We're finding more and more that we're expected to read text on screen. New software ships with printed manuals, we're proof-reading digital words all day and getting our news sent to Instapaper. Problem is, computers aren't that great for long sessions of reading. Headaches and blurry vision are par the course at the end of the working day in our office. That's why Tofu is such a brilliant find.
It's just a text reader, doing much the same job as Preview. The author's bright innovation is that Tofu splits text into columns, like the columns in a newspaper or a printed magazine. He claims this makes it easier to read long pages of text, chunking them up into more manageable parts. It sounds odd and looks strange, but it seems to work in practice. Installing it for review, we quickly found ourselves turning to Tofu as our primary document reader. That doesn't happen often.
The reader itself seems very simple, but there are further features buried under the crust. Want to find a specific keyword? Just start typing and all instances of it will be highlighted? If you're settling in for a long session of reading - perusing a manual or e-book - hitting COMMAND and L puts the document window into full screen mode. You can also change the colours of the background and the font. It's not quite electric ink, but it does enable you to tone down the natural glare of an LCD screen a bit.
Will we continue to use it? It's now been installed on all our Macs and is seeing most use on the portables. If you need to read long documents on your computer, it'll cost you nothing to give Tofu a go.