time. Perhaps start with 3 stops per line and work up to two lines per stop.

Try to “soften” your vision – this helps break the habit of narrow focus.

Consider holding the device a little bit further away; it may help widen your

Employ more of your peripheral vision by looking slightly above or below the text.

Experiment with the underline, overline, highlight, and outline guides. You may find that one is more effective than the others for you.

Short practice sessions throughout the day are better than one long session.

While getting used to expanding your vision it is useful at first to ignore individual words and just practice seeing the entire guide.

You can get more flexibility from QuickReader by using landscape mode.

Advanced Tips

Practice reading newspaper-width columns by narrowing the text width to a size you can read in a single glance. Gradually increase the width until it is the same as a standard newspaper column.

You can expand your peripheral vision vertically as well as horizontally. Once you can read newspaper column width lines, narrow the column width and try to read two or more lines at a time. Do this by setting the guide stop to two or more lines per stop. Gradually increase the width and number of lines that you can read at once.

If you find that the highlight guide style is becoming a distraction (especially at high speeds), try choosing a more minimalistic guide style.

In-Depth Concept

When we are taught to read, we first learn the sounds of individual letters. We then learn to put those letter sounds together into words, reading one word at a time. This habit is reinforced by reading out loud.

Most people never progress beyond reading one word at a time. Although they are quite capable of seeing more than one word in a single fixation, most readers develop an optical muscle memory – a sort of myopic vision – that limits itself to individuals words. The key to learning to read faster is to break this lifelong practice. To do this we need to learn to relax our vision and expand our effective field of vision, employing more of our peripheral vision.

Next, we need to learn new and more efficient eye movements. Rather than moving from one word to the next, we need to learn to break the line up into larger chunks and move from one chunk to the next

For example, rather than stopping 6 times on a line to take in each word, we might stop just two or three times. When reading text with narrow columns, such as those in a newspaper, we might even stop just once per line or pair of lines.

Speed reading techniques evolved from the basic recognition that our eyes are naturally attracted to movement. As such, a pointer (such as the hand or a pen) helps to guide them across a line of text at an accelerated pace. This was the basis of the method taught in the popular Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics courses and is the foundation of most effective speed reading techniques taught today.

The problem with the manual guide method is that there is no way to consistently regulate the rate at which the guide is moving across the page (measured in words per minute or WPM). Nor is this kind of pointer capable of dividing the line into useful segments.

Computer aided speed reading is more effective than the manual method because:

It provides a point of focus that can be set at a consistent speed and adjusted as necessary.

Words can be highlighted in sensible groups.

A constant pace discourages backtracking and distraction.

Despite their effectiveness at teaching speed reading, the original computerized systems had a serious shortcoming: lack of portability. The only way to develop the skills of a competent speed reader is through constant, short bursts of practice.

With the advent of devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, we now have the power to take our learning with us. Spare patches of time can now be converted into the improvement of a key life skill: speed reading. QuickReader is the first to offer constant access to the development of faster, more efficient reading.

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