Question: Are there any techniques to improve reading from screen?
Yes! I employ many different "techniques" myself:
- Temporary on-the-fly changes to websites which I do not frequent.
- Cut-N-Paste content to a text editor.
- Temporary changes for my viewing needs.
- Permanent changes for my viewing needs to sites I frequent.
You bring an important point regarding readability. It is such a problem for those of us who work at a computer most of the day, that many programmers have come up with some tools to help with the readability of websites which we frequent.
(1) While most web browsers support increasing/decreasing font size (Ctrl+ / Ctrl-), they do not allow easily changing actual font or colors on websites. Ignorance of html/css programming by non-programmer "web designers" have recently lead to many websites inadvertently not even allowing the above-mentioned font-size changes!
(2) If I'm on a website which does not allow quickly changing text size, I simply cut-n-paste the text into a text-editor. I can then easily change font-size there. That also allows me to save the URL of the site where the information was found. I suppose this dates, me but this is a twist on technique of using index cards for term paper research. It saves you from trying to figure out where material originated from. If you are like me and prefer hard-copy, placing file-path & file-name on the bottom of your page, can help you find your saved copy (as often websites disappear or change content).
(3) I use a debugging add-on tool within firefox (called "Firebug") to make temporary changes to a page I am viewing. If I frequent that page, I can make those changes more permanent by putting those changes in item 4 below:
(4) Changing the way text is displayed helps so much with readability, that there is an add-on for Firefox which allows just that: "Stylish". It is extremely useful for people who have problems due to color-deficiency(color-blindness).
This particular forum (and other stackexchange forums), does allow the Ctrl+/Ctrl- font-size changing! Adjusting font-size helps; however it is not always enough. Personally, I find that adjusting the font, color, and background increase readability dramatically. Since I spend so much time on-line for work, I use Firefox web browser, along with and add-on called "Stylish" which allows me to customize frequently-used websites to make them more readable to me!
For websites/forums which I frequent, then creating a special "Stylish" modification for that site makes sense to me. I can modify the actual font, as well as the font-color and background on which the font is displayed for websites which I visit frequently. Knowing html/css allows me to customize a websites readability to my preferences!
I actually used Firefox with "Stylish" add-on modifications for a client who had an older employee with vision problems. The web-based hotel reservation software had poor readability on a couple of screens for which I had no direct control of. The software has since been modified, allowing each individual user to select background color in those text areas.
There is now an updated version of Stylish For Firefox. Also, there is now a version of stylish for Chrome as well...
Also, you no longer need to have extensive css/html background to use Stylish. Along with the new Stylish version, there are numerous pre-made Stylish Alternative Themes/Skins for many popular websites.
Many of the alternate "themes" are specifically geared towards helping with eye-strain -- look for the word "dark" in their name.
If you use openid, you can use your stackexchange openid
You can use your openid login by choosing "login" then "openid", then
An example of an alternate "theme" which will help with eye strain is here:
Youtube - Lights Out - A Dark Youtube Theme
This dark grey background with light text is much easier on the eyes.