H and L Office Furniture’s tips for using document holders:

A document holder is generally a piece of plastic just a little larger than a sheet of paper that comes on a stand, or with an attachment arm that can be hooked to a monitor or table edge, that is meant to hold papers in place when information is copied from them. Many of them even have a sliding line guide, so a track of place on the page can be kept.

Here are some tips for using a document holder.

Documents should be placed as close to the computer monitor as possible. Many document holders will attach to the monitor or to the desk and can be adjusted to be near the monitor. Too many people place documents on their office desk beside the computer and look down at the words on the sheet, then up to the monitor as they type.

This constant motion from he paper to the screen is a cause of eye strain, as the eyes adapt to the different distances they are being asked to adjust to and from, as well as neck strain as the neck shifts the head back and forth.

If a document holder is placed properly the source document will be at the same height level as the monitor and the same distance from the eyes as the computer screen. It could also be placed below the monitor. It can also be placed just below the monitor.

Make sure document holder is sturdy. A document holder can be tested by putting something heavy on it, such as a large book. If it can hold the book without giving way, it can handle the user’s needs, even if the user is working on a large stack of documents. A flimsy document holder may sway or bounce during regular use causing the eyes to strain trying to sort out the blur of moving words and numbers. This can also lead to copying the incorrect information from the document into the computer.

Make sure it is easy to read. Just hooking the document holder up is not enough. Make sure that once documents are on it, that the room lighting is not hitting the pages in such a way to make a glare.

That glare can cause the very eye-strain the user is trying to avoid by getting the holder in the first place. Instead, once the document holder is installed sit down in the office chair in the position the user would be in to work. Look at the papers. If the light causes the glare adjust the document holder until the glare disappears.