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New font designed to help dyslexic people read

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October 2, 2012

OpenDyslexic features a weighted bottom, which is intended to lend 'gravity' to every lett...

OpenDyslexic features a weighted bottom, which is intended to lend 'gravity' to every letter

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Developer Abelardo Gonzalez has created an open-source font designed to help people with dyslexia read more easily. Dubbed OpenDyslexic, the font is currently available as a free download, in the form of a Safari and Chrome extension, a bookmarklet, and a free iOS web-browsing app. OpenDyslexic has also been incorporated into several third-party apps, including popular read-it-later service Instapaper.

Each OpenDyslexic letter features a heavy-weighted bottom, intended to lend "gravity" to text displayed with the font. Presenting a character in this way is believed to help prevent the letters from rotating, flipping, or becoming otherwise confused in the brains of some dyslexics.

The new font includes regular, bold, italic and bold-italic styles, and Gonzalez states that OpenDyslexic’s handling of italics in particular is a significant improvement over most other fonts, as it can highlight emphasis while maintaining readability, by not slanting the text too much.

Viewing a web page in Safari for Mac with the OpenDyslexic extension
Viewing a web page in Safari for Mac with the OpenDyslexic extension

Safari and Google Chrome users can add OpenDyslexic to their web browser with a downloadable extension, and this results in all text content from websites being displayed in the new font. iOS users have the option of the rather basic but free web browsing app OpenWeb, and there is also a bookmarklet available for users of other operating systems and web browsers.

Given the disparity in reading comprehension between dyslexic people, OpenDyslexic’s efficacy is bound to vary from person to person. That said, if you’d like to try it yourself, the OpenDyslexic web page, which includes the above extensions and two classic copyright-free e-books presented in the font, is navigable via the source link below.

Source: OpenDyslexic via MedicalXpress

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road.

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3 Comments

This is fascinating. I have two daughters who are teachers. And some of their students are dyslexic, at least mildly so. This is being forwarded to them immediately.

Bruce H. Anderson
3rd October, 2012 @ 09:34 am PDT

As a dyslexic, I find it a bit faster to read through, but still I'm skipping.

Nitrozzy Seven
3rd October, 2012 @ 11:27 am PDT

Hi, this is freaky. I don't read so much because it's so tiresome, somehow this makes sense and I read it striaght through. I don't know what it is about the font, but I like it!

Gargamoth
3rd October, 2012 @ 08:58 pm PDT
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