If you spend more time reading documents in Word than making changes to them or creating new ones, the tools available in the ribbon are less useful to you. They take up valuable reading space that could contain more content from the document you are reading. If you change to Read Mode, the ribbon vanishes and other tools designed to enhance your reading experience appear.
Turn On Read Mode
To turn on Read Mode, click View > Read Mode (in the Views group). There is also a keyboard shortcut for this: alt + wf (the w and f need to be pressed whilst alt is held down). If you want a Read Mode that is startling, hit alt + wtf. Joking, just joking.
In Read Mode, the ribbon disappears and is replaced by a stripped down set of commands:
Clicking on each of the new members of the reduced ribbon give the following options:
You can see that all these options are related to altering your reading experience. All commands for editing your document have been removed. To return to the default Print Layout View, hit the escape key.
You can increase the space given to your document even further by clicking the Auto-hide Reading Toolbar button in the top right, and what little that did remain of the ribbon vanishes
To bring it back again, click the Always Show Reading Toolbar button:
If your document has several pages you’ll notice some handy next and previous buttons to navigate them that look like this:
Maybe not so “handy” if you are using a desktop computer or laptop, but if you are using a smaller device like a smartphone or ipad and you have a touch screen, you can touch those buttons to navigate the document.
Information at the bottom of the workspace lets you keep track of what screen in the document you are on:
Screen? What happened to page numbers? Well, the document content gets resized with a bigger font so you can read it more easily, and consequently fewer words get displayed on your screen. That means that the two “pages” displayed on your monitor are actually less than two pages. To address this disparity, Word refers to them as “screens”.
Just above the screen number you can see what looks like a scroll slider – and that’s just what it is. Click and drag it to more quickly scroll through your document. Other navigational methods are still available too, like the page up and page down buttons, the middle scroll bar on your mouse and ctrl + home and ctrl + end.
If you are thinking that Read Mode in Word 2013 looks very much like Full Screen Reading View in Word 2010, you are right. So this begs the question why are Microsoft touting this as a new feature when it was already present in Word 2010?