A new approach designed to establish the most suitable area for eccentric viewing and to teach and train patients with severe age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to use the eccentric viewing technique is described. Using a computer and video display based system, as well as software written specifically for this purpose, we investigated and trained ten consecutive patients with AMD. The patients were 80.1 + or - 5.6 years old, on average. All of them had an absolute central scotoma. Mean visual acuity was 0.035 + or - 0.016. After 30 min of testing, instruction and reading on the screen, followed by 2.6 + or - 0.69 one-hour training sessions, on average, with the low vision therapist, reading newspaper and book texts with the aid of hyperoculars or aplanatic systems and a very short reading distance, the patients achieved a reading speed of 58.9 + or - 19.7 words/min, significantly (p<0.001) higher than the initial speed when reading on the screen, 11.5 + or - 4.5 words/min.