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Column: Some tips for easy navigating of online product

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Reading the newspaper is pretty instinctive.

You pick it up, scan the page for things that catch your eye or pique your interest. You start looking at those items more closely, then check out the other stories or photos on the page until you are ready to turn to the next one.

We do work to guide readers through each edition, providing an index of regular features so readers can quickly find the comics, TV listings or obituaries, for example. And we highlight the top content inside each edition from the front page of the newspaper.

But we rarely give readers specific guidance on how to best navigate the newspaper. With our digital edition, however, it’s another matter entirely. We have found that e-edition readers are eager to get help in learning how to best navigate digital publications.

That’s been especially evident in the past two weeks, when we made changes to The Republic’s e-edition and introduced new apps designed to improve the navigational experience.

While the old platform worked fine with desktop and laptop computers, it did not function as well when using tablets and smaller electronic devices.

Now we have apps to better support mobile and tablet devices, including Apple products such as the iPad and iPhone, Google Android-based devices such as Samsung tablets and Android phones, and Amazon Kindle Fire tablets.

You can acquire them for free at Apple, Google and Amazon app stores, but the easiest starting point is

The entire e-edition responds more readily, allowing pages to be downloaded more quickly while maintaining a high-quality image.

The desktop computer e-edition itself includes a number of improvements:

The text is more crisp and clear, even when zooming in.

You can move between pages by clicking on the upper right-hand corner of the pages themselves or using the left and right arrows at the top of the screen.

The Reader View button allows you to zoom in to a full-width version of a single page and then move up and down by either clicking and dragging with your mouse or by using the arrow keys. While in this view, you can change between pages by using the left and right arrows at the top of the screen. Many of our readers tell us this is the view they prefer.

You can now view the e-edition in full screen on your computer. The button to turn this on is in the lower right-hand corner. When using the Reader View and Fullscreen options together on most monitors, you will actually be able to read the e-edition at a size that is equal to or larger than our print edition. Once you are in this mode, simply press the escape key to return to using your computer normally.

You can search for text in an issue using the search box in the upper left-hand side of the screen. Just drop in a word or phrase, and this tool will display each page on which this content appears. Your desired words will be highlighted in yellow on the computer screen.

Instead of just the first page of a section as before, now all page thumbnails can be seen under the Pages Tab on the left-hand side of the screen. This lets you jump to any page more easily. For instance, you can look for the Business page and click to move straight to it.

You can find archives of earlier editions by clicking on Past Issues on the left-hand side of the screen.

Since about 85 percent of all Republic digital readers access our content with an Apple device, we worked to develop an app making it easy for readers to subscribe to the e-edition or even to buy single copies of the digital newspaper using their Apple accounts.

Since full access to is available only to subscribers, the new Apple app allows occasional readers to purchase one digital edition for 99 cents. That’s only

24 cents more than the price of the print edition on the newsstand. And with the price of gas, it saves you money and means you don’t even have to leave your living room to bring a single edition of The Republic into your home.

You also can order the e-edition monthly for $11.99 through your Apple account. That’s about 40 cents per edition, the best value around.

When the newspaper, or its digital sister site, is easy to read, valuable and economical, it’s a winning combination that is hard to resist.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what one Republic reader had to say: “I just downloaded the new Republic app on my mini iPad. It is terrific! A great improvement for online reading. Way to go!”

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