If you are opening a document primarily to read it, reading layout view optimizes the reading experience. Reading layout view hides all toolbars except for the Reading Layout and Reviewing toolbars (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.).
Note When you open a Microsoft Word document that you have received as an e-mail attachment, Word automatically switches to reading layout view. If you don't want to use reading layout view for e-mail attachments, clear the Allow starting in Reading Layout check box on the General tab of the Options dialog box (Tools menu).
You switch to reading layout view by clicking the Read button on the Standard toolbar or by pressing ALT+R in any view in Word.
Because the goal of reading layout view is to increase legibility, the text is automatically displayed using Microsoft ClearType technology. You can easily increase or decrease the size in which text is shown without affecting the size of the font in the document.
Pages represented in reading layout view are designed to fit well on your screen; they do not represent the pages you would see if you were to print the document. If you want to view the document as it would appear on the printed page, without switching to print layout view (Print Layout view: A view of a document or other object as it will appear when you print it. For example, items such as headers, footnotes, columns, and text boxes appear in their actual positions.), click Actual Page on the Reading Layout toolbar.
When you want to stop reading the document, you can switch from reading layout view by clicking the Close button on the Reading Layout toolbar or by pressing ESC or ALT+C.
If you want to modify the document, simply edit text as you read, without switching out of reading layout view. The Reviewing toolbar is automatically displayed in reading layout view, so you can easily use change tracking and comments to mark up a document.
Note Text that is not in paragraphs on the page (such as WordArt or text that's in graphics or tables) is not resized for display in reading layout view. If your document has a complex layout — with columns or tables — or if it includes wide graphics, the document may be easier to read in print layout view than in reading layout view.