Scrolling Text Advantages & Disadvantages

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From Times Square to your home computer, scrolling text can be used to present a wide variety of information. Whether the scrolling text is presented on a building via an LED sign or programmed into your website using HTML, the movement of the text draws the reader's eye to the information presented. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to consider when using scrolling text.

LED Signs

Scrolling text is predominately used on LED signs of various sizes to display or advertise a message. Scrolling LED signs can be seen everywhere from Times Square in New York City to the window of your local deli. Because the information presented in these signs can be easily input, they make ideal displays for information that frequently changes--for instance, stock market reports, news headlines or daily specials. The information presented by these LED signs is presented in vibrant, glowing colour that can be seen during all hours of the day and night.

Websites and Scrolling Text

Scrolling text can also be used to present information on websites. Using Java, Flash or other HTML programs, website designers can program text to move across the viewer's screen at various rates. Changing the information presented in scrolling text on websites can be more difficult than changing stationary text because you must adjust the text within the coding. However, scrolling text on websites quickly draws the visitor's eye to the information being presented.


The primary advantage of scrolling text is its ability to display a larger amount of information than stationary text. Because scrolling text moves across a limited space, more words can be displayed and a constantly changing message is presented to readers. Another advantage of scrolling text, particularly LED signs, is that it is more attention-grabbing than stationary text. The movement of the text and the brightness with LED scrolling text signs draw the reader's eye to the message presented. An LED scrolling text sign can also be more easily changed to display current messages than print signs, which is why they are commonly used to present important news headlines and stock market data.


The disadvantages of scrolling text relate to the message not being presented as a whole or being difficult to read. Because of the constant movement of the text, the reader may begin his observation of the message midway through a sentence. The writer of the text must then trust that the reader will continue observing the scrolling text until the message cycles back through to the beginning. Additionally, scrolling text cycled through at too quickly a speed can be difficult for some to read. Scrolling text used on websites can also cause the website to load more slowly on low-speed Internet connections, which could cause visitors to your site to leave.

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