Like many Reader's Digest articles, this came in long. World-class editors can cut a published article in half without losing a significant fact. In this case, however, we had a manuscript eight times too long. Solution: ditch the science, keep the utilities.

In the weeks after publication, we received thousands of letters from people who discovered problems in time to save their sight—or even their lives. One woman's results led to surgery for a brain tumor. We published her testimonial under the title "A Magazine With Vision."

(You can take the eye test on your computer now. Instructions are under the "E" chart below.)

To take the "E" test on your computer...

...measure the widest E on the chart above; then stand the right distance from your screen.

Width of Largest E

Standing Distance

1/4 inch

2 feet, 11 inches

1/2 inch

5 feet, 9 inches

3/4 inch

8 feet, 7 inches

1 inch

11 feet, 5 inches

1-1/4 inches

14 feet, 1 inch

1-1/2 inches

16 feet, 9 inches

1-3/4 inches

19 feet, 10 inches

2 inches

22 feet, 10 inches

2-14 inches

23 feet, 8 inches

 (Because we used the "E" test instead of multiple characters, the chart needed no translation for our Greek and Russian editions. It also worked for children who couldn't read.)