A reader for displaying an electronic document stored in a predetermined format and allowing articles of the document to be read in the direction of their content information flow. The reader includes a selector to select an article of the document to be read. A displayer displays a first portion of the article in a manner which promotes comfortable viewing, and a navigator permits the display of the next and remaining sequential portions of the article in content flow (or reverse content flow) order. Preferably, the displayer pans and zooms, as necessary, to position the article portion in an article viewing window. A method for viewing electronic documents on a digital computer includes the steps of storing in the memory of the digital computer an electronic document, selecting an article to be displayed on an output device of the digital computer in an article view, displaying at least a portion of the article in the article viewing mode on the output device, and using an input device of the digital computer to cause a display of additional portions of the article to be displayed on the output device in the article viewing mode. These additional portions of the article are determined, at least in part, by predefined article sections and section links of the document so that the thread of the article can be followed in forward and reverse directions.