Flipstand compact document holder 3m Document Holder compact Microdesk Compact


How to choose the right document holder

Document holders (or stands) provide a good ergonomic way to view your documents without having to lean to the side to read, and reduce any unnecessary head tilting. Document holders can be placed between the keyboard and monitor (in-line), attached to the side of the monitor (monitor mount), can be situated to the side, or be drafting or reading boards. 

All of these have the ability to keep your head more naturally aligned when using the computer, rather than reading a document from the desk. Following is some information on how to choose the correct one for your needs:

Different Document Holders

Although better than not using a document holder at all, the side document holders cause you to move your head unnecessarily, as they will most likely be situated to the side and not in line with the monitor.

The monitor-mounted document stands are a little better as they are aligned with your monitor, but still causes unnecessary head tilting. In-line document holders are the best option as they sit in line with your vision and your monitor, reducing head tilting. Drafting or reading boards are designed for copy writing or viewing large documents, generally A3 in size or larger.

Finding the Right Size

Depending on what you generally view, be it single A4 sheets of paper, or large binders or plans, this will be the basis of what you should look for in a document holder. Some document holders can hold up to 150 sheets, where others can hold large books. Check to see if the document holder can handle the weight of your documents before you make a purchase. There are some in-line document holders that are designed to sit over or cover the keyboard so you can use the surface as a reading or writing area. Also check to see if the document holder is height adjustable, be able to sit on your desk without taking up too much room, and is not covering up any part of the monitor, or areas that you frequently access.

The best document holder for you is one that can handle your document sizes, not take up too much room or hinder areas that you frequent regularly, be as close to in-line as possible, and have height and viewing angle adjustment. With the use of all these features, you will find that you will have less chance of pain or injury, and be more productive in your environment.


Document holder usage when reading or writing – R Burgess & R J Neal, University of Queensland, 1989