Legend has it that Simon Kelner, editor of The Independent, had a flash of inspiration as he ploughed up and down the aisles of his local supermarket. â€œIf I can buy toothpaste in different sizes, why canâ€™t newspapers do the same?â€? The Independent published in both compact and broadsheet formats from September 30th 2003, although in practice this was merely a step in the transition of the newspaper to a compact-only format from May 2004. The global significance of this change has, however, been huge. At the last count 71 major broadsheet titles have either followed suit or have well-publicised plans to reduce their size in the near future. From El Litoral in Argentina to the San Francisco Examiner in the US, the New Straits Times in Malaysia and Hufvudstadsbladet in Finland, The Times in the UK and Cotidianul in Romania. Turning tabloid is not a new phenomenon, so why has The Independent caught the imagination of the newspaper publishing world and is it based more on hope than evidence? Our paper will examine the attitudes, mindset and lifestyles of the compact reader to assess the reality of the conversions in the UK.