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Differences from print

Writing on the Web should be approached differently from writing for print, even when giving the same information. There are two main reasons for this:

Reading from screen

It is currently more difficult to read from a computer screen than from paper.

These disadvantages combine to make reading text from a screen more difficult. Users will read more slowly and most will find the process less pleasant.

(You might personally think that these disadvantages don't affect you. Personally, I certainly read more text from the screen than from paper, and don't notice my difficulty reading it. However, if an experiment were conducted, it would almost certainly show that I read on-screen text more slowly.)

Although new display technology might reduce these problems, most people will be using standard cathode-ray or (at best) LCD displays for at least the next two or three years.

Impatient users

On the Web, users are more likely to be impatient than when reading print material.