Who’d have thought there was anything else to say about displaying text on screens? Everyone just creates a long vertical scroll, and gives the user a scroll bar. On top of that, the whole thing might be chopped into pages. But here’s another way: a few people have been trying out displaying text in columns no taller than the screen, then laid out horizontally. This gives a feel more like reading a book or newspaper.
Try it out at the International Herald Tribune. Read any story there, and notice the controls at the bottom of the page. The whole effect if very slickly accomplished, including the ability to click anywhere in the first or last column on the page to move in that direction, complete with highlighting of the action at the bottom of the page (try it, you’ll see). They also let you change the size of the type, with the page count adjusting automatically, and even the number of columns changing to properly accommodate the font.
It turns out the code to accomplish this trick is available at smokinggun (no, not the site that has Britney Spears’ marriage license application affidavit).
Another example of the same technique is Tofu, a text reader for the Mac.