A simple terminal-based open source Spritz-alike (per-word RSVP aligned on optimal reading points)
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pasky Merge pull request #21 from Wysaard/master
Remove deprecated `use encoding`
Latest commit 93acfd6 Sep 21, 2016



A simple terminal-based open source Spritz-alike.

This command line filter shows input text as a per-word RSVP (rapid serial visual presentation) aligned on optimal reading points. This kind of input mode allows reading text at a much more rapid pace than usual as the eye can stay fixed on a single place.

Basic Example

cat tea.txt | ./speedread -w 250

The default of 250 words per minut is very timid, designed so that you get used to this. Be sure to try cranking this up, 500wpm should still be fairly easy to follow even for beginners.

250wpm example 500wpm example 750wpm example 1000wpm example


speedread is slightly interactive, with these controls accepted:

  • [ - slow down by 10%
  • ] - speed up by 10%
  • space - pause (and show the last two lines of context)

Integration Recipes

You can connect mutt with speedread by putting a macro like this in your ~/.muttrc (or pressing ':' in running mutt and pasting it):

macro pager R "<enter-command>set pipe_decode=yes<enter>v|grep -v '^>' | ~/speedread/speedread<enter><enter-command>unset pipe_decode<enter>q" "speedread"

Then, just press R when viewing a message. Unfortunately, it does not work with non-ASCII messages (probably due to mutt limitations).


Not sure if I will ever get around to these...

  • Better word timing! Instead of just pausing longer at commas and full-stops, distribute time better. Some short words like "not" and "can" could often get missed the way things are now.
  • Support for seeking back/forward.
  • Automatically adjust wpm on trained content difficulty (look-ahead)?
  • More controls, explore how can interactivity enhance usefulness of this.
  • Make various timing and ORP coefficients configurable.
  • Add a (Cairo-based?) simplistic graphical frontend (keeping with the filter philosophy). This would allow better eye guidance and large font.
  • An elinks-based recipe for reading websites this way.

Check out also OpenSpritz or spritz-js if you want to get this functionality in the web context.