To what extent does the reader integrate visual information from one fixation to the next and derive a spatially extended representation of text? Experimental studies of transsaccadic fusion in reading produce conflicting evidence. The results from work on "stepped-text" presentation, in which words appear in a single physical location, have been used to argue that readers secure no advantage from the spatially extended page and that reading may proceed without the computation of spatial coordinates. It is suggested that this conclusion may be inaccurate. A processing decrement is found for materials above a critical level of complexity when presented in a "stepped" mode. This appears to derive from the reader's need at times to reinspect parts of previously presented text. Reinspections of this kind, which appear to characterize the fluent reader, demand a degree of spatial coding.