This study is an attempt to investigate the effects of document structure and knowledge level of the reader on reading comprehension, browsing, and perceived control. Four types of texts are distinguished, differing in structure (linear text, hierarchical hypertext, mixed hypertext, and generative text). All the materials were on a PC. In all conditions, participants were allowed I h to read through the document. After completing the reading part of the experiment, they were asked to fill out the perceived control questionnaire followed by the reading comprehension test. As far as reading comprehension was concerned, knowledgeable participants had higher reading comprehension scores than non-knowledgeable participants only in the linear text. In addition, there were no significant differences in terms of the reading comprehension scores of the knowledgeable participants among the four topologies. However, the performance of non-knowledgeable participants differed with respect to the type of the topology. In particular, non-knowledgeable participants in the hierarchical and generative conditions performed better than those in the other two conditions. With respect to perceived control, the performance of knowledgeable and non-knowledgeable participants was equivalent in all four conditions. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for the computer-based learning. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.