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Reading Ebooks is Easier on the Mac with Tofu

written by: rmervine•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 8/11/2009
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The emergence of Ebooks allows a vast quantity of information at your fingertips. The main challenge is making the text easier to read. To address this challenge, an Ebook reader named Tofu allows text to be read easier on a Mac.

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    Reading Ebooks on Tofu is like reading a newspaper

    Imagine reading a newspaper. When you read one, a newspaper consists of narrow multiple columns. The reasoning is that the eyes have to do less vertical scrolling and this is how our brains like to read content. This is what Tofu does and how it attempts to address the challenge of wanting to read ebooks on the computer screen. Tofu takes the daunting task of not having to attempt to read text across the entire computer screen and to minimize a large amount of vertical scrolling. In fact, there is no vertical scrolling at all. As a reader, this is appreciated since it does not interrupt the reading experience by scrolling. Tofu makes reading easier! 

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    The Reading Experience

    Now this software does sound like a simplistic concept and I can agree with that. However, it makes a huge difference! For example, I went to Project Gutenburg and viewed one of their ebooks. When reading it directly on the web browser, I was faced with the constant scrolling and having the task of reading the whole way across my screen. It definitely was not enjoyable at all and I can understand why people are turned off of reading ebooks on the computer screen. So, I copied and pasted the entire webpage into Tofu. Yes, that's right you can copy and paste text from webpages. The next time you come across a difficult to read webpage, you can just paste it into Tofu to minimize all that scrolling. Web pages with images can be copied directly to Tofu if it is used under the Service menu from Safari. Unfortunately, it does not work in Firefox. Although, this just may be a limitation on Firefox

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    Customization of the Software

    There are a few different ways of customizing Tofu. The text and it's background can be changed to a wide variety of colors. Fonts can be changed to whatever fonts you have on your computer. You never have to be forced to read a font you don't like ever again. Tofu also has the ability to go into full screen in order to minimize any background distractions on your computer. Because Tofu wants the user's reading experience to be uninterrupted, even searching is seamless. Searching is as simple as typing the letters on the keyboard and being redirected quickly to the section to where the word matches on the keyboard. For example, suppose you want to search for "customization" in Tofu. As soon as you type "cust" it redirects itself to everyword that begions with "cust." No search dialogs being a distraction to reading comfortably. Speech recognization is available if you want to sit in your seat and just listen. As I mentioned earlier, Tofu does run as a service and you can copy both text and images from Safari to Tofu.

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    Conclusion and Overall Review

    Rating Average

    After evaluating Tofu, I would have to say its definitely helps me read ebooks and copied text easier. It is more of a pleasure for me. Something I really would like to see is the inclusion of having pictures being copied as well. This can be done by web browsing in Safari or Preview. If Firefox supported this ability, it would have been a seamless experience. The full screen reading ability is one of the most useful features as it enhances the user experience. Something I think would improve the user experience even more is to improve the spacing of the words to make it more "book like." The best part of this product is that there is no cost for it. You can download it from Amar Sagoo webpage.