For Users

About the app

The MD_evReader is a free app designed as a reading aid for people with macular degeneration. The app presents text on a tablet (iPad or Android) as a single scrolling line, much like a newsfeed.  Using scrolling text can enhance reading for some people with macular degeneration when using the eccentric viewing technique.

The MD_evReader was developed by Robin Walker at Royal Holloway, University of London in collaboration with the Macular Society.

Judi Dench talks about the MD_evReader app

How to Download an eBook

The app can read an eBook which is in an ePub format and out of copyright such as the free books available from Project Gutenberg.

At the present time the app will not work with:

– An ePub document which has lots of pictures.

– eBooks that are protected by the publishers copyright protection system (called DRM).We are working together with the RNIB to try to provide access to a wider range of eBooks for people with visual impairments.

You will need to download an ePub format eBook (without DRM copyright protection) to enable the app to work.

Using your iPad or Android tablet:

1. Open a web browser (for example, Safari or Firefox).

2. Enter the website address from which you want to download an eBook.

3. Select the ePub format for the title you wish to read.

4. Download the eBook.

5. When the document loads, select the “Open in…” option, and choose MD_evReader from the list of applications.

Eccentric Viewing

Eccentric viewing is a simple technique used by people with a central vision loss by which the person looks slightly away from what you want to see in order to view it using your best region of preserved vision. Eccentric viewing can be combined with a second technique called the Steady-Eye strategy.

Click here to watch a video about Central Vision Loss and Eccentric Viewing

Practice Eccentric Reading

Try reading the text below while holding your gaze above or below the line using eccentric viewing. This is how the MD_evReader presents text from eBooks and it may help you read using the eccentric viewing and stead-eye strategies. For more information about eccentric viewing and how to use it, click here.

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens | Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o'clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously. In consideration of the day and hour of my birth, it was declared by the nurse, and by some sage women in the neighbourhood who had taken a lively interest in me several months before there was any possibility of our becoming personally acquainted, first, that I was destined to be unlucky in life; and secondly, that I was privileged to see ghosts and spirits; both these gifts inevitably attaching, as they believed, to all unlucky infants of either gender, born towards the small hours on a Friday night. I need say nothing here, on the first head, because nothing can show better than my history whether that prediction was verified or falsified by the result. On the second branch of the question, I will only remark, that unless I ran through that part of my inheritance while I was still a baby, I have not come into it yet. But I do not at all complain of having been kept out of this property; and if anybody else should be in the present enjoyment of it, he is heartily welcome to keep it.


If you are already using the MD_evReader please leave a review.

User Guide

Download the PDF User Guide

More useful information

Macular Society
Other useful links


The MD_evReader was designed by Robin Walker for use on tablets (iPad and Android) as a reading aid for people with a loss of central vision. The app was developed by Humboldt Solutions and was funded by Royal Holloway’s Gateway commercialisation fund established jointly by the university and Honorary Fellow, Yazan Mufti. It enables eBook text to be scrolled in a single line, much like ticker tape – or the information panel on board a train or on some buses. Presenting the book as single lines of scrolling text can enhance reading when using the eccentric viewing technique as adopted by people with macular degeneration. The app can also be used by therapists and professionals to demonstrate the usefulness of the eccentric viewing and steady-eye strategies for people with macular degeneration.